Whitney Bennett

Whitney recently won a Fulbright scholarship (2011) to teach English in Turkey.

Working in libraries for almost six years has allowed me to gain valuable people skills and a strong work ethic. I have learned how to effectively navigate my way through databases, how to locate materials in the library, how to operate microform machines, and, in turn, how to teach this information to others. I intend to apply the knowledge and skills I have acquired through my library work to my position as a Fulbright ETA.

The honors program and anthropology department have both greatly prepared me for the Fulbright program. As relatively small departments, both have been able to offer more individualized attention than I encountered in other, larger programs. This commitment helped me to pursue more than I might have otherwise. I may not have even applied for a Fulbright ETA if it had not been for the encouragement of one of my anthropology professors.

The anthropology department allowed me to enhance my education through an internship and in-depth research. I was able to complete an internship at a local refugee resettlement agency that gave me hands-on experience working with individuals of other cultures. Through the anthropology and honors departments, I was able to complete a senior honors thesis regarding ethnicity in Turkey. The overall focus of the anthropology department on critical thinking and writing skills has prepared me to instruct others in the English language. Moreover, the field of anthropology's emphasis on understanding cultures other than one's own has equipped me with the skills I need to travel to a foreign country.

I chose to apply for a Fulbright for the opportunity to travel outside the country to help others for an extended amount of time. The Fulbright program also interested me due to the prestige of the program and all the benefits it provides.

I am most looking forward to working with and learning from Turkish university students. I am also looking forward to learning the Turkish language, deepening my understanding of Turkish society.

Upon the completion of my Fulbright grant in summer 2012, I plan to complete a yearlong AmeriCorps VISTA position. This will allow me to have time to become acclimated back to the US before beginning graduate school in 2013.

I plan to obtain my masters in either cross-cultural psychology or cultural anthropology and to work with the refugee and international population either in a clinical or library setting.

My interest in Turkey began during my junior year in high school when a foreign exchange student from Istanbul, named Ayse, became one of my new classmates. I was finally able to see Turkey for myself last summer with help from the university's study abroad office and the KIIS program. Taking this trip to Turkey and my long interest in the country helped me in crafting my Fulbright application.