Knox College Faculty Receive Prestigious Fulbright Scholar Fellowships

Stuart Allison, Amy Singer awarded fellowships for international research

April 19, 2010

For the second year in a row, the United States Department of State has awarded prestigious Fulbright Scholar fellowships to members of the Knox College faculty, to conduct international teaching and research.

Stuart Allison, professor of biology, will travel to the United Kingdom starting in the fall of 2010 to compare ecological restoration practices in Europe and the United States.

Amy Singer, assistant professor of anthropology and sociology, will work in Indonesia on a study of the global flow of agricultural commodities and cultural markets.

Stuart AllisonAssistant Professor of Music Jeremy Day-O'Connell and Professor of Political Science Karen Kampwirth received Fulbright Scholar grants in 2009-10. Day-O'Connell will return to Scotland later this year to complete his research on music and language. Kampwirth taught in last fall in Argentina. In recent years, Knox has been among the top liberal arts colleges for faculty and students receiving Fulbright grants for international research and teaching.

Stuart Allison's project will take him to Cranfield University in England to collaborate with Professor Jim Harris, an internationally recognized expert in ecological restoration. "My research is a comparative examination of restoration practices in North America and Europe," Allison said.

"At meetings of the Society for Ecological Restoration, I've met scientists from all over the world, and I noticed that Europeans talk about ecological restoration differently from North Americans.

Amy Singer"We tend to think about restoring ecosystems to conditions that existed prior to the arrival of European settlers. But in Europe, they have a much longer history of human habitation and intensive land use, so they have different definitions for what's called the 'reference ecosystem' -- the conditions that the restoration will create."

Amy Singer's work will focus on two distinctive Indonesian foods -- Balinese sea salt and Javanese cashews. "These foods connect the productive labor of farmers in Indonesia, and the consumptive desires of people who live elsewhere," Singer said.

"My research looks at the process by which foods are grown and harvested and the processes by which certain foods are transformed into high status commodities sold in the West.

"In the end, I hope that both Indonesians and Americans will understand more about how ideas about value, taste, and power are embedded in the foods we grow, sell, and consume."

During 2009, Kampwirth taught and studied Central American feminism and anti-feminism at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, while Day-O'Connell did research at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, in cross-cultural similarities of sing-song phrases and the evolutionary origins of music and language.

In 2009 Knox College was ranked as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation for Fulbright Scholar grants awarded to faculty during 2009-2010, in survey data published by the Chronicle of Higher Education. In 2008, Knox was ranked in the top 50 liberal arts colleges in the number of graduating seniors who had received Fulbright Fellowships for international teaching and study. Since the Fulbright program was created in the 1950s, ten Knox College faculty, 27 Knox students and four Knox alumni have received Fulbright grants for teaching and research outside the United States.

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES). The nation's foremost international exchange program, it sends American scholars and professionals to approximately 125 countries, where they teach, lecture and conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields. Since its inception in 1946, the program has provided more than 286,000 participants from over 155 countries with the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, and exchange ideas about shared international concerns.

Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 47 states and 48 countries. Knox's 'Old Main' is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.