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Becoming part of the global community yields Fulbright for WCSU student

For Ashley Hyde her intellectual curiosity, imagination and creativity were piqued as an undergraduate student at Western, especially in her social sciences courses with Dr. Rob Whittemore and political science courses with Dr. Chris Kukk. From her initial major in biology to core courses in anthropology and courses in international relations, Ashley was able to develop a research project that was likely one of the best proposals Fulbright received. The knowledge and confidence that she gained as a student helped shape her desire to help others, but it was a trip to Cape Verde in 2009 that solidified her decision to make a change in the world.

As part of the trip, sponsored by the Humanitarian Travel Club, Hyde took part in assisting with medical aid, tutoring students and helping deportees reintegrate into society. “That trip really spurred my interest there. There are an increasing number of people being deported from the United States,” Hyde said. “Housing and employment are a problem and there is a huge cultural issue, a stigma, with being a deportee. No one in the community wants to help them.”

Her plans to help others earned Hyde a Fulbright scholarship in January. In the fall, she will move to Jamaica for a year to conduct research on alternative methods of integration for deportees. At the end of the year after her study is completed, Hyde will earn a Master of Science in public health or international relations from the University of West Indies, which will advise and oversee her project.

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Ashley Hyde '09 became the second Western student to obtain a Fulbright Scholarship.