URBANA, Ill. – Brian Waters, of Liberty, Illinois, was awarded a Fulbright grant to conduct research in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Waters earned a bachelor’s degree in transnational studies from Westminster College. At Illinois, he is pursuing dual master’s degrees in urban planning and agricultural and consumer economics.
Building on a previous summer internship with a local organization in Freetown, Waters will study the cultural and practical concerns that guide how residents of two informal settlements obtain water. His findings aim to help researchers and policymakers to better understand the daily community-level dynamics of water distribution.
Waters previously taught English in China, worked in South Korea and studied in Turkey. After completing his degrees, Waters said he plans to pursue a career that will allow him to research and develop solutions to some of the developing world’s most pressing issues.
The Fulbright program is jointly administered at Illinois by the National and International Scholarships Program, which works with undergraduates and recent alumni, and the Graduate College Office of External Fellowships, which supports graduate students. Additionally, myriad Illinois faculty members and staff with geographic and programmatic expertise review student application materials and conduct candidate interviews.
“International educational exchange has been dealt quite a blow by COVID-19, but Fulbright is committed to its mission of promoting cross-cultural immersion when it is safe to do so,” said Ken Vickery, the director of fellowships in the Graduate College. “Once that time arrives, this year’s Fulbright scholars will be at the forefront, venturing into countries around the globe and operating as key witnesses to how the world is changing as a result of the pandemic. I send my congratulations to perhaps the most important cohort of Fulbright grantees ever.”
Applications are open for students interested in pursuing studies, fine arts, research or English teaching assistantships under the Fulbright for the 2021-22 academic year.
For a full list of 2020 Illinois Fulbright recipients, read more from the Illinois News Bureau.