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2013 Spring Issue 7 (May 24, 2013)

McCammon, Kieffer Head to Turkey on Fulbrights

May 24, 2013
By Kaitlyn Gerber

Two more Carleton students, Muira McCammon ’13 and Daria Kieffer ’13, have received Fulbright Scholarships for the upcoming year. Both Kieffer and McCammon will be traveling to Turkey, where they will work as English Teaching Assistants  while also conducting independent research projects on the side.

“I’m super excited,” said Kieffer, a Sociology and Anthropology major with a concentration in Educational Studies. “I chose to apply to the ETA Fulbright because I’m very interested in education, and I think Turkey is a fascinating country.”

McCammon, a double major in French and Francophone Studies and Political Science/International Relations, with concentrations in Cross-Cultural Studies, European Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies, shared Kieffer’s enthusiasm. “What’s particularly exciting about the Fulbright in Turkey is that I will be able to teach university students and in the process, compare a Turkish institute of higher education to Carleton,” she said.

In addition to teaching, McCammon’s research project will involve Turkish educational policy. “As a veteran of American school systems, I feel so fortunate to have this chance to teach and learn in a higher educational context that is so different from Carleton,” she said. “Developing higher education curricula will no doubt be a challenge, but I’m excited to explore pedagogical is- sues, international and comparative questions, and the historical underpinnings of higher education in Turkey.”

“At Carleton, I’ve been able to draw upon the knowledge of Turkish students and of professors who have conducted research in various parts of Turkey.”

Because the main focus of the

ETA Fulbright program is teaching, rather than research, neither Kieffer nor McCammon is required to have a fully-developed research project before their arrival, though Kieffer noted that she is “tentatively interested in doing a project about women’s rights and women’s groups” in whatever town she is placed.

Both Kieffer and McCammon had different reasons for choosing Turkey for their Fulbright applications.

“In addition to finding Turkey fascinating, I’m also a dual German/US citizen, and lived in Germany for ten years, so I’m especially interested in Turkey because of its interesting history and current relationship with Germany.”

McCammon’s interest in Turkey stemmed partly from her previous experiences abroad. Previously, McCammon has worked with Turkish university students as an intercultural dialogue facilitator for Soliya, an initiative funded in part by the U.N. Alliance of Civilizations. As a sophomore, McCammon was also awarded the Hanson Ethics Fellowship, which allowed her to research students’ rights and the methods through which British and American universities implement policies against academic dishonesty.

“Above all, I’m hoping I can use my position as an English Teaching Assistant to encourage

my students to be active thinkers and citizens; to communicate and argue effectively; and learn to dabble, joke, and express themselves in my hilariously quirky native language, English,” she said.

Both Kieffer and McCammon also expressed gratitude to various Carleton faculty members for their help throughout the Fulbright application process. “I had some wonderful advisers who helped me, especially Adrienne Falcon, Jay Levi and Kelly Scheuerman,” said Kieffer.

McCammon agreed. “I must credit a host of Carleton professors for sparking my interest in Turkey, from Prof. Dana Strand, a former Peace Corps volunteer

in Ankara, to Prof. David Tompkins, the Director of Carleton’s European Studies Concentration Program,” she said. “There are easily over a hundred people on this campus who helped me get to this point and to them, I owe them a world of thanks.”

Ultimately, both women eagerly await their year abroad.

“I think I’m most looking for- ward to meeting a lot of new people. It’s so hard to imagine what it will be like when I get there, and I’m excited for the adventure,” explained Kieffer.

Added McCammon, “And as soon as I find out just where I’ll be placed in Turkey, I’ll be sure to invite any and all Carls to visit!”

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