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Grad Student Mariah Crystal wins Fulbright to Namibia

Thursday, September 12, 2019

LAWRENCE — Seven University of Kansas students and graduates received prestigious Fulbright awards to travel abroad to study, conduct research or teach English during the 2019-2020 academic year. Two additional KU students were selected as alternate Fulbright recipients.

Of the group heading abroad, three recipients will conduct research in Finland, Namibia and India. Four other recipients will take positions as English teaching assistants in Germany, Spain and Uzbekistan.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries. The Fulbright program operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.

Award recipients are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields. The awards provide funding for round-trip travel, maintenance for one academic year, health and accident insurance and, where relevant, tuition.

Since the program’s inception in 1946, KU has had 477 students, including this year’s recipients, selected for Fulbright awards. KU International Affairs coordinates the applications.

“I am delighted by the geographic diversity of this year’s applicants, who applied for opportunities in each of the six Fulbright world regions,” said Rachel Sherman Johnson, director of internationalization and partnerships at KU International Affairs. “Congratulations to all of the grantees, and thank you for representing KU as cultural ambassadors across the globe.”

The 2019-2020 Fulbright recipients:

Kayleigh Anderson, Lawrence, is a 2019 graduate with bachelor’s degrees in English and women, gender & sexuality studies. She will examine the experiences of Sami women through the lens of feminist and indigenous research. She will be affiliated with the gender studies graduate program at the University of Turku, Finland. Her research will examine how the Sami as an indigenous group is viewed and how this has specifically affected the women and their roles in their culture. The research aims to recognize and validate indigenous perspectives.

Erin Christiansen, Chanute, is a 2015 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and minors in Germanic languages & literatures and French. She received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship for Germany.

Mariah Crystal, Lawrence, is a doctoral student in women, gender & sexuality studies. She will collect original oral histories from Namibian women and interpret wartime propaganda as used to deploy gender norms in service of the Namibian War of Independence. The project responds to the urgent need to document the narratives of women veterans of the liberation struggle against the South African apartheid regime from 1966 until independence in 1990. The study will document the last living generation of women involved in the struggle, many of whom have been overlooked in historical accounts.

Meghan McNamee, Topeka, is a 2019 graduate with bachelor’s degrees in German studies and history of art. She received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship for Germany.

Bridget Rennard, Chesterfield, Missouri, is a 2019 graduate with bachelor’s degrees in speech-language-hearing and Spanish. She received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship for Spain.

Laura Searcy, Liberty, Missouri, is a 2018 graduate with a master’s degree in linguistic anthropology. She received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship for Uzbekistan.

David Warnky, Wichita, is a medical student at the KU School of Medicine. Warnky will conduct research in India at the Indian Institute of Public Health as part of a project to study the influence of preventative medicine as a cost-effective model for primary care.

Alternates:

Andrew Kustodowicz, DeLand, Florida, is a doctoral student in Japanese history. He proposed a 12-month research trip to conduct archival research and fieldwork at lakes, fish hatcheries and rivers in Japan. The research would have been incorporated into his dissertation, which examines how the introduction of Western game fish created new ecological relationships among Japanese anglers, entrepreneurs, state agencies, fish and the Japanese aquatic ecosystems from the 1700s into the 1980s.

Macie Rouse, Lenexa, is a 2019 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and a minor in African studies. She proposed conducting research to study how young Tanzanians, who grew up with the support of nongovernmental organizations addressing HIV, use their experiences to participate in public health initiatives.


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