Fulbright Research/Study Scholarship to Canada
When people ask Beza where her work ethic comes from she recognizes her parents instilling in her the value of education and hard work at an early age. Beza truly believes education and hard work are primary vehicles to sustain financial stability, intellectual growth, and agency in the world. Having a dual cultural identity has also given Beza a great interest in global issues and an appreciation of different cultures, perspectives, and circumstances, influencing her decision to major in Sociology/Anthropology. Her experience as a Hole in the Wall Gang Camp counselor to terminally ill children and her SIT Study Abroad Program: Switzerland: Development Studies and Public Health program, where she interned with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, further confirmed her interests in Global Health issues.
As a J. William Fulbright Fellow, Beza is currently residing in Vancouver, Canada. She has an affiliation with Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Health Sciences. She is taking public health graduate courses which are specifically exploring determinants in global health. This semester Beza has secured a full time practicum opportunity with the British Columbia Center for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. Beza is interested in spending the rest of her time helping improve access and quality of services to marginalized persons living with HIV in British Columbia. Beza’s research is exploring how stigma and depression affect self-perceived body image among HIV-positive individuals on HAART. Furthermore, Beza will be assisting with several knowledge translation projects as an effort to disseminate scientific findings as a way to attract policy makers to help establish a platform for improving individual and population health outcomes. Beza hopes to further explore Canada and attend more Public Health conferences. In the near future Beza plans to attend graduate school and earn a master’s in Public Health.
Mary Ann Miller Bates
Fulbright research grant to Switzerland
During the summer following her first year at Denison, Mary Ann (B.A. '06) worked as a volunteer teacher in rural northern Thailand, in a school where four languages and a variety of nationalities merged. Returning to Denison, she wove an interest in language issues and education into her two majors, International Studies and English Literature. In founding the recruitment campaign for Teach For America at Denison, she supplemented her interest in international educational issues with a concern for the educational challenges facing the United States. Drawing from her background in Ohio's Amish community and her fluency in German, she also created an interdisciplinary Honors senior research project on language and identity in Amish schools. Delving into interviews with educators in this unique linguistic minority led to her interest in applying for a Fulbright Research Grant to Switzerland for 2007-2008.
When she had studied abroad in Giessen, Germany during the spring semester of her junior year, she investigated potential spots for further research on the historical context of Amish separatism. Identifying Bern, Switzerland as a key location during the emergence of the Amish from the Anabaptist movement, she prepared a proposal highlighting the need to study Amish educational and separatist practices in their historical context.
Her time in Bern coincided with a "Year of Anabaptism" which sought to bring the history of this religious minority into Swiss public dialogue. During the year, Mary Ann was able to share her current and past research, as well as her personal reflections on America's Amish communities, which fascinated the local media and led to a number of newspaper articles about the young American who grew up speaking a hybrid Swiss German language in the US. Appreciating the Fulbright Foundation's goal of fostering mutual understanding between countries, Mary Ann also wrote a weekly column about her research and her exploration of Switzerland for The Budget, a US newspaper with a national subscription among historically Amish and Anabaptist communities. Upon her return, a collection of the columns was published in CH is for Chocolate: Individually Wrapped Tastes of Switzerland. She spent her free time practicing Bernese Swiss German with anyone who would tolerate her efforts, training for a marathon, and hiking in the spectacular Bernese Alps.
Fulbright research grant to Austria
Anna has been involved in environmental issues since beginning her career at Denison and has continued on this path ever since. She spent two undergraduate summers working at the Argonne National Laboratories near Chicago, IL doing atmospheric measurements and analyses through the Global Change Education Program. While at Denison, she was a member of the Women's Club Rugby and the Gospel Choir. She received her B.S. in Chemistry in 2004, after which she traveled to Vienna, Austria for one year under the auspices of a Fulbright Fellowship. She studied pollution reaction pathways in the atmosphere at the Vienna University of Technology via experimental work in the laboratory. Upon returning to the U.S., Anna attended the California Institute of Technology where she received her M.S. in 2007 in Environmental Science and Engineering. She currently resides at Caltech as a Doctoral Student and is also a Resident Associate for the undergrads. Her current research involves the transport and fate of toxic metals in seawater and a climate change project with deep-sea coral studies that took her on a research cruise in the Southern Ocean by way of Tasmania, Australia. In her free time, she deeply enjoys SCUBA diving around the Channel Islands near the coast of Southern California and skiing in the mountains!
NSEP Boren Scholarship to China
Spending a year in China has been a truly unforgettable experience. I have visited China several times before but I had never been there for more than a few weeks. The program that I enrolled in Beijing this year was language intensive: four hours of in-class instruction followed by two hours of one-on-one tutoring, five days a week. My improvement was dramatic because I was allowed to focus completely on my study of Mandarin. Additionally, because I was living in Beijing while I was studying Mandarin, I was constantly in an environment where I was able to apply what I had learned into my daily interactions with locals. Not only did my language abilities improve, but I also vastly increased my understanding of both the Chinese people and their cultural. In my daily tutoring sessions I practiced my Mandarin by going to markets, restaurants, cafes, and tea houses with my Chinese tutor. Not only did I review what I was taught in the classroom, but I also learned material that isn’t taught in textbooks. I learned about the Chinese manners and customs, the etymology of Chinese characters, and gained insight into what the average Chinese person thinks and why.
The Boren Scholarship is designed for students to study abroad in under-represented areas important to U.S. interests including Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The program funds up to $20,000 for a full year of study in return for a service requirement of one year following graduation. The Boren Scholarship appealed to me because of my interest in China and Mandarin and also because I plan on working in the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Service Officer after I graduate. I strongly recommend the Boren Scholarship to any Denison student interested in those areas of the world and looking for a career in public service.
English Teaching Assistant in Austria
Participating in the Fulbright Commission English Language Teaching Assistantship for the Austrian Ministry of Education, the Arts and Culture is an experience I will never forget. I was absolutely content working in Austria and was actually very heartbroken when my 8 months were over, but unfortunately, I was unable to stay a second year.
The whole process started in 2001, with my first attempt at application to the Fulbright program. I was accepted, but was told that due to my lack of pedagogical experience, only as an Alternate. Wanting to participate in the Austrian Fulbright program, as well as needing to gain experience in the education field, I began to pursue jobs and education which would help me gain that much needed experience. After 6 years, one Masters Degree and years of teaching and working in the education field, I decided it was time to reapply. With the help of many wonderful professors at both Denison and Muskingum College, I was accepted...Read the complete story
Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship
Greetings from Amman!
I am approaching the half-way mark of my study abroad program, CIEE Language and Culture in Amman, Jordan, smack dab in the center of the Middle East. My seven weeks here have been filled with intensive Arabic language study, area studies classes, living with a beautiful Jordanian family, teaching English to Iraqi refugees, and, of course, seeing what I am convinced is the most beautiful country in the world.
Over the last few weekends, I have seen waterfalls and desert, Petra, the Dead Sea, Mt. Nebo, Madaba, Wadi Rum, the tomb of Joshua, water buffaloes in Azraq, and the list could go on... (If you want to read about my escapades, feel free to follow along at betsyinjordan.blogspot.com). Many friends, relatives, and total strangers, expressed to me their concern about traveling in this region, but the Arab culture of overwhelming generosity and hospitality, not to mention Jordan's low crime rate, assure me that I'm safe.
Why Jordan? I knew I would have to travel to the Middle East in order to become proficient in Arabic, even after five semesters of studying the language. Jordan's location, also, would give me the opportunity to see much of the region. And, it was one of the only programs that offered a homestay; why cook for myself when I could experience Arab culture and cooking with a family?
All of these experiences were made possible by financial aid from Denison and from the Gilman Scholarship. Gilman awards are sponsored by the State Department for students who receive Pell grants and who will participate in a study abroad program. I submitted an application with a short essay and was thrilled to hear that I would receive an award (after submitting plentiful paperwork). As part of the requirements of the Gilman, after completion of my study abroad program, I will complete a community service project. As per my proposal, I will recruit fellow Denison students to speak at community organizations such as churches and synagogues to "adopt" refugee families living in the greater Columbus area.
And all of this — Arabic language, exposure to Jordanian culture, teaching refugees, recruiting organizations to welcome refugees in Ohio - points toward my career goal: working with refugees from the Middle East.
In working toward these goals, Denison provides me with invaluable support at every step. The Honors Program personnel reviewed my application proposal, the Off-Campus Studies Office also reviewed the application and guided me toward suitable study abroad programs, and Denison's intimate academic environment gave me the ability to express myself and to provide excellent recommendation letters from advisors who know me well.
English Teaching Assistant in Germany
Entering Denison as a college freshman, I never would have imagined that I would be spending a year in Germany after graduation. The idea of starting a new life just 7 hours from where I grew up was itself difficult to grasp; however, my 4 years at Denison and particularly my experience in the German Department allowed me to see the world of possibilities that exist far beyond the familiar. Since September 2007 I have been living just outside of Stuttgart, Germany working as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant.
As a Fulbrighter, I assist with grades 5, 6, 9, 11, and 13 to encourage an interest in the English language and American culture and a general compassion for international relations. Since nearly all German students already have an idea of what life in the US is like as seen in films and magazines, I am responsible for providing an accurate picture of American life and articulating the values that actually drive our culture. My role in the classroom is thus to simply provide pictures, recipes, maps, stories, and explanations of terms that can't be found in any dictionary. Sharing such familiar experiences as Thanksgiving traditions, Christmas recipes and the process of the Presidential elections incites an incredible curiosity that makes my role in the classroom valuable and engaging.
For the older students I also established an "English Club" to discuss a range of cultural issues and allow them to fine tune their English skills simultaneously. Though I rarely teach lessons entirely on my own, I spend a great deal of time tutoring students both one-on-one and in groups after the school day is through.
I also have a great deal of personal time, in which I have been able to travel with friends (both German and American) to places such as Munich, Berlin, Heidelberg and many more. When I'm not on my way to explore a new city, I live in a Wohngemeinschaft in the small town of Esslingen with 3 roommates who have helped me improve my German significantly and made me feel at home despite the significant distance. My full immersion in German culture has been life-altering and much more rewarding than I ever could have anticipated. Being in this amazing place has allowed me to see that each culture has its own unique identity, each language its own character, and each new city its own beauty. I hope to maintain a strong connection to Germany for the rest of my life and am extremely grateful for all that I have experienced this year!
Go to Kimmy Freeman's personal webpage:
English Teaching Assistant in Germany
Since the days of his forced labor in his mother’s gardens as a youngster, Stephen has grown to care deeply for the beauty of the environment and the problems that threaten it. It seemed natural for him to pursue a degree in Environmental Studies upon his arrival to Denison. Studying German drama in Stuttgart during the summer before his sophomore year compelled Stephen to also become a German major. He worked in the Writing Center and as a German tutor while at Denison, which helped him realize a yet undiscovered love of teaching. By the end of his junior year, Stephen realized that returning to Germany had become a priority.
Stephen was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship and is now teaching at the Matthias-Grünewald Gymnasium in Tauberbischofsheim, a small town in the south-western state of Baden-Württemberg. His students are very interested in the United States, and Stephen has particularly enjoyed planning activities for holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving and discussing American current events, such as the 2008 presidential election. While in Germany, Stephen is researching the structure of environmental education and how it compares to the experiences of American children. Exploring German language and culture, working in the classroom, and representing the United States in Germany has made the Fulbright scholarship the perfect post-graduate opportunity for him.
Go to Stephen Julka's personal webpage: http://stephenjulka.blogspot.com/
Fulbright research grant to Sweden
Early in her Denison career, Julianne realized how precious and unique the Denison community was in challenging and fostering thoughtful, well-rounded, and motivated students. She applied the supportive network of professors, staff, and talented students toward community service projects such as HOPE for Autism and the Brain Bee, as well as campus organizations like Sustained Dialogue and the OΔK Leadership honorary. Numerous high school and summer internships in neuroscience research laboratories at Stanford, the University of California, San Diego, the Cleveland Clinic, and Denison helped her to choose an academic path in neurobiology, even if that meant she had to create the major. Initially inspired by experiences with her neurologically challenged younger sister, Julianne’s marked curiosity about her sister's conditions eventually translated into a career goal in neural plasticity and regeneration research. The combination of academic ambition and a desire to benefit the community through volunteerism and activism resulted in a year in Sweden on a Fulbright research grant following graduation. The time in Sweden was spent exploring molecular therapeutics for blindness, meeting ambassadors and diplomats, and experiencing the culture through participation as a member of community and university volunteer, musical, language, sports, and art organizations. Somewhere in between the research and activities, she also managed to step foot in over 25 countries during the year! She was able to extend her stay in Sweden under the auspices of an EU RetNet fellowship to continue her research. Julianne is now a PhD student at UCSD where she is studying adult neurogenesis and brain plasticity as part of the Biomedical Sciences program while also finding the time to organize several nonprofit educational opportunities for youth in San Diego, including another local Brain Bee. "Denison proved that involvements in many different areas could be as fruitful and profound as they were well-rounded: there was never a decision between focus and variety."
Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship
Daniel Meyer (BA Music '94), Current Resident Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony, Music Director of the Asheville Symphony and Erie Philharmonic. Daniel was a member of the Denison Singers, Concert Choir, and Welsh Hills Symphony as well as a DJ on WDUB during his years at Denison. His senior honors project was writing and conducting a work for chorus and orchestra.
"I received a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship for study at the Vienna Music Academy in 1995-96. I was able to apply either through my home Rotary Club (Medina, Ohio) or through the club associated with Denison (Columbus, OH). I chose Denison's area club, and I attempted to make my application as unique and interesting as possible. I applied in the winter of 1994 - the actual awarded scholarship does not take affect until a year and a half later! I was already into my first year of graduate work at Univ. of Cincinnati before I knew that I had won the scholarship. My advisor at Cincinnati was more than happy to make the year away feasible.
I wanted to study conducting in Vienna, and I made my dossier and application look as if all my study and interest leading up to the award was somehow related to this next step of studying abroad. Beware: many applicants want to go to London or Australia, so the more "exotic" and the more unusual your request, the better chance you have of being awarded you first-choice location. You must also demonstrate via test or letter from your foreign language teacher that you have proficiency in the language of your study country. If not, you may have to take intensive language study several weeks before your academic year begins.
You do not have to follow a specific degree course in your award year - in fact - it's discouraged to attempt to get American university credit transferred back. You are expected to absorb as much as you want, and you can develop your own course of study, if the host institution will allow it. While in Vienna, I followed the regular course of a first year conducting student, and I actually got to conduct the student orchestra on at least 8 occasions over the course of the year. I also attended many concerts and rehearsals, and bought standing-room tickets at the State Opera on nights when I didn't have a lot of studying to do.
The only "payment" you owe the Rotary Foundation is that you give brief talks or presentations to your host club and a couple other Rotary Clubs upon your return. This is actually a fun way to re-live your year abroad. The award is generous, and is designed to cover your tuition and basic living expenses. I highly recommend this scholarship to applicants who are well-spoken and have a clear conception of the interesting project or course of study they would like to accomplish in their year abroad."
Daniel Persia is a Wells Scholar at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. Raised in upstate New York, he graduated Valedictorian from Spencerport High School, where he was captain of the varsity tennis team and an active member of the Service Club. At Denison, he has served as the Events Captain for the Denison Community Association, co-chair of Heritage Middle School Companions, and coordinator of the Denison Service Orientation. He is also a Writing Center consultant and a tour guide for the University. Currently studying Creative Writing, Mathematics, and Spanish, he has a deepening interest in literary translation. He enjoys travelling, writing, downhill skiing, and spending time with his friends and family. As a participant in the Fulbright King’s College Summer Institute, he hopes to explore the intersection of language, culture, and community in London, a city undergoing a remarkable transformation as it prepares to host the 2012 Olympic Games.
Fulbright research grant to Ireland
Karen Siklosi (B.S. Biology ’06) became fascinated by genetics early in high school, later taking a special interest in cystic fibrosis (CF), which is a progressive and incurable genetic condition. Between her junior and seniors year at Denison, Karen researched CF in a lab at Case Western Reserve University and would eventually use the data collected to formulate her senior research project. During this time, Karen became interested in the social side of genetics, including how families receive and process information about a new genetic diagnosis. After graduating from Denison, Karen enrolled in the University of Maryland School of Medicine for a Masters in Genetic Counseling. Upon receiving her degree in May of 2008, Karen was able to combine her genetic counseling skills and interest in CF to spend a year in Ireland under the auspices of a Fulbright Scholarship, where she is investigating knowledge, attitudes, and education regarding the disease. Ireland has a higher incidence of CF than any other country, but its population is vastly under-researched. It is the hope that her project will result in the identification of knowledge deficits, as well as a novel educational tool that could be distributed to provide more education about the disease, thus leading to better understanding and an improved quality of life. Outside her time spent researching, she is involved in the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland, and has taken a special interest in the need for improved treatment facilities for CF. As a trained Irish dancer and avid listener of Irish music, Karen has found plenty of activities in the vibrant culture of Dublin, including dancing, running, exploring the nearby countryside, listening to traditional music whenever possible, and attempting to learn the (very difficult) Irish language!
DAAD RISE (Research in Science and Engineering) Scholarship
Since my first year at Denison, I knew I wanted to be a geoscientist. Every year that I have been involved in the Denison Geosciences Department has only increased my interest in geology. Department field trips allowed me to travel outside of Ohio and my home state of Illinois, but it wasn’t until the summer after my sophomore year that I first found myself living outside the Midwest an extended period of time.
Last summer I was honored with the opportunity to participate in a RISE internship offered through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Every year, the RISE program gives science students from America, Canada, and Great Britain the opportunity to work as paid research assistants to Ph.D. students at German universities for up to three months. As a RISE intern, I lived and worked in the historic silver mining town of Freiberg. The Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg is well known for their geosciences program, and I was introduced to research techniques such as fission track dating, a thermo- and geochronological dating method. The Ph.D. student I was worked for was using this technique to better understand the history of the Tibetan Plateau, and I worked with samples from this region all summer.
The program also offered me the chance to experience life outside the United States for the first time. I lived in a WG, or shared student flat, with other students who were studying at the TU. My flatmates helped me acclimate to life in Germany and made sure I was able to experience as much as possible during my three months abroad. My summer was full of amazing adventures, from attending the BRN, a music/street festival in Dresden’s Neustadt, participating in the TU’s Nacht der Wissenschaft & Wirtschaft, an open house with science demonstrations from every institüt, and volunteering at the Sunflower Festival, a music festival held every year in Freiberg. I even went to the Audi Cup in Munich to see FC Bayern München!
Everything I learned during my summer in Germany has only increased my interests in the geosciences. After being introduced firsthand to geochronology research I have done my best to continue learning about different dating techniques. I will use this knowledge this summer, when I participate in a Keck Geology Consortium project in the Sierra Nevadas. And although I am not returning to Germany this summer, I still keep in contact with the professors and students I worked with at the TU, as well as my former flatmates and RISE friends, and I hope to travel back to Freiberg in the future.
Kimberly Murley Stroka
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
Kim Murley Stroka (BS Physics, 2006) developed an interest in pursuing a Ph.D. in bioengineering through her physics coursework and summer research in biophysics and biomechanics. During her collegiate career, she participated in a summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), at Bucknell University (Lewisburg, PA). In her summer project, she used biophysics techniques to investigate cubic phase formation in phospholipid bilayers, with possible applications in the field of drug delivery. The following summer, as an Anderson Summer Scholar at Denison, she combined her experience as a Varsity track and field athlete at Denison with her physics background to create a research project detailing the physics and biomechanics of the pole vault. This project led into her Senior Honors Thesis, where she used physics to determine the magnitude of force acting on an athlete’s shoulder joint during the pole vault.
These research projects were key in helping Kim to identify the field of research, bioengineering, which she would pursue in graduate school. Being awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship has given Kim much flexibility in choosing an advisor and designing her own Ph.D. project. Now, at the University of Maryland (College Park, MD), Kim works in the Cell Biophysics Lab in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering. She uses a very interdisciplinary approach to her research, combining principles of physics, biology, engineering, materials science, chemistry, and medicine. She is studying the biophysical aspects of leukocyte transmigration through the vascular endothelium and how the mechanical properties and organization of the endothelium change during the cardiovascular disease of atherosclerosis. She hopes her research will help identify possible approaches to better diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
Kim has had the opportunity to travel all across the United States and also to Europe to present her research at national and international bioengineering, physics, biophysics, and biology conferences. As an undergrad, she traveled to California and Alaska to present her summer research projects. As a graduate student, she has traveled to Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California, Hawaii, Corsica (France), and Croatia. Recently, Kim also received a second major competitive national fellowship – a National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Research Service Award (NRSA) predoctoral fellowship. Kim submitted a research proposal based on her dissertation work, and thus this award will carry her through the remainder of her Ph.D.
Clinton Global Initiative University
On 13 February, Friday, I headed for Austin, Texas to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) Meeting that took place in UT Austin from February 13-15. The CGI U Meeting is arranged around plenary sessions, working sessions, skill sessions, and meet-ups. It gathers a group of college students and distinguished non-for-profit organization leaders to discuss and share experiences of success in an interactive style during an intensive weekend every year. Prior to this, each student makes a commitment that can affect global problems across five focus areas: Education, Energy & Climate Change, Global Health, Peace & Human Rights, and Poverty Alleviation. Commitments from 1,000 students, including those of 142 students from 59 other countries, were accepted out of a pool of more than 3,500 this year. Sponsored by the Honors Program, I was really lucky to be a representative of Denison and spent the weekend meeting inspiring organization leaders and students from all around the world.
My commitment in this meeting is about Psychological Health and Empowerment of Earthquake Orphans in China. This idea originates from the Sichuan Earthquake that happened in May 2008 in China. The Sichuan Earthquake, which measured 8.0 killed approximately 180,000, and left more than 4,000 children without parents. Having lost everything overnight, many of these children suffer from mental depression and distress that will have negative effects in their future lives. My plan is to establish a long-term volunteer program to provide psychological assistance and peer empowerment for earthquake orphans (For more information about the project, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Working sessions in CGI U was very informative and helpful. For example, in one of the skill sessions I attended: Media and Marketing, I realized the importance of press-release and utilization of popular forms of communication (i.e. Facebook.) to gain publicity for projects. These ideas, although distant and unrealistic at first sight, proved to be pivotal to the success of many NGOs.
My commitment was featured in a working session called Peace & Human Rights: Spotlight on Youth: The Rights of Children. I was invited on stage for a brief presentation and given a Student Leadership Commitment Award.
During meeting intervals, exhibitions allowing attendees to learn more about organizations and the commitments present at the CGI U Meeting were held. This was my favorite part of the meeting because it helped me to know about numerous wonderful ideas by college students and established NGOs. I met and established contacts with a student group from Beijing University, China that shared my commitments to help Chinese earthquake orphans during these exhibitions.
Another component of the meeting is the CGI U service project in which students were grouped into teams to do community services in downtown Austin for a day. The assignment of my team was to paint an old barber shop in an African American neighborhood. It was the first time that I painted a building.
During the course of the meeting, I was fortunate to meet Former President William Jefferson Clinton in person. I also had the chance to have a conversation with Zainab Salbi, President of Women for Women International, who greatly inspired me in terms of courage and persistence.
CGI U was an eye-opening and thought-provoking experience for me. It helped me to realize the power of individuals and the importance of collaboration.
Fulbright study grant to the United Kingdom<
Chris graduated among Denison's first class of Environmental Studies majors, with a concentration in Sociology/Anthropology and a minor in Philosophy. Chris spent the summer of his sophomore year on a public service scholarship, working in the Global Bureau of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Office of Environment and Natural Resources in Washington, D.C., and interning on rainforest conservation program in Northern Guatemala with the Rodale Institute. Chris continued pursuing his interest in environmental studies with a Fulbright Scholarship to the United Kingdom. There he completed a MSc. in Anthropology and Ecology of Development at the University College London in a MSc. In his masters thesis Chris compared the role of natural resources in three violent conflicts that broke out in Mexico, Ghana and Brazil in the 1990s.
After finishing his MSc. Chris returned to the United States to pursue a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Michigan. Chris received a National Science Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship while at Michigan. There he focused on ecological anthropology and returned to Guatemala to conduct fieldwork on a Mayan-speaking population's understanding and use of natural resources. Guatemala was then just ending a three decade civil war when Chris began his fieldwork, and the lawyers and diplomats that were flying in and out of Guatemala to resolve the conflict caught Chris' attention. Chris decided then to switch his dissertation work to focus on these conflict resolution experts, and when he returned to Michigan, Chris took a test course at the University of Michigan Law School. He enjoyed the class, his colleagues and the debate, and decided to pursue a law degree alongside his Ph.D. fieldwork.
While attending Michigan Law School, Chris focused on international law, and spent a summer working as clerk to a member of the United Nations International Law Commission in Geneva, Switzerland. After two years, Chris took a year off to pursue his Ph.D. fieldwork on international conflict resolution experts, and spent time interviewing experts in the British and U.S. Governments and in European and U.S. conflict resolution NGOs, while being based at several training and research centers devoted to international conflict management. After a year of fieldwork, Chris returned to Michigan complete his law degree and finish his dissertation. His dissertation focused on the globalization of conflict resolution expertise.
Chris now works as an International Trade lawyer in Washington, D.C. at the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. There he advises clients on matters that are at the intersection of foreign policy and national security law. He also advises clients developing vanguard technologies, including renewable energy technologies, how to license and protect their intellectual property as they look to market their technology and products abroad. Chris has also worked on several pro bono matters involving U.S. immigration law. Most recently, he worked with a member of Denison's Sociology/Anthropology Department to win asylum for a man persecuted for his political activism and social status in Cameroon. Chris remains active as an anthropologist and served as the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology's Section Editor for the American Anthropological Association's Annual Meetings.
Chris lives with his wife and two sons in Arlington, Virginia.
Cora had been interested in becoming a physician since high school, but it was during college when she became more interested in studying global health issues. In the summer before her sophomore year she spent the summer working for an HIV prevention NGO in Tanzania. It was during her four months there that she began to appreciate the potential impact that the provision of basic health care can have upon individuals, families and ultimately a population. This is one of several experiences that led her to apply for the Truman Scholarship to pursue an MD and an MSc in Health, Community and Development at the London School of Economics. Her MSc focused on understanding health as a product of the social, psychological, cultural and economic aspects of a community; and how to create community programming that draws upon all these aspects to create change. The year was filled with meeting incredible people and vibrant discussions- with professors, as a part of lectures, with guest speakers, and with classmates a diversity of backgrounds and experience. She often remembers conversations that would continue on over a long coffee or pint! Currently, Cora is working as a Research Assistant at the Overseas Development Institute, a leading International Development Think-Tank in London, while she applies for medical school. Cora hopes to pursue a medical degree, combining a social science and medical approach to working with community health in developing country contexts.
Congress Bundestag Exchange to Germany
The Congress Bundestag Exchange Program represents the culmination of the last twelve years, from when I lived in Germany to my challenging and enjoyable time at Denison. The program allows me to revisit Germany with a greater appreciation for and understanding of the cultural subtleties and differences one encounters when livingoverseas. Additionally, I have the opportunity to combine my academic and professional interests by studying at a German university for four months and by working in a government-related internship for the remaining eight. I am extremely excited to have this opportunity to not only represent Denison but also my country in my studies and internship abroad.