Students earn Fulbright scholarships, Projects for Peace grant
by Bill Sulon
May 18, 2010
Seniors (from left) Matthew Hayden, Katelyn Monfet and Jessie Strasbaugh studied at Dickinson's partner program in Bremen, Germany, during their junior year and will return to Germany this fall as Fulbright English Teaching Assistants.
The class of 2010 continues to garner prestigious scholarships and awards, including three Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships and a Kathryn Wasserman Davis Projects for Peace prize to work with adolescents in Brazil.
Seniors Matthew Hayden, Katelyn Monfet and Jessie Strasbaugh have been awarded Fulbright scholarships to teach English in Germany this fall.
It is the second time in three years that three Dickinson students have been awarded Fulbrights to teach English in Germany. The class of 2008’s Caitlin Hahn, Anne Maiale and Daniel Walter earned Fulbrights that year.
“All six of these German scholars spent their junior year abroad studying in the Dickinson program in Bremen,” said Sarah McGaughey, assistant professor of German and chair of the department. “Dickinson Fulbright applicants bring their study-abroad experiences, as well as their academic excellence, to bear on their Fulbright applications. The global perspective that comes from studying abroad helps our students write focused and informed applications for these competitive research and teaching grants.”
Hayden, a German and archaeology double major from Buffalo, N.Y., will teach in Berlin. He also received the Emil R. and Tamar Weiss Prize in the Creative Arts, which is awarded to a junior majoring in English (with an emphasis on creative writing), art & art history, music or theatre & dance. The winner receives a $1,000 grant to present the project during his or her senior year.
German and English double majors Strasbaugh of Bethlehem, Pa., and Monfet of Chester, N.H., both are set to teach in Niedersachsen.
Monfet hopes to start a theatre group where students can build their English skills outside the classroom. She plans to apply to graduate schools within the next year to continue her study of German. “Ultimately, my goal is to teach German to American high-school students,” she said.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright program provides funding for students, scholars, teachers and professionals to undertake graduate study, advanced research, university teaching and teaching in elementary and secondary schools. Recent Dickinson graduates have earned research grants in Egypt, Kyrgyzstan and Russia and teaching assistantships in Colombia, Italy and Portugal.
Projects for Peace
Anna Valiante, a sociology major from Wilson, Wyo., was awarded the $10,000 Kathryn Wasserman Davis Projects for Peace grant for her proposal, “Pirambu Peace Project: Building Skills and Empowering the Children of the Pirambu Neighborhood in Fortaleza, Brazil, Summer 2010.”
Launched in 2007 on the occasion of Davis’ 100th birthday, Projects for Peace is an opportunity for undergraduates at the American colleges and universities in the Davis United World College Scholars Program to design grassroots international projects that promote peace in innovative ways.
Valiante’s eight-week project will teach adolescents photography and English-language skills. Students will be recruited from two area high schools and will work with a local organization that serves disadvantaged youth in the area.
“I am so excited that I am getting the chance to return to Brazil,” said Valiante, who studied there during her junior year. “I partnered with a friend from Brazil who is a photojournalism major at the University of Fortaleza. ... Because of my experience living in the city of Fortaleza, specifically the neighborhood of Cristo Redentor in Pirambu, I was eager to find a way to return in order to share the incredible experiences I had.”
Valiante, who studied at the School for International Training on Culture, Development and Social Justice, said her goal is to empower youth to use the camera lens as a tool for self-exploration.
“From my time spent in Brazil, I was exposed to a reality very different from my own,” she said. “Everyone has a story that deserve[s] to be heard. Through the Pirambu peace project we will work with a group of 20 students [to share] their stories through photography.”
For more on graduating seniors’ plans and achievements, visit Life Beyond the Limestone.