Stacey K. Sowards – Fulbright

Stacey K. Sowards
University of Texas at El Paso
Fulbright and Fulbright-Hayes to Indonesia
I was awarded a Fulbright for my doctoral dissertation research in 2000-2001, to conduct research on environmental organizations in Indonesia.  My interest in Indonesia started when my parents moved there in 1994, and I traveled to Indonesia several times to visit them until 1997 when they moved back to the US.  Even though I had been to Indonesia a few times, I had not established contacts at universities, which is a very important criterion for both students and faculty.  My initial sponsor was the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, in Jakarta.  I wrote a paper for a class about the economic crisis in Indonesia, which eventually was published in The Indonesian Quarterly, a journal of the CSIS.  My familiarity with CSIS and The Indonesian Quarterly led me to email the director to see if they would sponsor my research project in Indonesia for the Fulbright application, which they did.
My second Fulbright award was actually a Fulbright-Hays, which was for intensive language study in Indonesia.  During the first Fulbright award, I was able to make more university contacts and learn more about the Indonesian educational system as well as foreigners who were studying in Indonesia.  These contacts led to my application for the second award, which I received in 2005.