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4/20/2006 Linfield student earns Fulbright award

McMINNVILLE – Linfield College senior Holly Brause of Astoria will spend next year teaching in Uruguay after earning a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.

Brause, the daughter of Katherine Kahl and Mark Brause of Astoria and a 2002 graduate of Astoria High School, will earn a bachelor's degree in anthropology and minors in Spanish and Latin American studies from Linfield during commencement exercises Sunday, May 28.

Brause will spend nine months teaching English and collecting oral histories of Uruguayan people. She said she was inspired to apply because the program combined her two interests, teaching and anthropology. In addition, she was surprised to find how little information was available on Uruguay when she researched her application.

"It was hard to find anything about how daily life is for Uruguayans, about how they live or what is important to them," said Brause.

To help answer these questions, Brause will spend four months in the capital, Montevideo, and four months in a rural location to sample a wide variety of people. Brause added that the teaching assistantship is a complement not only to her interests, but to her future goals as well. She plans to earn a master's degree in education and teach high school social sciences and English language learners. She said her Linfield anthropology classes and her study abroad experience in Oaxaca, Mexico, in spring 2004 have prepared her well for her trip.

"It increased my cross-cultural competence," Brause said of her time in Mexico. "It eased me into being in another culture, speaking another language and traveling around."

Joel Marrant, Linfield professor of anthropology and Brause's adviser, said that Brause is an ideal fit for the program. A Fulbright scholar himself, Marrant said Brause embodied what the commission was looking for.

"They were looking for well-rounded human beings who are able to put themselves in other contexts and not just survive, but thrive," said Marrant. "I'm not surprised at all that she got it."

He added that Brause's oral history project of Uruguayans reflects her personal investment in other cultures. "She wanted to produce a document that can help Uruguayans build community," said Marrant. "That selflessness is such a part of her character."

This is the first year the teaching assistantship has been offered in Uruguay, and Brause is one of five students nationwide selected for the program. She is the 11th Linfield student to win a Fulbright Award since 1999, according to Deborah Olsen, Linfield's Fulbright adviser. She is also the third winner from the Linfield Sociology/Anthropology Department.