Digging deep into global education

July 3, 2012

(Photo credit Stephanie Kroll/OIE photo contest)

Hefty is one way to describe the work of the campus community across the globe.

It includes participation by 21 University of Colorado Boulder students for the 2012-13 academic year in the FulbrightU.S. Department of State Critical Languages Scholarship and Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship programs.

Seven CU-Boulder graduate students and alumni have been awarded the prestigious Fulbright grant for the 2012-13 academic year. Their proposed research ranges from exploring desertification knowledge in Mali and the impact of collaboration with foreign development agencies, to studying medieval Islamic philosophy in Egypt and its potential to inform debates in Anglo-American moral philosophy.

Other research will include Nepali women’s involvement in the Annapurna Conservation Area, a popular trekking destination, and how the Roman Catholic Church and labor institutions in Chile influence attitudes about immigration. 

Also for the 2012-13 academic term, seven CU-Boulder students have been awarded the U.S. Department of State Critical Languages Scholarship, and seven have been awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.  

"The depth and potential of our students' work, to delve into difficult problems and bring about change for global communities, is remarkable," said CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. "It is a testament not only to the individuals who take on these complicated and important international topics, but also to CU-Boulder’s output of lifelong learners and leaders who reach far beyond the classroom."

The highly competitive CLS program supports intensive study in 13 languages deemed critically important by the Department of State, seven of which are taught in CU-Boulder’s Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations -- Hindi, Urdu, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic and Persian. The other languages are Azerbaijani, Bangla/Bengali, Indonesian, Punjabi, Turkish and Russian.

One of the CLS award winners is Esha Mehta, a junior majoring in psychology at CU-Boulder. Mehta is spending 10 weeks this summer in Jaipur, India, navigating the challenges of language and cultural immersion, as well as visual impairment.

"Being a blind student in a Hindi course has proven challenging because Braille materials in the Bharati Braille code are scarce in the U.S.," said Mehta. "By going to India and participating in the CLS program, I will be able to have access to Braille material, which will not only help me academically, but it will allow me to take the first step in pursuing my dreams of working with children with disabilities, specifically blindness, in India."

The Gilman Scholarship offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means. It aims to broaden the student population that studies abroad by supporting undergraduates who might not otherwise participate due to financial constraints.

Overall, participation in programs in Asia jumped from 105 students during the 2010-11 academic year to 135 during the 2011-12 academic year, according to the Office of International Education

"CU-Boulder students are becoming increasingly aware that Asian programs can be career builders," said Janice Brown, chair and professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations. "The programs can deepen students' understanding of the world, providing critical social, cultural, economic and business perspectives needed for success."

Faculty members interested in applying for the Fulbright scholar program should visit http://www.cies.org/us_scholars/ and direct any award announcements to Elizabeth Lock at CU-Boulder Media Relations and News Services. More information about international opportunities for faculty is available at http://www.colorado.edu/oie/admin/faculty.html