VCU has 7 Fulbright Student Scholars

Tom Gresham

VCU Communications and Public Relations

Seven VCU students have received Fulbright Student Scholarships for the 2010-11 academic year, a record for VCU in a single academic year.

In the past five years, VCU has had a combined 13 Fulbright Student Scholars. VCU had nine finalists for the scholarships this year, seven of who will receive grants that allow them to study, conduct research, teach or collaborate on artistic projects abroad for up to one year.

VCU’s Fulbright Student Scholars are:

Alison Alexander, who is studying for a master’s degree in urban and regional planning at VCU, will research the effects of politics on public spaces in Germany. She will focus her study on a model developed at the Bauhaus Universitat in Weimar and said she hopes to apply it to similar work upon her return to the United States. Alexander is from Mocksville, N.C.

Kerry Lucinda Brown, who is a doctoral candidate in art history, will travel to Nepal to further her research in South Asian and Himalayan art, especially focusing on art and ritual among the Newar Buddhist community of the Kathmandu Valley. Brown is from Norfolk.

Tennessee Dixon, who is studying for a master of fine arts in scene design, will pursue creative collaborations with two contemporary dance companies in Budapest, Hungary, designing the projection and scenic elements for their productions. Dixon is from Springfield, Ill.

Tarfia Faizullah, who completed her master of fine arts in creative writing in 2009 at VCU, will record testimonies of Bangladeshi birangona (war heroines), who were taken as sex slaves during the war for independence in the early 1970s. Based on these testimonies and those of other war survivors, Faizullah, a published poet, said she plans to write poems about the complexities of being Bangladeshi. Faizullah is from Midland, Texas.

HaNa Kim, who is nearing completion of her doctorate in counseling psychology, will be examining self-concept in South Korean adolescent cancer survivors. Building on work she has done in the United States, Kim said she wants to look at differences that might result from cultural distinctions. Kim is originally from St. Petersburg, Fla.

Aaron Kunk, who is studying for a master of teaching degree, will serve as a teaching assistant in an English classroom at a German secondary school. Kunk said he plans to strengthen his German language skills and continue his research on music pedagogy in Germany. Kunk is originally from Cincinnati.

Philip Shirk, who is pursuing a master’s in biology, will travel to Tanzania to study the ecology and potential effects of harvesting on chameleons in the East Usambara Mountains. Shirk is from Conestoga, Pa.

Established in 1946, the Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills. Sponsored by the United States Department of State, the Fulbright Program provides funding for students, scholars and professionals to undertake graduate study, advanced research, university teaching and teaching in elementary and secondary schools.

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