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SLLC student Meredith Chait receives Fulbright Award to teach English in Latvia

Friday, July 31, 2015

LAWRENCE — Seven University of Kansas students have been selected for prestigious Fulbright awards for research, study or teaching English abroad for 2015-16.

The Fulbright 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. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The U.S. Student Fulbright program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide. 

Fulbright grants 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, 454 KU students, including this year’s awardees, have been selected for Fulbright awards.

"KU has participated in the national Fulbright program since its inception more than 60 years ago," said Susan Gronbeck-Tedesco, associate vice provost of international programs. "In addition to this group of KU students going to international sites to complete their studies or to teach English, the university has an average of 30 international Fulbright students who study and conduct research at KU."

The Office of International Programs coordinates applications for Fulbright grants.

The awardees:

Megan Blocksom, Cleveland, is a doctoral student in history of art. She completed a bachelor’s degree in history of art and in French at the Ohio State University as well as a master’s degree in history of art at Case Western Reserve University. She was selected for a Fulbright award to the Netherlands in order to conduct research on representations of processions produced in the 17th-century Dutch Republic. These culturally significant images have remained unexamined by scholars of Dutch art. The research would be conducted at several museums and archives in Netherlands, including Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam.

Gwyn Bourlakov, Arvada, Colorado, is a doctoral student in history. She completed a bachelor’s degree in history and government at Sterling College and a master’s degree in Russian, East European & Eurasian studies from KU. She has received a Fulbright award to Russia, where she will be affiliated with Novosibirsk State University in Siberia. Bourlakov will examine local, regional and national archives of state and church repositories to establish that women in the settlement of Siberia were an integral part of empire building in Russia.

Meredith Chait, Chicago, completed her bachelor of arts in global and international studies and a bachelor of science in journalism at KU in May 2014. She also completed minors in African & African American studies and in history. She has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant award for Latvia.

Kirsten Devin, Omaha, Nebraska, has completed her third year as a medical student at the KU School of Medicine. She plans to pursue a residency in obstetrics and gynecology. Devin completed her bachelor’s degree in Spanish at KU. The Fulbright award will allow her to complete her project on women's preventative health interventions, including tobacco cessation and cervical cancer screening, in Juiz de Fora, Brazil. Her project is supported by affiliation with Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora.

Jennifer Glaubius, Chambers, Nebraska, is a doctoral student in geography. She completed a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and in classics at University of Nebraska, a master’s degree in classics at University of Cincinnati and a master’s degree in geography at Southern Illinois University. The Fulbright award will allow her to collect and analyze data in Messenia, Greece, related to landscape evolution of terraced terrain, which is the focus of her dissertation research.  She will conduct some of her research analysis through the Laboratory of Archaeometry at University of the Peloponnese.

George Klaeren, Rock Hill, South Carolina, is a doctoral student in history. He completed a bachelor’s degree in history at Grove City College. Klaeren has been awarded a Fulbright to Spain, where he will be affiliated with the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. He will investigate the effect of new and traditional epistemological practices in 18th century Spain, seen in the Inquisition and in intellectual treatises of the time, and how those practices interacted with medical knowledge and scientific discourse to demonstrate the Spanish way of encountering the Enlightenment.

Nathaniel Pickett, Whittier, California, is a doctoral student in geography. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in Russian, East European and Eurasian studies from KU. Pickett has been selected for a Fulbright award to Ukraine. His research will focus on the Chernobyl incident and the Soviet government’s response, which constituted a fundamental political reconfiguration of Soviet-Ukrainian and Russo-Ukrainian relations. This case study may also be applicable to sites of other nuclear disasters. He will be working closely with National University Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and the Ukrainian National Chernobyl Museum.

In addition, two KU applicants were chosen as alternates:

Sara Anderson, Lindsborg, completed a bachelor’s degree in Germanic studies and in global and international studies in May 2015. She was chosen as a Fulbright alternate for an ETA in Turkey.

Lisa Mullinger, Belton, Missouri, is a doctoral student in musicology. She was chosen as a Fulbright alternate for research in Russia.



Our Statement on Diversity in support of Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk and the University of Kansas Black Student Union’s efforts to combat racism.
The School of Languages & Cultures serves as a gateway to understanding the diversity of the world, through learning languages, literatures, and cultures, past and present. Through its research and teaching, the SLLC offers students opportunities for deep engagement with a wide range of languages, literatures, and cultures that provide the knowledge and skills to interact with and understand the world. The faculty and students who teach, research, and learn in the SLLC consider issues of diversity fundamental to all of our work. The study of others' languages, literatures, and cultures enables us to develop deep empathy and perspective informs the way that we approach issues before us, whether on a personal, local, regional, national, or global scale. Therefore take it as axiomatic that the SLLC stands for a campus that is committed to the meaningful sharing, contemplation, and discussion of ideas that emerge from multiple cultural perspectives and experiences. We continually rededicate ourselves to the principle of diversity. We strive to create an atmosphere where all students and faculty feel comfortable and welcome to express their views as well as work together to solve conflict. Further, we view our mission as a center of diversity on a flagship campus as requiring us to lead by example.

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
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