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UAlbany Doctoral Student Travels to Namibia as Fulbright Scholar

Grad student will research African country's liberation struggle

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

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Doctoral student David Jones, Department of History

Jones will conduct extensive oral interviews with participants from the liberation struggle, which ended in 1990 when Namibia gained its independence from South African rule. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 20, 2009) -- University at Albany doctoral student David Jones, Department of History, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to research the liberation struggles in Namibia during the 1970s and 1980s. Jones is one of more than 1,450 U.S. students who will travel abroad for the 2008-2009 academic year.

"We are proud David has been selected to be part of this elite group of scholars," said Interim President George M. Philip. "David's work will help advance the understanding of critical global issues. "

Jones will conduct extensive oral interviews with participants from the liberation struggle, which ended in 1990 when Namibia gained its independence from South African rule. Jones will be continuing research he began with a trip to the country in 2006.

"Through my research, I hope to better understand the power dynamics within liberation movements, particularly the ways in which groups contesting for control over the state work both through and against older institutions," said Jones.

During his 10-month stay, Jones will also receive some basic instruction in Oshiwambo, a cluster of several closely related languages spoken by more than half of the people in Namibia.

Jones received his master's degree in U.S. history from UAlbany in 2007. For his doctorate, Jones is specializing in global and comparative history with an emphasis on African history. 

The Fulbright Program, America's flagship international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has provided approximately 286,500 people -- 108,160 Americans who have studied, taught or researched abroad and 178,340 students, scholars and teachers from other countries who have engaged in similar activities in the United States -- with the opportunity to observe each others' political, economic, educational and cultural institutions, to exchange ideas and to embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world's inhabitants.

Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

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Educationally and culturally, the University at Albany-SUNY puts "The World Within Reach" for its 18,000 students. An internationally recognized research university with 58 undergraduate majors and 128 graduate degree programs, UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as public policy, nanotechnology and criminal justice. With a curriculum enhanced by 300 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers. For more information about this globally ranked University, visit www.albany.edu. For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit www.albany.edu/news/experts.shtml.

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