Transylvania alums receive Fulbright honor
Three Transylvania alums were recent recipients of Fulbright program awards and honors to further their educational and professional pursuits.
Ashley Duncan ’05 was awarded a Fulbright Research Grant for 2008-09 for her project, “Exploring the Finnish Model of Farm Animal Welfare,” which is based on the hypothesis that the European Union gives more protection to farm animals than does the United States.
Duncan, a graduate of the University of Louisville Brandeis Law School, is spending nine months in Finland researching the laws, regulations, and court opinions of the European Union and Finland to determine the standard of welfare mandated for farm animals there. By studying in a European Union country that has more extensive laws for farm animals, she hopes to learn about the legislative history, policy, and scientific evidence that influenced the laws. She is conducting field work and interviewing farmers who have been directly affected by recent changes in the laws, with the long term goal of using the information to improve the treatment of farm animals in the U.S.
Duncan’s interest in animal welfare issues was sparked in high school. “From the moment I learned about the treatment of animals raised for food, I knew I had found my life’s calling,” she said. “I became very passionate about the issue and looked for a way to integrate my passion with a career that would allow me to improve the lives of animals.”
Duncan experienced a deepening of her passion at Transylvania, where she majored in anthropology and worked with professor Barbara LoMonaco, who shared her interest in animal welfare issues.
She plans to pursue a career in litigation and would ultimately like to dedicate her practice full-time to animal law.
Brian Epling ’07 was awarded a 2007-08 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and the Korean-American Education Commission to teach English conversation in a secondary school in South Korea.
Epling decided to apply for the Fulbright program after studying in a summer program at Oxford University in England while a student at Transy. Director of study abroad and special programs Kathy Simon suggested Korea.
His Fulbright experience began in July 2007 with a six-week orientation program and 100 hours of Korean language immersion at Kang Won University.
Epling lived in South Korea for one year with a host family, where he spoke mainly Korean and learned about grammar as well as traditional Korean culture.
“I love Korean culture,” he said. “It’s completely unique to Western culture. In Seoul, you find ancient traditions within a modern city.”
His duties included 20 hours a week of class time teaching English to middle school boys under the supervision of a certified Korean teacher. Though Epling had no previous teaching experience, he led the classes and did all of the planning. He says much of his time was spent trying to control the 36-40 boisterous students, but he loved the experience.
In fact, Epling returned to Korea in October 2008 to study Korean full-time. A political science major at Transy, he is interested in international law and also plans to learn Chinese. “Asia is an expanding market,” he said. “The world is looking to China.”
Logan McIntosh ’02 participated in the Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program in June 2008. McIntosh was among 160 educators who spent three weeks in Japan in an effort to promote greater intercultural understanding between Japan and the United States.
McIntosh, a special education teacher at Klondike Lane Elementary School in Louisville, was selected for the honor from a national pool of over 1,700 applicants by a panel of educators.
The group began its visit in Tokyo with a practical orientation to Japanese life and culture and attended meetings with Japanese government officials and educators. They then traveled in groups of 16 to select host cities, where they had direct contact with Japanese teachers and students during visits to primary and secondary schools as well as a teachers college. They also visited cultural sites and local industries.
“The Japanese people were very friendly and welcoming to the American teachers,” McIntosh said. “It was particularly interesting to visit the schools in Japan, which allowed me to compare their instructional strategies and school climates with my own experiences.”
The Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund, based in Tokyo, is sponsored by the government of Japan and was launched in 1997 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the U.S. government Fulbright Program, which has enabled more than 6,000 Japanese citizens to study in the U.S. on Fulbright fellowships for graduate education and research.