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Six UI students win prestigious Fulbright grants for research, teaching

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Six University of Iowa students have been awarded Fulbright grants, the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and the United States Information Agency (USIA) announced recently.

Following is a list of UI Fulbright winners: Jeremy Brown, a master's degree student in German from Broken Arrow, Okla., will teach English to German Gymnasium students; Katharine Larsen, a December 1997 graduate from Mason City who majored in global studies with a minor in political science, will conduct research in Croatia; Karen Milbourne, a Ph.D. candidate in art history from Stratford, Pa., will conduct dissertation research in Zambia; Mark Milosch, a Ph.D. candidate in history from Carleton, Mich., will conduct dissertation research in Germany; John Scott, a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology from Iowa City, will conduct dissertation research in the Dominican Republic; and Stephen Tulley, a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology from Pasadena, Calif., will conduct dissertation research in Mexico.

Brown's fellowship, a Padagogischer Austauschdienst Teaching Assistantship/Fulbright Grant, gives him the opportunity to live and teach in Germany for a year, where he will improve his German fluency, learn about German culture, and gain teaching experience. He plans to return to the U.S. to teach high school German.

Larsen plans to study and conduct research at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. She will interview Bosnian refugees studying at the university to learn about their perceptions of educational and occupational choices open to them as refugees. Larsen said her interest in the former Yugoslavia was first sparked as an intern at the U.S. State Department in the fall of 1995. While there, she was invited to participate in the Bosnian Proximity Peace Talks in Dayton, Ohio, which were held in November 1995. After that firsthand experience with diplomacy, she was determined to learn more about the people whose daily lives were in constant turmoil because of the war. Her first trip to Bosnia was in the summer of 1997, when she went to Sarajevo to volunteer at a community center teaching English, German, and computer classes. When she returns from her Fulbright year in Croatia, Larsen plans to attend law school to study human rights law.

Milbourne will investigate the production and function of Lozi arts in Barotseland, a culturally diverse region in western Zambia. The 25 ethnic groups living in this area and comprising the Lozi Kingdom have historically used works of art to create and maintain local and regional identities. In the annual Kuomboka pageant, an important political ceremony in which the king leaves his summer palace in the Zambezi River Valley to travel to his winter palace on higher, drier ground, a variety of art forms appear, including costumes, drums, wooden bowls, royal canoes and masks, all intended to unite the peoples of the kingdom and provide them with a common identity. Milbourne intends to pursue a teaching career, introducing new audiences to African art.

Milosch will study modern German history, particularly the postwar transformation of Bavaria from a poor, unindustrialized, agrarian state to a model region with a successful, high-growth and high-technology economy. Milosch has been fascinated with the culture and history of Europe since his first trip abroad in the summer after his senior year in college. He says the trip had a profound effect on him, broadening his view of the world beyond the borders of the United States. Although he returned from the trip to attend law school as he had planned, he later chose to abandon a legal career in favor of an academic one. Now he plans a career as a professor of European History in order to "teach young Americans that different countries have different histories, therefore different characters and different ways of thinking."

Scott will study languages used by Dominican citizens of Haitian descent in order to complete his dissertation on language, race, and ethnicity in the Dominican Republic. He will study the use of Spanish and Haitian Creole languages and how each affects the cultural atmosphere in which Dominican citizens of Haitian descent are excluded from the rights and resources enjoyed by Dominicans from other ethnic backgrounds. Scott said his interest in the treatment of ethnic groups based on the dialect spoken by individual members of the group stems from his own childhood in which he "suffered racial discrimination as a poor black speaker of a dialect other than standard English." His personal interest was furthered by his experiences teaching English as a Second Language to Spanish-speaking students in Chicago and in New York City. Scott said he is hopeful that his scholarship will help to deepen the understanding of Haitian Dominicans, their language, and their cultural issues.

Tulley's research will examine the social and economic relations that influence marketing decisions and consumer preferences for cacao in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico. He will focus on cacao both as an agricultural product and as a manufactured food item in a variety of chocolate-based products. Some of Tulley's early research focused on the economics of immigrant populations in southern California. But when he began his doctorate studies, he shifted to studying responses to changing economic conditions in Mexico. His career plan is to teach anthropology at the university level and to conduct research that would aid in the understanding of socioeconomic problems in Latin America, particularly in Mexico.

These UI Fulbright grant winners are among approximately 1,600 U.S. grantees who will travel abroad for the 1998-99 academic year under the Fulbright Program. Established under Congressional legislation introduced by former Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the program is designed "to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries."

Under the Fulbright Program, some 4,000 grants are awarded each year to American students, teachers, and scholars to study, teach, and conduct research around the world, and to foreign nationals to engage in similar activities in the United States. Individuals are selected on the basis of academic and professional qualifications, plus their ability and willingness to share ideas and experiences with people of diverse cultures.

The program is administered by the U.S. Information Agency under policy guidelines established by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, whose members are appointed by the President, and in cooperation with a number of private organizations. Scholarships are awarded through open competition. More than 40 foreign governments share in the funding of these exchanges. Approximately 215,000 grants have been awarded since the program began in 1946.

For more information, contact the UI Fulbright Program Advisor, Phil Carls, 335-0353 or visit the Fulbright Web sites at <> or <>.