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### Discover UW-Madison’s 14 Outstanding Fulbright Scholars

The 2024 Fulbright Scholar Program awardees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison were acknowledged by the United States Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs in early February. Among these scholars, 14 students and alumni were recognized for their achievements.

The Fulbright Program, managed at UW-Madison, facilitates an exchange initiative where scholars travel abroad while hosting visiting scholars from other countries. UW-Madison ranked 28th globally for the number of Fulbright recipients, positioning it as one of the top 30 universities for grant recipients.

Established by the U.S. Congress, the program aims to promote international connections by enabling candidates to develop research proposals and collaborate on projects with foreign universities.

Three of the awardees from UW-Madison were interviewed by The Daily Cardinal.

Betty Nen

Betty Nen, who graduated from UW-Madison in 2020 with a degree in political science and Southeast Asian studies, will be conducting research on indigenous community resilience during climate-related disasters in Malaysia. Nen’s interest lies in understanding how governments prepare for disasters and ensure the safety of local communities.

Having previously worked as an emergency preparedness specialist for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Nen developed a passion for assisting vulnerable communities, which motivated her to apply for the Fulbright Program.

Nen chose Malaysia as her research destination due to its alignment with her interests and the opportunity it provides to engage with indigenous groups. Her research will involve qualitative studies and interviews with various nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations, focusing on capacity development within small communities and community-based organizations.

Reflecting on her academic background in political science and Southeast Asian studies at UW-Madison, Nen emphasized how it broadened her perspectives on current events and encouraged critical thinking.

Mary Girad

Mary Girad, a UW-Madison graduate in education and political science from 1982, received a study and research grant to work at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, India. Her research centers on studying tribal folktales of the community, an indigenous group in India.

Girad’s interest in South Asian studies was influenced by her upbringing in India and was further nurtured during her time at UW-Madison.

Aniya Schwoerer

Aniya Schwoerer, a graduate with a focus on Korean studies, received the Elementary Education English Teaching Assistant Award. Currently teaching English to young students in Andong-si, South Korea, Schwoerer aims to enhance cultural understanding and serve as a cultural ambassador through her teaching experiences.

Schwoerer’s journey from teaching English to adults at a literacy organization to pursuing a Fulbright scholarship underscores her commitment to understanding diverse cultural perspectives and providing language resources to those in need.

The experiences and education Schwoerer gained at UW-Madison equipped her with the necessary skills to navigate cross-cultural interactions and foster a deeper appreciation for differing viewpoints.

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