Seven UNC students have received Class of 1938 travel fellowships for research abroad this summer.
The students, who will all be seniors this fall, were chosen from 26 applicants who submitted proposals for projects outside the U.S. Selection is based on the quality of applicants’ proposals, financial need and seriousness of academic purpose. Each student receives $5,000.
Six of the students received 2014 Class of 1938 Summer Project Abroad Fellowships. Chosen by committees that included class of 1938 members and former fellows, the recipients are Anuradha Bhowmik of Northfield, N.J.; Grace Farson of Davidson; Chloe Imus of Pilot Mountain; April Peterson of Chester, Va.; Lydia Thompson of Monroe; and Jaclyn Wu of Barrington, Ill.
Maggie Walker of Wynnewood, Pa., received the Charles H. and Margaret M. Witten Travel Award, also $5,000. Class of 1938 members Dr. Charles and Margaret Witten established the award in 1992.
Every year since 1975, an endowment created by UNC’s class of 1938 has funded independent projects abroad by UNC students. Class members, who lived through and lost friends to World War II, created the endowment to help foster international understanding and promote world peace.
“These wonderful young women perfectly embody the spirit of the class of 1938 gift,” said Jane Rosenberg, assistant director for student and exchange visitor services at UNC, through which the fellowships are awarded. “Not only will they be helping on their trips by teaching, working at a clinic and expanding a community garden, they will also be fostering international understanding by looking at how outside influences have affected the places they visit.”
The students’ plans are varied:
Bhowmik is majoring in women’s and gender studies. A Bengali-American, she will travel to Bangladesh to study how to use cultural immersion memoir and travel writing to reconcile two conflicting cultural identities. As she explores her identity in the context of her native culture and contrasts it to her life in America, particularly after 9/11, she will create an anthology of memoir pieces to portray how dual cultural identity is a gift and a form of second sight that emerges in the face of racism.
Farson is majoring in media production and food studies. She plans to spend the summer in Burma and Thailand to produce a documentary on the introduction of fast foods to this part of the world. While there, she will record interviews with many different people and learn more about their reactions and responses to these multinational food chains.
Imus is majoring in Hispanic studies and global studies, with a history minor. She will conduct research on the negative effects of international volunteerism within the context of impoverished communities in Quito, Ecuador.
Peterson is majoring in health policy and management. She will travel to the Mukono District of Uganda and implement a nutrition curriculum supplemented with the expansion of a community garden.
Thompson is majoring in photojournalism and archaeology. She will be the site photographer of the Azoria Project, an Early Iron Age and Archaic site in eastern Crete. She also will create a documentary-style photo essay on the local village of Kavousi, exploring the ways that archaeology has impacted the village since its introduction to the area in the 1900s.
Walker is majoring in biology. She is headed to Palestine, where she will volunteer teach at the “I Know I Can” College Prep Academy through the Ramallah Friends School, a Quaker school in the West Bank. The “I Know I Can” College Prep Academy focuses on increasing the SAT scores of students and preparing students to apply to and attend college.
Wu is majoring in biology. She is headed to Roatán, Honduras, to intern at the Roatán Volunteer Pediatric Clinic and pursue research interests regarding water and sanitation. She will study community practices and attitudes towards water to determine how these aspects affect perceived need for infrastructure.