Brueggeman Fellows program sending students around the world to research individual projects

This year's students are going to Rwanda, Spain, Eastern Europe, India and Washington state | May 15, 2012

While most Xavier students are heading home for summer jobs, nine of their fellow classmates are preparing to head off for adventures around the world as Brueggeman Fellows. The students were chosen for the quality and rigor of their proposed academic research projects and will be gathering material as they research their topics in such far-flung locales as Haiti, Eastern Europe, India, Rwanda, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

The students have completed at least two years at Xavier and will be juniors or seniors next year. They submitted their applications in March and were notified in April of their selection. As Brueggeman Fellows, they participate in a reading and discussion group with each other and plan their year-long research projects under the direction of James Buchanan, director for the Edward B. Brueggeman Center for Dialogue.

Supported by the Winter-Cohen Family endowment, the Brueggeman Fellows receive $3,000 each for their project. The program differs from traditional study abroad programs in that each student creates his or her own research project and travels usually alone to a distant location to complete the research. Students have traveled to many countries including Mexico, Kenya, South America, and European countries including Switzerland and Spain. One student drove to the Yukon in northern Canada to learn about native American Indian culture.

“Through these immersion experiences, the students are changed, and the paths upon which their lives have been set are altered in significant ways,” Buchanan said. “The hope is that the fellowships might provide students with an opportunity for intellectual, moral and spiritual self-discovery which will impact them for the rest of their lives.”

This year’s Brueggeman Fellows and their projects are:

• Abby Anderson, Class of 2013, traveling to Spain, Paris and Rome following the footsteps of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, a co-founder of the Jesuit order.

• Grace Badik, Class of 2013, going to Central and Eastern Europe to study community organizing.

• Meaghan Clark, Class of 2013, going to India to study the incorporation of homeopathic traditional medicine with modern medicine.

• Tim Holliday, Class of 2014, traveling to the state of Washington to interview the Klallam people of various generations and levels of “global assimilation.”

• Josephine Lando, Class of 2014, going to Rwanda to study rebuilding the lives of women through business education.

• Ryan Lavalley, Class of 2012, traveling as a graduate student to Guatemala and Nicaragua to study the influences of cultural differences within therapeutic techniques.

• Marita Rivir, Class of 2013, going to Eastern Europe to study the cultural effects of infectious disease.

• Kelly Schmidt, Class of 2014, traveling to Eastern Europe to study ethnocentrism and discrimination toward ethnic groups.

• Christine Ulrich, Class of 2014, going to Haiti or South Africa to study the normalization of children.