Posted on Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Alexandra Hallowell '10 will again take her fascination with language and culture abroad to explore social, religious and cultural experiences on a year-long Fulbright Scholarship.
Having studied in France and the Netherlands and conducted independent projects in Istanbul, Hallowell, the second of her graduating class to receive a Fulbright, will return to Turkey this fall to "conduct informal interviews with women from various backgrounds about their perceptions of the multiple layers of Turkish society."
"This recognition for Alexandra and the Colleges is remarkable," says President Mark D. Gearan. "It's a perfect example of the potential inherent in an HWS education, the ability to translate the passions from the classroom into a unique and invaluable global experience. Congratulations, Alexandra."
The flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, the Fulbright Program has provided almost 300,000 participants-chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential -- with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. But most of all, the Fulbright Program is designed to "increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries," and that's just what Hallowell, an international relations major and French minor, hopes to accomplish.
While in Turkey in 2008, Hallowell conducted interviews with four women about politics, religion and culture. These interviews, along with personal reflections and photographs, were compiled into a publication and placed around campus and around Geneva to inform students and community members about the complexities of Turkish culture and society. Her Fulbright project will continue in this vein.
Hallowell will conduct new interviews that will be compiled into a series of "zines," or independent publications, to be "disseminated in the US to help Americans better understand the complexities within Turkish culture," she says. "I hope to use my knowledge of Turkish culture and language to bridge the gap in cultural and political understanding in the expansion of development initiatives."
As an English Teaching Assistant, Hallowell will also teach American culture and English language at Namik Kemal Univeristy in Tekirdag, drawing on her experience as a teaching assistant and tutor in the HWS French Department.
While a student, Hallowell was assistant editor of the Aleph, an admissions tour guide, a member of the Arts Collective and was named to the William Smith Deans List. She was a 2009 John A. Ross Endowed Internship Stipend Recipient, which enabled her work as an advocate for survivors of violence at the International Institute of Boston. When she returns to the United States, Hallowell plans to pursue a master's degree in development studies.
"I am most interested in grassroots development initiatives that look to enhance women's roles as actors within their communities," Hallowell says. "This project highlights my wish to better understand women from diverse backgrounds, a knowledge that will serve me well in my future studies."