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Student Travel Grants

To encourage greater engagement with the countries of the former Soviet bloc, the Global Partners Project invited students from the participating colleges to apply for travel grants to the region. The goal was to support their research and increase student interest in the area. The ten students listed below received grants for travel in the spring or summer of 2006. They will share the experience of their travel with their home campus, through publication or public presentation. For more information contact Associated Colleges of the Midwest, acm@acm.edu or 312/263-5000.

Anna-Martha Brown (Oberlin College) will visit the Republic of Georgia to research the emerging sustainable agriculture movement. She will spend two weeks in spring 2006 visiting environmental, cultural, and economic organizations engaged in building the movement.

Rebecca Dash (Kenyon College) will spend time in Russian archives in St. Petersburg, tracking down "war children"--refugees from the Spanish civil war of the 1930s--still living in Russia. Upwards of 3000 Spanish children were sent to the former USSR from 1936 to 1938, most of who did not return to Spain for over 40 years and some never returned at all. Her time in St. Petersburg will follow a semester in Madrid, where she will interview other war children.

Kate Endely (Davidson College) will study the affects on Prague's African immigrant population of the collapse of the communist Czechoslovakian government and the Czech Republic's entry into the European Union. Working through Pan-African organizations in Prague, she will compare pre-communist and post-communist African immigrants.

Curran Hughes (Macalester College) will compare post-Soviet urban planning in Tallinn, Estonia and Kazan, Russia, looking at how the two cities have used their freedom from Soviet-era planning doctrine. His project seeks to determine to what extent culture, nationalism, religion, and economics have on planning practices. Does losing their Russian character and affirming their own identities take precedence over western style and free market based urban planning or can they somehow combine the two?

Megan Metzger (Macalester College) will go to Slovakia and the Czech Republic, comparing patterns of post-communist language discrimination, specifically against the Roma, to those in Hungary and Romania. Her work will initially focus on the relationship of language to culture and identity formation. Through ethnographic interviews as well as research and participant observation within the community, she will explore the way that the language people speak, and the way that it is spoken, impacts the way that they view themselves.

Jora Nika (Ohio Wesleyan University) will analyze the impact that the integration process in the European Union has had on the Romanian economy. In July 2006 she will visit Bucharest to talk with government and corporate economists. You can see more about her project in this article from her campus.

Benjamin Owens (Carleton College) will study the Solovetsk monastery in remote northern Russia. It has been the backdrop for church schism and war, and was a dreaded part of the Soviet gulag. In addition to his study Owens will participate in an ongoing restoration project at Solovetsk coordinated by Volunteers for Peace.

Makshim Sobkin (University of Richmond) will spend several weeks in Russia in summer 2006 studying the Russian bazaar economy. He will analyze transactions and interview buyers and sellers, He anticipates that his research will show that the standards of living have gotten much better with all these diverse products now easily available for customers at concentrated areas across the city.

Rasa Verseckaite (University of Richmond) will visit libraries in Lithuania to compare the coverage of the Ribbentrop-Molotov treaty in history textbooks published in Soviet and independent Lithuania between the 1950s and 1990s, and after. This will build on an ongoing project comparing Soviet Lithuanian and independent Lithuanian textbooks from the mid-1980s and mid-1990s, focusing on their language and historical perspectives.

Riley Witte (Kenyon College) will participate in a volcanology camp on Russia's Kamchatka peninsula in August 2006. She will learn a great deal about volcanoes, as well as building connections between far eastern Russia and her native Alaska.


updated 2/23/06

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