Hemlata Mistry of Naperville named Fulbright Scholar
North Central College alumna Hemlata Mistry of Naperville has been named a 2012 Fulbright Scholar and will teach English in South Korea.
Mistry is a 2005 graduate of North Central College who majored in international studies. She is a 2001 graduate of Naperville Central High School.
“I first started researching Korea while I was at College of DuPage because I was fascinated that it remained divided after the Cold War,” she says. “After I transferred to North Central, I continued my research interests while taking East Asian studies classes and participating in an independent study on the Korean peninsula.”
She also embarked on a study abroad exchange to Yonsei University in Seoul. She wrote her honors thesis at North Central College about the inter-Korean diplomatic relationship. After finishing her undergraduate studies, she interned at the British consulate in Chicago and earned a master’s degree at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, where she continued her Korean studies.
“I focused on the dynamics of regional nuclear security diplomacy concerning North Korea and I co-established a Korean-focused student organization,” she says. “I’m especially interested in diplomacy and in promoting an understanding of the culture of Korea because we only hear negative news about North Korea. The ETA program lets you engage students to promote cultural understanding. And I’m looking forward to being in an area outside Seoul.”
Mistry’s Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) includes about $35,000 during her nine-month teaching appointment.
The Fulbright Grant program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and was established in 1946 by the U.S. Congress to “enable the government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” The two main types of Fulbright grants are English Teaching Assistantships—which fund American college graduates to teach English and study languages in countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America—and Full Research Grants, for pursuing international independent research and/or study in a wide range of countries around the world.
Since the program’s inception, some of the nearly 300,000 Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, ambassadors, cabinet ministers and university presidents and have earned numerous other prestigious awards, including 37 Nobel Prizes.
Mistry is the seventh North Central College graduate to become a Fulbright Scholar. In 2009, Claudia Chlebek was awarded a Fulbright Full Research Grant and is studying in Europe. Four North Central students have previously been awarded Fulbright English Teaching Awards: Parker Gadbois in 2011, Rose Raymond in 2004, Jamison Steinke in 1996 and Janet Bernhardy in 1994. North Central alumna Diya Bose, who graduated in 2005 and is a master’s degree candidate at the American University School of International Service in Washington, D.C., was awarded a Fulbright in 2009.
More information on the Fulbright Scholarship can be found at http://us.fulbrightonline.org/home.html. Information about other national prestigious scholarships at North Central College may be found at www.northcentralcollege.edu/x45276.xml.