Temple Times Online Edition
    MAY 19, 2005
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Four Temple students to go
abroad on Fulbright grants

Over the past two months, four Temple students have received prestigious Fulbright grants to pursue their scholarly interests abroad in 2005–06.

Temple’s four Fulbright winners — two of whom graduate May 19 — will travel to Asia, Europe and Canada.

The Fulbright Program for U.S. Students, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, was established in 1946 to foster mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other nations. Fulbright grants cover one academic year of study, research, creative projects or teaching assistantship experience overseas.

The number of Temple students who won Fulbrights for 2005–06 is remarkable, given that only nine Temple students applied — and the national acceptance rate is only about 23 percent.

Temple’s four student Fulbright winners are:

Ginger R. Davis, a doctoral candidate in history in the College of Liberal Arts, received a grant to conduct her dissertation research in Vietnam. Davis will investigate Vietnamese perceptions of American race relations in the decade leading up to the introduction of U.S. ground troops to Vietnam in 1965, and how these attitudes shaped Vietnamese policies. A military and diplomacy historian, she will conduct interviews with former members of the Vietnamese government and military — including propaganda artists — in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Julia Mendenhall, a doctoral candidate in English in the College of Liberal Arts, won a grant to continue her dissertation research in Canada. She will be based in Toronto, where she will examine the production and funding of Canadian films depicting female same-sex desire or lesbian characters. Mendenhall will analyze public and private archival materials available only in Canada, participate in audience studies and conduct in-depth interviews with Canadian filmmakers, producers and government funders. Her dissertation is a film genre study of contemporary U.S. and Canadian lesbian romance films.

Saran Monford, who has just earned her bachelor of fine arts in ceramics from the Tyler School of Art, won a Fulbright teaching assistantship to teach English to schoolchildren in Hamburg, Germany. A transfer student from Maryland’s Montgomery College, Monford is graduating with a second major in German language, a subject she has studied intensively since completing her Tyler requirements last spring. She will use her unusual combination of scholarly interests to help her German students create an illustrated children’s book that she said will “take readers on a journey through the German language.”

Amy Olk, who this semester earned her master of fine arts in film and media arts from the School of Communications and Theater, received a Fulbright grant to pursue a documentary film about disabled children who have recently been placed in foster homes in Romania. The film, currently titled Finding Zoro, will cover Olk’s search for a gypsy boy she befriended at a Romanian orphanage in 2001 and 2002. As part of a push to join the European Union, Romania has reformed its residential orphanage system — a move that Olk sees as symbolic of change in the country.

Temple students who wish to apply for Fulbright grants or teaching assistantships should contact Temple’s Fulbright adviser, Denise A. Connerty, at connerty@temple.edu. The deadline for 2006–07 is Oct. 3. In order to be eligible, applicants must be U.S. citizens with a bachelor’s degree when the grant begins, and must not have received a doctorate at the time of application.

- By Hillel J. Hoffmann

More award-winning students

Many other Temple students have received major national academic awards, grants and scholarships. Here are some select honorees:
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
Provides three years of support at for graduate study leading to research-based master’s or doctoral degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Recipients: Mandrita Datta (chemistry), Julia Parish (developmental psychology).
Dedalus Foundation Master of Fine Arts Fellowship
National fellowship for painters and sculptors intended to serve as a “bridge” at the critical juncture between being a student and being an independent artist.
Recipient: Alexander Beroz (sculpture).
National Security Education Program David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships
Provides funding for undergraduate study abroad and language study in regions deemed critical by the U.S. government to national security.
Recipients: Daniel Brackins (political science); Lynn Nonnemacher (political science).
Morris K. Udall Undergraduate Scholarships
Federal scholarship for college students who are environmental activists, and who want to build on activism after college.
Recipients: Jim Hardy (secondary education), Josh Meyer (environmental studies and chemistry).
Pfizer Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Provides support for independent research in the pharmaceutical sciences.
Recipient: Cristina Santos (pharmacy).