Butler University senior Caleb Hamman received a 2011-12 Fulbright Foundation Student Scholarship to the United Kingdom for one year of study and research in Northern Ireland.
The Fulbright Foundation, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, was established in 1946 in a congressional bill by Senator J. William Fulbright.
According the scholarship’s website, the grant is given to fund “the promotion of international good will through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture and science.”
The program is now the largest U.S. exchange program, awarding approximately 1,500 grants a year for students and young professionals undertaking international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching and teaching in elementary and secondary schools in more than 155 countries worldwide.
Hamman, a double major in political science and philosophy, will complete a one-year master’s degree in Irish studies at the Queen’s University Belfast starting next fall. He said his goal is to study youth and peace building in Northern Ireland.
“I saw a poster for the Fulbright Scholarship in Jordan Hall and, in addition to applying for graduate schools, thought, ‘Why not apply for scholarships too,’” Hamman said.
Hamman said he became interested in peace studies after taking a course his sophomore year. He continued to take more classes in the field and eventually decided to write his senior honors thesis proposal on youth and peace studies. He traveled to Israel and the occupied Pakistan territories to do related field research last summer.
Hamman said the chance to do an extended field study in another place is an exciting and incredible opportunity for someone his age.
“A year of doing field work and research in a place I haven’t been before, that’s a great learning experience,” he said. “I have a lot to learn about Northern Ireland.”
Hamman said the opportunity to study in Northern Ireland will be a great building block for his goal to one day become a university professor.
“For me, the Fulbright program puts me on a trajectory for future study and research in political science and peace studies,” he said.
Hamman has already been accepted into the joint political science and peace studies Ph.D. program at the Kroc Institute, located at the University of Notre Dame.
The program is a six-year research oriented program designed to raise “awareness of the need for more rigorous interdisciplinary study of peace and war and for deeper understanding of how peace building can address political, ethnic and religious violence,” according to kroc.nd.edu.
Hamman said the institute is deferring his admittance for a year so that he is able to complete his Fulbright program.
Hamman credits professor Siobhan McEvoy-Levy and Associate Director of High Achieving Students Mariangela Maguire, without whom he said he would have never even applied or won this scholarship. He said he also credits the university for the opportunities and education he has been offered.