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Ohio University students win Fulbright Grants

ATHENS, Ohio (May 27, 2004) -- Ohio University students have once again proven the high level of education received from the university by receiving competitive and prestigious Fulbright Grants. Meghan Roof, Uma Sanghvi and Andrew Carlson have won Fulbright grants for the 2004-05 year, along with recent master's recipient Hilary Jones and senior Diane Cahill. The students will use the grants to study a variety of topics in five different countries.

"The success of Ohio University students in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is truly exceptional," said Ohio University's U.S. Fulbright Program adviser Elizabeth Clodfelter. "Being selected for this prestigious award speaks volumes about students' intelligence, talent, work ethic and desire to be catalysts for positive change. Having a record number of Fulbright awardees from a range of departments highlights the strong faculty and excellent academic programs of Ohio University."

Roof, a Spanish major, has won a Fulbright teaching assistantship in Spain where she will teach English and collect materials to use in teaching Spanish back in the United States. While pursuing her bachelor's degree in Spanish and international studies at Ohio University, Roof studied abroad in Pamplona, Spain, for six months. She has served as a Spanish teaching associate and has assisted with the study abroad program to Merida, Mexico. Upon completion of her Fulbright year, Roof plans to teach Spanish at the high school or university level.

"Meghan Roof is one of those curious, energetic Spanish graduate students who will continually search for exciting travel experiences to better prepare herself to be a stellar teacher," said Spanish Professor Betsy Partyka. "Her language and personal skills, as well as her academic preparation in Spanish and Teaching English as a Foreign Language ensure that she will be an excellent representative of the United States and will leave a very positive impression on her young students and all with whom she interacts during her Fulbright year in Spain."

Sanghvi, a photojournalism major, will document the diversity of Mauritius through a photo-essay and recorded interviews that explore rites of passage within each ethnic group. Sanghvi earned a bachelor's degree in biology and photography from Stanford University. Her photographs have been published in The San Jose Mercury News, Stanford Magazine, The Palm Beach Post and the San Diego Union-Tribune. Sanghvi has traveled and photographed in India, the Maldives, Thailand and Papua New Guinea. She speaks French, has a basic knowledge of Hindi and has studied Creole in preparation for her work in Mauritius. Her photographs will be submitted for publication and exhibition in the United States and Mauritius. Sanghvi plans a career as a freelance documentary photographer.

"The images I capture in Mauritius will celebrate a country that finds strength in its diversity, as well as speak to the importance of ritual in human society," Sanghvi said.

Carlson, who is completing his master's degree in international studies, will spend a year in South Africa studying how Islamic education helps preserve cultural values of Muslims in South Africa and equips children with tools for life. He will travel to South Africa with the support of the U.S. Student Fulbright Program's Islamic Civilization Initiative. Carlson's goal is to find ways to build consensus and to effectively train African communities in cultural preservation, media, and gender and social equity issues.

Carlson has studied Swahili, Arabic, Siswati, and Zulu through U.S. Department of Education's Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships, taught math and English as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania and has worked in South Africa for Vuleka Productions, a media organization that works with children and youth affected by the AIDS crisis. Upon returning to the United States, Carlson plans to share the knowledge he gains by developing a presentation for use in schools and, through further academic study, conference presentations and publications. After completion of his Fulbright year, Carlson plans to pursue a doctorate in sociology with a focus on African studies, Islam, and media and cultural preservation.

"Working with our African Studies Program the Institute for the African Child, Andrew has developed his understanding of African cultures and contributed his knowledge of media to our projects," said Diane Ciekawy, interim director of African Studies. "I am pleased that he will have the opportunity to expand his creative and synthetic approach to work on new and important development issues in South Africa."

Jones, who holds a master's degree in international studies, will study trade in Brazil and Uruguay. She will study how agricultural cooperatives in Uruguay and Brazil are responding to the new market conditions created by Mercusor, the Southern Common Market trade bloc. While conducting research on the economic and political forces that alter how crops are grown, Jones hopes to also gain an understanding of how the process of change affects local social structures.

Jones earned a bachelor's degree in international relations and political science from Wooster College. She has volunteered, studied and traveled in Brazil, Nicaragua, Cuba, Guatemala, El Salvador and Bolivia, and is fluent in Spanish and proficient in Portuguese. Upon completion of her Fulbright year, Jones plans to work on facilitating trade relationships between Latin American and American cooperative businesses. She also plans to pursue a Ph.D. in agricultural economics or political economy.

"Latin American Studies is pleased that Hilary Jones was awarded this grant. We know that she will serve as an excellent ambassador for Ohio University," said Brad Jokisch, director of Latin American Studies. "The award acknowledges Hilary's academic preparation and her strong commitment to social justice. Her research is timely and addresses one of the most important issues of globalization in Latin America."

Cahill, who will earn her bachelor's degree in business administration in June, will study the impact of welfare to work programs on single-parent families in Ontario, Canada. She will examine the costs and benefits of the empowerment model, often referred to as welfare to work, of social assistance on single-parent families – one of the largest groups of social assistance recipients. Her research will also look at the effect of national healthcare on the transition from a subsidy model of social assistance to the empowerment model.

Cahill earned an associate's degree in accounting with honors from Sinclair Community College before coming to Ohio University to continue her education. While at Sinclair College, Cahill received the Wall Street Journal Student Achievement Award. Upon completion of her Fulbright year, Cahill plans to pursue certification as a Certified Public Accountant and later plans to pursue a master's degree in economics.

So far nine students have won Fulbright awards for the upcoming academic year. This is the highest number of Ohio University students ever to win the prestigious award. Last year six Ohio University students won Fulbright awards.

Students interested in applying for the 2005-2006 Fulbright U.S. Student Program, who are U.S. citizens and who will be seniors, masters or doctoral students next fall should contact Elizabeth Clodfelter or visit Ohio University's Fulbright Web page, www.ohiou.edu/internationalstudies/fulbright/fulbright.htm

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Media Contact: Elizabeth Clodfelter, (740) 593-2302 or clodfele@ohio.edu or Jennifer Cochran, (740) 593-1842 or cochraj1@ohio.edu

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