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Release: Nov. 27, 2002

UI students win Fulbright, other prestigious research abroad grants

A group of University of Iowa students will conduct international research in diverse disciplines during the next year supported by several prestigious fellowship programs.

Eight students were awarded Fulbright fellowships, the most ever garnered at the UI in a single year. The Fulbright Program is designed to foster mutual understanding between the people of the Unites States and the people of other countries. Annually, approximately 5,000 new grants are awarded through national competitions of students, teachers, scholars and professionals.

Two students were also awarded Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) grants for studies in Germany, comparable to the U.S. Fulbright program but funded by the German government. One student is traveling to Sweden with a grant from the American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF), a New York City-based organization supporting international studies and exchange between the United States and Nordic countries. Finally, one UI student is conducting dissertation research in France with an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Pre-Dissertation Fellowship.

Steven Hoch, associate provost for academic programs and dean of UI International Programs, credits the increase in fellowships to dedicated faculty and staff mentoring talented students.

"The University of Iowa is proud that our students are competing at the same level as most elite research institutions in the United States," Hoch said. "The number of awards is a direct reflection of the caliber of scholars here in Iowa."

Following are the recipients alphabetically by hometown with Iowa first:


AMES: Janet Leavens, a doctoral candidate, won a Fulbright fellowship. Leavens is studying study romance languages and literature at the Royal Library Albert I in Belgium. While there, Leavens is exploring artistic production on societal change. Specifically, she is studying the period that took place two decades prior to the French Revolution and her claim that it constituted a slow transitional shift from an Enlightenment to a Romantic aesthetic. Leavens is doing this through studying the most popular theater of its time by the most prominent composer of its time: Gretry's operas-comiques.

IOWA CITY: Anthony Enns, a doctoral candidate in English who was awarded a DAAD, is studying the concurrent development of communication technologies and spiritualist movements in western culture.

IOWA CITY: Daniel Fletcher, who has a bachelor's degree in education, is traveling to Korea to teach English on the Fulbright fellowship.

IOWA CITY: Leslie Roberts, a Master of Fine Arts student in non-fiction writing won a Fulbright fellowship and is traveling to New Zealand to work with Baden Norris and other Antarctic historians. While there, she is documenting -- through writing and photography -- how the "Heroic Age" of Antarctic exploration shaped and continues to inform life in two New Zealand towns, Lyttelton and Christchurch.

IOWA CITY: Brett Van Hoesen, a doctoral candidate in art history, was awarded a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) grant. Van Hoesen went to Germany and is examining the role of the arts and visual culture in the formulation of German propaganda, which was aimed at discrediting France's decision to occupy the Rhineland during the 1920s with Colonial North African troops.

IOWA CITY: Jennifer Wild, who is pursuing a doctorate in communications and journalism, won a Fulbright fellowship to France. Wild is conducting interdisciplinary research in Parisian archives at the Université de Paris III to assess cinema's impact on French modernist art between 1913 and 1929 and America's contribution to European modernism. She is taking into account cinema's inclusion in Parisian museums, art-centered communities, modernist publications, as well as in writings by modernist painters, writers, and poets.

PELLA: Jeanne Freirichs was offered the Fulbright but declined it and accepted the award to accept a fellowship from the American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF). Freirichs, who is pursing a doctorate in anthropology, is traveling to the department of social anthropology at the University of Stockholm in Sweden. While there, she is examining the relationship linking the Swedish organic movement with the government and industrial food sector


BAKERSFIELD: Michael Gould, a doctoral candidate in English, was one of three students chosen from a pool of 26 for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Pre-Dissertation Fellowship. Gould is researching his dissertation in France.

PACIFICA: Gudrun Putz, a doctoral candidate in anthropology, won a Fulbright Fellowship. Putz is working in the Netherlands for nine months with the TAMPEC Foundation on a project hypothesizing that gender and culturally defined responsibilities in families creates situations where women must take greater risks than men to accumulate more money than men. Putz is investigating empowerment as well as exploitation possibilities faced by sex workers of newly independent states (NIS)/Baltic states via researching Russian-speaking migrant prostitutes, former migrant prostitutes, and men and women in Russian-speaking migrant communities.


LEE'S SUMMIT: Lisa Devine, who earned a bachelor's degree in anthropology, with an emphasis in archaeology in May, was awarded a Fulbright, and traveled to China to investigate historical and present-day archaeological practices in China and the relationship of the country's growth as an economic power and the cultural importance placed upon history and historical artifacts. In particular, she is analyzing the obstacles to archaeologic exploration, including lack of funding, governmental restrictions, and rapid city expansion.

ST. LOUIS: Kevin Wall, who earned a bachelor's degree. in communications and journalism, was awarded a Fulbright. He traveled to France to discover how a new form of theater, l'école nationale du cirque, or, the new-style circus, gained so much popularity and respect in the country. He intends to find the answer by studying art at the Fratellini Circus School, researching the history of the circus and French popular theater, and speaking with practicing new-style theater artists.


PEGRAM: Bridgette Bates, a Master of Fine Arts student in poetry, was awarded a Fulbright to travel to Slovenia, where she is completing a manuscript of poems that has been informed by Slovene poetry. Bates is investigating the various forms and methods of surrealism in Sloven poetry by collaborating with writers, translators, students, and community members.

At the UI, student Fulbright awards are administered by University of Iowa International Programs Grants and Development Office. For more information on this or other scholarships, contact Leslie Winter at (319) 335-2651or by e-mail at