Fellowship provides global research opportunites

By: Justin Worthing ~Staff Writer~

Xavier’s Brueggeman Center for Dialogue is now accepting applications for the 2015-2016 Winter-Cohen Family Brueggeman Fellows Program, an independently-organized, funded international research trip for eight to 10 students. Applications will be accepted until March 23, and the list of new Fellows will be announced during the week of April 13.

Students who apply must write a two-page statement explaining why they want to become a Brueggeman Fellow and what type of research they want to conduct. Students must also include some ideas about where they would want to travel, as well as their official transcript and two Xavier faculty references.
If accepted, Fellows will spend one school year organizing their trip and developing the network they will use in their travels. They must plan where they will stay each night, what transportation they will use and what they will do if sick, among other factors.

Each Fellow receives $3,000 for their research and they must produce a final project, such as a book, a video presentation or an art project, in the year after their travels.

“Each student must plan the entire trip and travel into what are always challenging and often difficult situations around the world without the safety net of going with an established study abroad program or with a group of students and faculty,” Dr. Janis Buchanan, executive director of the Brueggeman Center, said. “These are intense immersion experiences and almost always life-changing for the students.”

The program originally began in 2005 as a way for students to organize research projects related to globalization, but it began without a travelling component WriterWithin the first year, the format was changed to include an immersion experience.

“Within that first year, I determined that if I wanted students to globalize their thinking and acting, we should send them on immersion trips,” Buchanan said. “It is not enough to sit at home and discuss the world but to go out and experience it.” Past Fellows have used their Brueggeman research for a variety of purposes, such as guiding the direction of their graduate work and applying for Fulbright Scholarships. Most also keep in touch with one another through a private network, supporting incoming Fellows and promoting each other’s work.
According to Buchanan, the trip is not without its challenges, but the sense of accomplishment gained following the trip is truly worthwhile.

“The year literally transforms the student,” Buchanan said. “Not only do they emerge knowing a research area well but with a new self-confidence because they have taken on and completed something of this scale. They do this for no credit but as an end in itself.”

For more information on the Brueggeman Fellows Program, attend a presentation from 4-6 p.m. on Feb. 20 in Kennedy Auditorium and to learn about the research of last year’s Fellows. For application forms and information, contact the Brueggeman Center at 513-745-3922 or cummins@xavier.edu.