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University of Iowa News Release


June 11, 2008

Eight UI students and alumni receive Fulbright fellowships for 2008-09

From the neurology of self-identity to dissemination of Sotho art, eight University of Iowa students and alumni will travel all over the globe to conduct research or teach English as Fulbright fellows in 2008-09.

The United States Fulbright program awards outstanding students and alumni comprehensive scholarships to conduct international research and teaching fellowships to foster cultural exchange between the United States and other nations. This year's recipients will travel to Vietnam, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, Japan, South Africa, Rwanda and Indonesia. Recipients are selected for awards based on academic achievement and leadership potential in their fields.

UI President Sally Mason commended the students for their academic achievements and the role they will fill in building diplomacy and strengthening international educational exchange.

"I offer my heartiest congratulations to our students and alumni who have received Fulbright Awards for 2008-09. This signal honor is a tremendous marker of individual achievement and excellence," Mason said. "But these awards are also very important to our university's role in international education and cultural exchange. I am grateful for all our recipients' desire to strengthen bonds with those across the globe and appreciate their role as UI ambassadors to the entire world."

The UI International Programs Grants Office and the UI Honors Program both provide assistance to UI students wishing to pursue Fulbright fellowships.

For more information visit

Graduating seniors interested in pursuing Fulbright fellowships should contact Sarah Prineas, UI Honors Program scholarship coordinator, at UI graduate or professional students should contact Kristi Fitzpatrick, UI International Programs Grants Office, at 319-335-2823.

Following are this year's recipients listed alphabetically by hometown with Iowa hometowns first.


AMES: Claire Miller earned her Bachelor of Arts in 2008 in English and history in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). She will teach English in Indonesia on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. She will also conduct research in Indonesian literature, particularly works by female authors.

CEDAR RAPIDS: Kevin Owens is a 2007 graduate with honors in sociology and economics in the UI CLAS and Tippie College of Business. He will teach English on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Vietnam. He is also interested in studying globalization and its effects on Vietnamese society, particularly Vietnamese families.

IOWA CITY: Akemi Johnson is a Master of Fine Arts candidate in fiction writing in CLAS. She will travel to Okinawa, Japan, to research the relationship between citizens of Okinawa and U.S. military personnel stationed there. Through volunteer work with the AmerAsian school and the local university, she will examine the unique Asian-American culture that exists in Okinawa with hopes of publishing future literary works based on her experience.

IOWA CITY: Andrew Ketterer is a 2008 graduate with honors in philosophy and German in UI CLAS with a pre-med interest. Ketterer will conduct research in the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. He hopes his Fulbright experience will benefit his long-term goals as a future neurosurgeon and his interest in self-identity from a neurological perspective.

IOWA CITY: David Riep is a doctoral candidate in art history in CLAS. He will travel to South Africa to do the first in-depth study of the art history of the South Sotho culture. Riep will create the first identification system for South Sotho art, a first of its kind. The resulting data will be used to create the first complete documented catalogue of South Sotho art.

MOUNT PLEASANT: Amanda Wilton is a doctoral candidate in music in CLAS with an emphasis on music training and viola. She will travel to Spain to participate in a string quartet and study at the Escola Superior de Musica de Catalunya. While in Spain she will create a music program that bridges American, Spanish and Catalan music and present it at various venues in the Spanish community.

IOWA CITY: Diana Thow is an alternative Fulbright candidate. She has a Master of Fine Arts in comparative literature and translation in CLAS. She hopes to travel to Italy to examine the papers and letters of the 20th-century Italian poet Amelia Rosselli in order to enrich translations and critical interpretations of Rosselli's work. While in Italy, she also hopes to volunteer with cataloguing unarchived materials at the Fondo Amelia Rosselli at Viterbo.

New York:

BUFFALO: Colleen Kinder is a Master of Fine Arts candidate in the nonfiction writing program in CLAS. She plans to travel to Mexico to compose a literary collection of profiles of American expatriates living in Mexico. She hopes her research will yield greater understandings of cross-cultural exchanges between the United States and Mexico by focusing on the viewpoints of Mexicans who share their country with American immigrants from the United States.

ESSEX: Spring Ulmer is a Master of Fine Arts candidate in the nonfiction writing program in CLAS. She will travel to Rwanda to collect essays on the experiences of Rwandan women as survivors of the 1994 genocide and instigators of change in Rwandan society. She will also work with women's rights organizations and collectives during her fellowship.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Kate Karacay, UI International Programs Grants Office, 319-384-2248,; Lois J. Gray, University News Services, 319-384-0077,; Writer, Kate Karacay