By Howard Lehman, director of the Fulbright Program and professor in the Department of Political Science
Four University of Utah students have received highly competitive Fulbright awards for 2016. The prestigious awards will allow one undergraduate student to teach English in South Korea, one to teach English in Malaysia, another to enter a master’s program at a British university and a graduate student to conduct research in Bulgaria and Romania. Each award is for one academic year.
The U.S. Fulbright program was established in 1946 to create mutual understanding and support friendly and peaceful relations between people in the U.S. and other countries. The program provides grants for international exchange for students and scholars to study, teach and conduct research. It is the largest U.S. international exchange program, offering opportunities for graduate study, research, university instruction and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide.
“Beyond my academic Korean studies, I would like to further comprehend the social and cultural factors that contribute to youth development in South Korea by directly working in an elementary educational setting. I intend to obtain a master’s degree in education policy and management with the aim to advance multicultural education policies in U.S. educational institutions.”
“I chose Malaysia because I’ve studied the Muslim world and because resources are largely centered in Kuala Lumpur, which directly impacts rural education. I speak French, Arabic, Spanish and Hebrew and have specialized in studying global Islam and foreign relations. I am passionate about building global partnerships and opportunities and look forward to spreading this passion in Malaysia through my Fulbright award. When I return, I plan to enter the Foreign Service after attending law school.”
Matthew Kirkegaard, B.A. in political science and environmental studies with minors in Portuguese and Brazilian studies
M.Sc. in water security and international development from the University of East Anglia
“I am interested in water security and governance, particularly trans-boundary water politics. I spent last year studying in southern Brazil as a Boren Scholar with a focus on international water politics in the La Plata Basin and have worked on water security issues in rural Costa Rica and urbanizing India. I will research the effects of regional integration on water cooperation and conflict, collaborating with University of East Anglia’s Water Security Research Centre. I then hope to pursue a public service career in U.S. environmental foreign policy or with multilateral organizations.”
“The project will take place in four ancient Thracian and Greek colonial cities, Philippopolis, Kablye, Callatis and Histria. Modern archaeological museums in each city house the artifacts uncovered at these sites and I will create video presentations based on the geographic information of items uncovered concerning the god Apollo. This project will give a literal picture of the geographic information that would otherwise be hard to evaluate. The research done during my Fulbright year will be the basis for my dissertation on Thracian and Greek identity through religion. I plan to use this experience as a platform for a career in academia and to build contacts with those working in these countries. I expect to expand interest and abilities of future students interested in digital archaeology.”
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