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Political Science

Seven honored with Fulbright awards

April 15, 2014

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    Eve Ben Ezra ’14

Three Lewis & Clark seniors and four alumnae will spend the next year overseas after receiving prestigious awards from the Fulbright Program.

Established in 1946, the Fulbright Program fosters mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. Lewis & Clark is one of the top producers of Fulbright award winners in the country, demonstrating a sustained commitment to international education and engagement.

Haley Farrar J.D. ’11 received a Fulbright research grant and will study Maori legal practices and the concept of restorative justice in New Zealand. Also receiving a Fulbright research grant is Lindsay Burnette B.A. ’12, who will study the relationships between landscape architecture, cultural heritage, and sustainability in South Korea.

Earning Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships for the 2014-15 academic year are Eve Ben Ezra ’14, Christa Giesecke ’14, Maya Gold ’14, Abbie Hebein B.A. ’12, and Abigail Vining B.A. ’12. We asked what drew them to studying a foreign language and what’s exciting about teaching English in a foreign country.

Eve Ben Ezra ’14

Major: Mathematics
Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Award: Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Thailand

I’m not sure where I’ll be traveling yet, aside from knowing that I’ll be going to Thailand. While I’m there, I’ll be working as an English teaching assistant and am also hoping to be able to volunteer in a health clinic as a translator. I also hope to be able to conduct research into the cultural and religious history of Thailand and its people.

I’ve always loved foreign languages. For a long time, one of my life goals has been to learn the six official languages of the United Nations (English, French, Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, Arabic). I’m proficient in French and can get by in Russian and Mandarin. At Lewis & Clark, I started my freshman year in French 101, where I loved the enthusiasm of the professor enough to meet my language requirement and apply for a major in French. Although that didn’t work out, I did get to travel to Strasbourg on a Lewis & Clark overseas program and take a French literature class, which was amazing in and of itself. 

I think it’s very important to learn or at least have a basic knowledge of English as it opens the doors to myriad places and successes. From my experience while traveling, everyone knows at least one or two words of English, which can make crossing the language barrier less stressful. English is not a universal language, for which I’m glad, because foreign languages are important and beautiful things, but English does make it easier to travel, get around, move, or be understood when people don’t speak your maternal language. Even when I visited rural China, the farmers spoke enough English to help me get by and say hello.

imageMaya Gold ’14

Major: Political Science
Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Award: Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Turkey

I’ll be at a university in Turkey, teaching English to people roughly my own age! I don’t know what city I’ll be in yet, but I’ll be at one of the host of Turkish universities that have been built in the last decade or so. 

I really, truly adore English—I love the idea of watching people learn the intricacies of my native tongue, and guiding them through the weird and wonderful quirks that make my language so unique.

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