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McCammon '13, Kieffer '13 Win Fulbright Fellowships for Work in Turkey

May 30, 2013 at 3:27 pm
By Ben Strauss '16

Northfield, Minn.––Carleton College students Muira McCammon ’13 (Hilton Head Island, S.C.) and Daria Kieffer ’13 (Iowa City, Iowa) have both been awarded highly competitive Fulbright Fellowships to pursue graduate work abroad in Turkey as Fulbright English Teaching Assistants (ETAs).

McCammon is a French and Francophone studies and political science/international relations double major with concentrations in cross-cultural studies, European studies, and women's and gender studies.

She credits a large number of Carleton professors for sparking her interest in Turkey, from Dana Strand, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Ankara, to David Tompkins, the director of Carleton's European studies concentration program.  “There are easily more than 100 people on this campus who helped me get to this point and, to them, I owe them a world of thanks,” she said.

McCammon credited her experience on numerous committees such as the education and curriculum committee the academic standing committee with “[helping] me better understand how a university serves its different stakeholders and the importance of university governance.”

“Developing higher education curricula will no doubt be a challenge,” she said, “but I'm excited to explore pedagogical issues, international and comparative questions, and the historical underpinnings of higher education in Turkey.” By facilitating cross-cultural dialogues for Soliya, a partner of the United Nations’ Alliance of Civilizations Initiative, last year, McCammon worked with Turkish students and gained a better understanding of the region.

“What's particularly exciting about the Fulbright in Turkey is that I will be able to teach university students and compare a Turkish institute of higher education to Carleton,” she said.

McCammon also plans to start a poetry exchange between her students in Turkey and her high school’s creative writing teacher’s students in South Carolina.

Kieffer is a sociology/anthropology major and with a concentration in educational studies.

“I'm also a dual German/U.S. citizen, and lived in Germany for 10 years, so I'm especially interested in Turkey because of its interesting history and current relationship with Germany,” she said.

Kieffer has had a passion for working with young people for a long time. She recalls fondly tutoring through her work-study job during her first year at Carleton.

This year, she coordinated tutors for an after-school program in Faribault and helped organize an after-school program for girls called Women's Circle at Northfield Middle School. She also studied informal education during her study abroad in Guatemala this past winter.

Kieffer pointed to her course work in the educational studies department as a formative part in interest in studying education. “Learning about education from a structural as well as personal angle has continually reinforced my excitement about working in education,” she said. “Some of my most rewarding experiences have been working with students who are learning English as a second language.”

According to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright ETA Program places recent college graduates and young professionals as English teaching assistants in primary and secondary schools or universities overseas - improving foreign students’ English language abilities and knowledge of the United States while increasing the U.S. student's own language skills and knowledge of the host country.