Two Rutgers-Newark Graduate Students Awarded Fulbright Awards For International Study

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Two recent Rutgers University, Newark, graduates have been awarded Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarships for studies abroad this coming academic year. The recipients are Mariann J. VanDevere of Roselle, N.J., and Ephen Glenn Colter, of New York, N.Y., both May 2011 graduates of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at Rutgers University in Newark.

VanDevere has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship to teach English in Johannesburg, South Africa. VanDevere, who was a part-time lecturer at Rutgers-Newark as well as a student, plans to participate in community projects such as literacy programs in her host country. “I hope that I can teach people about my culture as well as offer them my knowledge and experience in the field of education,” she says. “I hope to gain a stronger understanding of teaching methodology as well as knowledge of South African history and culture.” VanDevere also hopes to study the Zulu language and holistic medicine in her spare time.

Colter has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship in creative writing to work on his new novel set in Brazil. Like his good friend VanDevere, he was a part-time lecturer at R-N as well as a student. Colter will leave for Salvador, Brazil, in September and officially begin his nine-month grant next March. The Dayton, Ohio, native will study queer history at the Universidade Federal do Recôncavo da Bahia and give one guest lecture in Portuguese. He also will teach English to disenfranchised youth in the favelas, or shantytowns, a volunteer position that will allow him “to give back to the community of Bahia in the spirit of cultural exchange.”

They are among more than 1,500 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2010-2011 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education, and athletics. Forty Fulbright alumni from 11 countries have been awarded the Nobel Prize, and 75 alumni have received Pulitzer Prizes.

The Fulbright Program, the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Operating in over 155 countries worldwide, it was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. Since its inception, the program has given approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.

For further information: or contact James A. Lawrence, Office of Academic Exchange Programs, 202-632-3241 or