Quinnipiac University College of Arts and Sciences

Why Fulbright?

In Faculty, Research on April 9, 2013 at 6:15 pm


By Hillary Haldene, Assistant Professor of Anthropology

When I first started at Quinnipiac, in 2007, I was struck by the fact that we had a number of faculty who had received CIES Fulbrights, but not a single undergraduate had applied for an IIE. After my first couple of semesters, I was convinced we had students who were smart enough, enterprising enough, and creative enough to apply for the prestigious award. The beauty of the IIE is the length – short and sweet. Two pages for a research statement, one page biography. The pedagogical potential of assigning an IIE proposal in virtually any class – anthropology of gender-based violence; anthropology of health and medicine; anthropology of development – seemed limitless. The value of teaching a Fulbright proposal in an anthropology class was obvious. A Fulbright forces you to consider how the “Other”, the reader from the country you are writing about, would respond to your idea. For example, if you are writing a proposal to study women’s rights in Morocco, you have to imagine how a Moroccan would read your proposal, and how positively, or negatively, they would respond to it. In other words, a Fulbright is a simple way of teaching students the core values of anthropology: you are forced to see things from a different worldview, and put yourself in the shoes of someone from a different cultural context. I cannot think of a better assignment to have students fully develop the values anthropology brings to an undergraduate education. We can no longer assume that how we see the world is the best way to live in it. Therefore, it is necessary to consider how others are experiencing our global existence to find common solutions to the problems that affect us all.

After my first year of teaching the Fulbright, we had a student awarded one to Indonesia. This year, we have potentially five more students willing to put themselves up for scrutiny. Mary Paddock, our campus Fulbright Advisor, has done wonders to make this program more accessible and available to students. It takes a lot of work, but the effort is worth it. Even if you don’t “win” a Fulbright, you’ve learned more about yourself, your place in the world, and your values, than most assignments can teach you. Plus, you develop persuasive writing skills and the ability to craft an argument. This will serve our students well inwhatever opportunities they pursue going forward.

  1. Amazing work, Hillary. I am so excited about this opportunity you are giving our students.

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