Professor to research in Australia through Fulbright

Program allows students, faculty to teach, research abroad

By on March 30, 2016

 

haldane_headshotHeadshot courtesy of Quinnipiac University

Hillary Haldane, associate professor of anthropology and director of the anthropology program, is taking her research to a different level through the Fulbright Program.

Haldane will travel to Australia from February through May 2017 to do research on domestic violence in indigenous communities.

The Fulbright program is funded by the State Department and its purpose is to permit U.S. citizen students and teachers to participate graduate study, conduct advanced research, and teach in universities, secondary schools and elementary schools, according to its website.

However, Haldane said it is possible for a non-U.S. citizen to have a Fulbright to the United States in order to study.

Mary Paddock, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said that for a student looking to pursue the program, he or she must have a bachelor’s degree, but not a doctorate.

Students would study an area or teach English for an academic year.

Haldane’s Fulbright is one for scholars. She will travel to Australia and mainly study how indigenous communities are implementing the new Australian national plan to end family and domestic violence.

“I’m interested in how is it that local indigenous communities are able to implement this plan?” Haldane said. “And to see if there are gaps in service and delivery at the state and federal level [that] were considered, particularly for indigenous communities.”

According to Haldane, the indigenous communities are often under-resourced and marginalized due to the history of racism in the country.

She picked Australia because she has done almost 20 years of research on indigenous issues around violence in New Zealand. Since New Zealand neighbors Australia, this is an opportunity for Haldane to compare how another settler society (where white colonists came and took over) deals with issues of violence generally.

“Australia, like New Zealand, has national policies that try to address the experiences of indigenous people, but they are still marginalized and racism is an everyday fact of life,” Haldane said.

Violence against women fascinates Haldane because it is a widespread problem.

“It cuts across cultures, it cuts across ethnic groups, and it affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds. It is an entirely human-generated problem, which means that as humans, we should be able to solve it,” Haldane said. “There is no reason for people to abuse their wives, daughters, and girlfriends. We should be able to stop it.”

Haldane believes that America and other countries have a long ways to go in terms of equality for all. Therefore, she believes that it is important for women to have leadership positions, such as in roles of government, to lessen the violence.

“Cross-culturally, you tend to find fewer instances of violence against women in cultures that are more egalitarian, where the women elders are as revered as the male elders,” Haldane said.

Furthermore, Haldane believes that Australia can teach America a lot. The population there has tried innovative ways of tackling the problem of violence in their communities.

She adds that as Americans, we tend to be arrogant and think that how we approach conflicts is the best.

The Fulbright shatters that mentality quite a bit.

“The Fulbright really forces you to question your assumptions about how you do things in your own country,” Haldane said. “I think everyone should do it.”

Students have jumped on this opportunity. In fact, a recent student grantee from Quinnipiac got to teach English in Jordan and found the experience to be rewarding, according to Paddock.

The student had never been a teacher before so it was a learning experience. However, he did know Arabic (because of his time at Quinnipiac) and that was helpful. He traveled within Jordan, worked with refugees, and got to know many people in the various regions of the country.

For students interested in the program, Paddock holds information sessions every semester. She talks about the intense application that involves letters of recommendation and two statements: a personal statement and a grant purpose statement.

The statements allow applicants to think about what kind of preparation they have had for what they are proposing to do through the program. In addition, the statements emphasize what applicants plan to do after the Fulbright so it is clear that the Fulbright is one point in the trajectory of applicants’ field(s).

If you apply through Quinnipiac, there is an interview process as well. Paddock said that the interview aspect is not a screening process, but more about helping the students understand their plans in order to incorporate such ideas into their proposal.

According to Paddock, a great aspect of the Fulbright is that you can keep re-applying to the program as long as you do not have a doctorate.

“I really believe in this opportunity,” Paddock said. “Quinnipiac students should know what it is and they should have access to it.”

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