Dr. Marie Nazon, an instructor and counselor in the SEEK Department at The City College of New York, has been awarded a 2010-2011 Fulbright research grant to the African Regional Research Program. She is spending the year in Dakar, Senegal, to conduct a research study titled, “Women Helping Women: Understanding the role of empowerment in Women Self-Help Groups in Senegal.”
Professor Nazon is a social worker by profession and one of 13 people to receive the research grant in sub-Saharan Africa for the 2010-2011 academic years. SEEK is a state-funded educational opportunity program that provides a range of services to students with a demonstrated need for academic and financial support. SEEK stands for Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge
“I truly believe that travel is the best education,” she said to explain why she applied for the Fulbright. “When we walk in someone else’s shoes, eat their food, live in their community, listen to their music, it is then that we see that we are more similar than we are different. I am a fervent believer in cross-cultural education and understanding, the Fulbright was a natural path for me.”
In Senegal, Professor Nazon will work with Tostan International, a non-profit community development organization with a focus on women’s empowerment. She said she chose to go to that country because she wanted to be in a French-speaking sub-Saharan country that also had a fairly stable government. Professor Nazon’s 14-year-old daughter is traveling with her, and she really wanted her daughter’s first experience in Africa to be in sub-Saharan Africa, “Where her ancestral roots began,” she added.
Professor Nazon plans to publish her research findings and share them at professional conferences and with the CCNY community. She also wants to advocate for more social workers to apply for Fulbright awards.
About the Fulbright Scholar Program
Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the program’s purpose is to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. Fulbright Scholars are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. Among the thousands of prominent Fulbright Scholars are Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rita Dove and Craig Barrett, Chairman of the Board of Intel Corp.
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