Fulbright Success in H&S
For years now, H&S students and faculty have had great success in winning Fulbright awards. The goal of the prestigious Fulbright program is to increase mutual understanding between citizens of the United States and other countries. Marty Sternstein, professor of mathematics and a former Fulbright scholar himself, has been IC's Fulbright coordinator for 20 years; during this time he says, "We've had 20 student winners to 14 different countries: Austria, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, Korea, Morocco, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK." Sternstein believes strongly in the value of the program: "The contacts our students and faculty make seem to last a lifetime. The opportunity to travel beyond our borders, to learn about other cultures, to learn about ourselves by stepping outside of ourselves, to experience the ties which bind us together as human beings on this planet, to question what makes us Americans, to receive a legitimacy and access not otherwise easily available, all these are part of the Fulbright experience."
In the last two years, three H&S students have been awarded Fulbright scholarships. Amy Cohen '09, theater arts management major, spent a year in the United Kingdom, researching the contemporary circus as a prominent art form in the UK. Melendy Krantz '09, anthropology and politics double major, traveled to Bangladesh to conduct research on women's lives. The 2010 recipient, English major Andy Fry '10, will go to Hamburg, Germany, where he'll work as an assistant English teacher. He will also be completing a self-designed project about the reunification of Germany and the cultural divides that still exist. Fry says, "I'm really looking forward to the experience. I think spending so much time in Germany is going to have a really profound effect on me and is going to change me in ways that I can't even anticipate."
The Fulbright program also offers IC faculty the opportunity to study, teach, and conduct research abroad. In 2009-10, faculty Fulbright scholars from H&S were Tom Shevory, professor of politics, who taught American studies, American politics, and international environmental film at the National University of Mongolia, and Kathleen Mulligan, assistant professor of theater arts, who went to Kerala, India. Her project focused on empowering women through voice at Rajagari College, and with adolescent girls in the community. What she learned had a profound impact on her approach to teaching that she will bring to the classroom at IC. "Dealing with communication challenges and strong cultural differences forced me to examine the way I present material and to innovate new ways to help my students grasp the skills I am trying to teach them."
H&S faculty members Anna Larsen, associate professor of chemistry, and Jennifer Jolly, associate professor of art history, have been awarded Fulbright grants for 2010-11. Professor Larsen will be in Argentina investigating new methods of breaking down precious metals in collaboration with researchers at the University of Buenos Aires. Professor Jolly received a Fulbright Garcia-Robles Fellowship to research the cultural revitalization of Michoacán, Mexico, and the role that President Lázaro Cárdenas played in these artistic projects. Jolly, who was also a Fulbright scholar in Mexico City from 2000-2001, says, "This opportunity means a lot. The conversations I've had with other scholars and the connections I've made have been deeply meaningful, both for me as a person and for my work."
Originally published in KnowLedges, Volume 11, Number 1, Summer 2010: Fulbright Success in H&S.