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ISSUE 120 VOL 8 PUBLISHED 11/17/2006

Fulbright applicants share goals

By Emelie Heltsley
News Editor

Friday, November 17, 2006

Fulbright scholarship applicants had an opportunity to share their project proposals with the larger St. Olaf community last Thursday afternoon in an informal gathering in Buntrock Crossroads. Over 20 applicants created posters and talked with faculty, alumni, staff and students, informing them about the Fulbright process and the issues their individual projects raised.

"It has been rewarding for me to explain my ideas to other people," Brian Jacobsen ‘07 said about the gathering. He proposed a project in Spain that would study the existential ideas leading to the rise of fascism in 20th century Spain.

Other applicants had similar reactions to sharing their projects with the community.

"I feel so lucky to be at a school with such a developed Fulbright program," Mary Sotos ‘07 said, calling the help and support from faculty "unparalleled."

Sotos, who would like to study Belgium’s energy policy and the place of civic organizations in the country’s energy communications, hopes that the gathering of current Fulbright applicants will inspire and interest other students to apply during their senior year.

"I encourage everyone thinking about Fulbright to take advantage of the support available at St. Olaf," she said.

Julia Jackson ‘07 hopes to teach English in a Turkish University, learning enough Turkish in the process to study the language used in children’s literature and other textbooks.

Because the Fulbright application was due in early October, the applicants had not spent a lot of time with their projects since the final proposals were due.

"It’s a little nerve-wracking," Jackson said about having to talk to others about her project after a long time away from it. "There is a huge time span where you have to let it lie."

Elsa Marty ‘07 hopes to travel to India to study the language used in environmental policy and decision making.

“We all spent so much time on these,” she said about the individual project proposals.

Marty expressed excitement about sharing her project with the community, partly to raise awareness about the issues raised by the projects.

"I’m glad to just get them to think about the issues," she said.

Marty also thanked all the professors on the Fulbright committee at St. Olaf.

"If you need something, they’re here to help you," she said.

Kristen Rau ‘07 proposed a project in South Africa analyzing the language of truth, justice and reconciliation in contemporary texts. She praised the Fulbright support system, mentioning the professors as well as her fellow Fulbright applicants.

"It’s like a reunion," she said about the gathering.

Rau recognized the important role that professors and advisors had on all the projects.

"These people are all so important," she said. "There’s nothing like this support system."

Applicants will be notified in January if they have made the first cut. Final decisions about the Fulbright Scholarship will not be made until spring 2007.

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