Two Baylor Students Receive Prestigious Fulbright Scholarships

April 19, 2001

Two Baylor University students have been awarded one of the most illustrious scholarships given in the U.S. Holley Ewell, a senior from Chesapeake, Va., and Travis Frampton, a doctoral student from Birmingham, Ala., have received Fulbright Scholarships, which will enable them to study abroad during the 2001-2002 academic year. The scholarships will cover all expenses, including tuition, books, travel, room and board.

"The Fulbright is one of the most prestigious of all academic scholarships," said Dr. Lianne Fridriksson, associate professor of journalism and director of Baylor's Fulbright program. "A student who receives a Fulbright discovers that it provides myriad opportunities, either for future study or future employment. It opens a lot of doors."

Ewell, a music major specializing in vocal performance, will study how politics affected opera in Leipzig, Germany, during the GDR period (1961-1989). She will take courses at the University of Leipzig and also will work with a number of German scholars.

"When I originally decided to apply for the Fulbright I thought I would research different opera houses during the GDR, but then I started thinking about cultural life and politics and the GDR and I decided that would be a more interesting study," Ewell said. "I will be looking at opera scores and interviewing opera composers who wrote during the GDR as well as working with professors who specialize in the politics of the GDR. It will be an interdisciplinary study."

Ewell, who is fluent in German and participated in the Baylor in Germany program, said she was elated to learn she had been chosen as a Fulbright scholar and excited at the prospect of immersing herself in German culture for a year.

"The Fulbright will change my life," she said. "When I first came to Baylor, I thought I would only excel in music, but now I am interested in international affairs. After my year abroad is complete, I will probably pursue a double master's degree in music and foreign affairs or political science."

Frampton, who serves as visiting assistant professor of biblical studies at Hardin-Simmons University, will conduct research in the Netherlands on "Early Dutch Reception of Spinoza's îTheologico-Political Treatise.'" He will be based at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, but he will work with a number of Spinoza scholars from other universities.

"Spinoza was the first person to question Mosiac authorship of the Pentateuch, and I will evaluate how different religious groups ï Jews, Catholics, Protestants and radical reform groups ï received Spinoza's philosophical work," Frampton said. "Most of the groups rejected it, but the Dutch Mennonites accepted it. So partly I will study why the Dutch Mennonites found Spinoza's work useful and gave it a positive reading."

Originally from Mobile and Birmingham, Ala., Frampton received his bachelor's degree from Samford University, his master's degree from Yale University and is completing his doctorate in Baylor's department of religion. The research he conducts as a Fulbright scholar will be published in his doctoral dissertation.

"I was ecstatic when I learned I had received a Fulbright scholarship, and at the same time I was honored to know that I will represent two American institutions in Baylor and Hardin-Simmons when I travel abroad," he said. "I hope to form close ties and connections with Dutch biblical scholars. That relationship is not very strong right now."

The U.S. Congress created the Fulbright Program in 1946, immediately after World War II, to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. Senator J. William Fulbright, sponsor of the legislation, saw it as a step toward building an alternative to armed conflict. Today the Fulbright Program is the U.S. government's premier scholarship program which sends graduating seniors, graduate students, faculty and professionals to study and conduct research in more than 100 countries.

For more information, contact Fridriksson at 710-6349.

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