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University Relations

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June 4, 2008
Contact: Charlie Bankart, International Programs, (785) 864-6161.

Six KU graduate students receive Fulbright, Boren awards to study abroad

LAWRENCE — Six University of Kansas graduate students have won prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards and David L. Boren Graduate Fellowships for study and research abroad for the 2008-09 academic year.

Since the inception of the Fulbright program in 1946, a total of 406 KU students, including the five announced today, have won Fulbright awards. Twenty KU students have received the National Security Education Program’s Boren fellowships since 1994, when that program began.

Recipients this year are:

— Kelly Knickmeier Cummings, Topeka, doctoral student in Slavic languages and literatures, Fulbright award to study and conduct research in Russia
— Agata Kaminska, Chicago, master’s student in bioengineering, Fulbright award to study and conduct research in Poland
— Madeline Rislow, Lewiston, Minn., doctoral student in art history, Fulbright award to study and conduct research in Genoa, Italy
— Cameron Siler, Lawrence, doctoral student in ecology and evolutionary biology, Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Program grant administered by the International Education Programs Service of the U.S. Department of Education to conduct research and outreach in the Philippines
— Matthew Stein, St. Charles, Minn., master’s student in Russian and Eastern European studies, Boren fellowship to spend the academic year in Almaty, Kazakhstan, studying the Kazak language and conducting research
— Julie Ward, Ponca City, Okla., master’s student in Spanish and Portuguese, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grant to teach at a Chilean university and conduct research

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program gives approximately 1,000 scholarships annually and operates in 140 countries. For more than 60 years, this U.S. government-sponsored program has offered highly qualified students an unparalleled opportunity to study, conduct research and teach in other nations.

Fulbright awards are used to increase mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchange. A Fulbright award provides funding for round trip travel, maintenance for one academic year, health and accident insurance and tuition.

David L. Boren Graduate Fellowships enable graduate students to add an important international and language component to their graduate education through specialization in area study, language study or increased language proficiency. The National Security Education Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, provides funding for U.S. students to study world regions critical to U.S. interests, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East.

KU’s International Programs office coordinates applications for Fulbright awards and Boren fellowships.

KU students receiving awards are listed below:

From Lawrence 66046
Cameron Siler will conduct a research project involving conservation and biodiversity assessments of amphibians throughout the Philippines, the development and implementation of hands-on conservation-based public education programs in communities around the country and the creation of multi-language education and conservation tools. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas-Austin.

From Topeka 66614
Kelly Knickmeier Cummings will conduct research in several archives and museums in Moscow on the writings of the avant-garde poet Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930) with the goal of re-evaluating understanding the Soviet literary cultural project under Stalin and its impact on 20th and 21st century Russian culture. This research will culminate in Cummings dissertation. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont and a master’s degree in Slavic languages and literatures from KU in spring 2005.

From Chicago 60630
Agata Kaminska will be affiliated with the Jagiellonian University in Krakow where she will take classes within the Institute of Public Health. She will also volunteer in local hospitals and clinics. Kaminska plans to research the effectiveness of health care delivery as it undergoes changes resulting from Poland’s joining the European Union. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Germanic languages and literatures from KU in spring 2008. She is the daughter of Alina Piekosz and a graduate of Lincoln Park High School in Chicago.

From Lewiston 55952
Madeline Rislow will spend a year in Genoa where she will investigate the sculptural reliefs called soprapporte that decorated the doorways of many prominent palaces and some churches in the 15th and 16th centuries. These sculptural reliefs were unique to Genoa during the Renaissance, and there has been little research published about them by art historians. Rislow will be affiliated with the University of Genoa. She received a master’s degree in the history of art from KU in spring 2004 and a bachelor’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn.

From St. Charles 55972
Matthew Stein will study the Kazakh language at an institute sponsored by the American Councils in International Education. He also will continue to study Russian. For his research project, Stein will investigate the evolution of the Kazakh national identity in that nation’s educational system. Stein received a bachelor’s degree from Central College of Iowa in Pella.

From Ponca City 74604
Julie Ward will spend a year in Chile teaching English at one of the Chilean universities. When not in the classroom, she will conduct research on Latin American authors who flourished from 1920 to 1950, which she hopes will form the basis on her eventual doctoral dissertation. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tulsa. Ward is the daughter of Teri Pennington.


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