ROCK HILL, S.C. - Two Department of Political Science faculty members have received Fulbright scholarships that will allow them to pursue long-standing research interests.
Scott Huffmon, associate professor, and Karen Kedrowski, professor and department chair, recently received notification that they each received Fulbright scholarships. The Fulbright Scholar Program, America’s most widely recognized and prestigious international exchange program, annually sends more than 800 faculty and professionals overseas. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and is administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars.
Huffmon, the recipient of an American Studies teaching fellowship, will spend the fall 2009 semester teaching at the University of Debrecen in Debrecen, Hungary. His project proposal centered on teaching a course in the Politics of the American South since, according to Huffmon, this was an aspect of American culture that Hungarian programs did not cover, and one cannot fully understand American politics – current and historic – without an understanding of Southern politics.
His interest in Hungary stemmed from his undergraduate minor in Russian Studies. As part of his Soviet-related history courses, he studied the Hungarian Uprising of 1956. “I was enthralled by the determination of the Hungarian people, horrified at the brutal Soviet response and perplexed that America – my country – could sit by and do nothing.” This spark of an interest was fanned into a full flame on Oct. 23, 1989, with the Proclamation of the Hungarian Republic. “I watched in awe as the Berlin Wall fell shortly thereafter and as democracy sprang forth in Bulgaria, Poland and Czechoslovakia.” His desire to delve more deeply into the history, culture and politics of Hungary and the Magyar people seemed as if it would finally come to fruition in May 1991, when he was scheduled for an undergraduate study abroad experience in Budapest, a trip that was ultimately cancelled by his alma mater due to Operation Desert Storm.
Now, 18 years later, Huffmon, along with his wife and 9-year-old twin daughters, will finally have the opportunity to learn more about Hungary, its culture and people.
Kedrowski received a visiting research chair position in the category of Public Policy: Health, Indigenous Populations, Media and Education at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She will spend the spring 2010 semester researching women’s health in Canada, primarily the breast cancer and breastfeeding activists’ movements within the country.
“Both of these movements have gained ground in Canada and both initiated in Montreal,” said Kedrowski, whose research in health and education policy, particularly breastfeeding rights and breast cancer, for which she published books in 2008 and 2007, respectively, helped solidify her selection.
Currently, Kedrowski is working on trip logistics, including finding a place to live and exploring the options of enrolling her two children, ages 10 and 12, in Montreal schools. Her goal, once in Montreal, is to reach out to activists and interview as many as possible, as well as visit area archives.