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5/24/2006 Three Linfield students receive Fulbright Awards

McMINNVILLE – Three Linfield College seniors will spend next year teaching and studying in other countries after earning awards from the Fulbright Commission.

Holly Brause of Astoria will spend next year teaching in Uruguay and Rachyl Stupor of Dundee will teach in Chile after both earned Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships. Kari Blankenship of McMinnville will spend next year working at the Institut Pasteur in Tunisia conducting research on leishmaniasis, an infection caused by a parasite.

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. 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.

Stupor, the daughter of Stanley and Teresa Stupor of Dundee, is a 2002 graduate of Newberg High School and will earn a bachelor's degree in creative writing with a minor in Spanish this month. She will work with students learning English in a university in Chile from February to November 2007. In addition to teaching, Stupor will start a bilingual literary discussion group and poetry workshop at the university with the goal of publishing student work.

Stupor studied abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico, and has continued to utilize her knowledge of both Spanish and Mexican cultures in the McMinnville community. She teaches ESL at Chemeketa Community College and volunteers at Duniway Middle School.

Blankenship, the daughter of Harold and Roxanne Blankenship of McMinnville, is a 2002 graduate of McMinnville High School and will earn degrees in French and biology this month. She will spend next year working at the Institut Pasteur in Tunis-Belvédère, Tunisia, a predominantly French-speaking region in North Africa. She will research leishmaniasis, an infection spread by sandflies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 12 million people around the world are affected by some form of the disease, which can attack skin, mucous membranes or internal organs. Blankenship will analyze the role of specific blood cells drawn from afflicted patients and determine their role in the body's immune response to the parasite.

For Blankenship, who is fluent in French, the year represents an opportunity to pursue her love of language, along with science. She will arrive in Tunisia two months prior to beginning her research project to take part in an intensive study of the Arabic language, part of Fulbright's new Language Training Initiative. Blankenship began studying French at age 9 and since then she has also explored portions of Greek, Arabic, Russian, Swedish and Portuguese. As a Linfield student, she was recently recognized for outstanding scholastic achievement and continuing interest in the study of a second language and culture by the Confederation in Oregon for Language Teaching.

Study abroad is no new experience for Blankenship. She has lived abroad twice, once in Belgium and once in France, and she understands the challenges of adapting to new cultures. Still, she remains somewhat apprehensive of being a single, young, American woman living in a Muslim country.

Thirteen Linfield students have won Fulbright awards since 1999, according to Deborah Olsen, Linfield's Fulbright adviser. Worldwide, more than 1,200 scholarships were awarded this year out of a pool of 5,600 candidates.