Willamette Grad Named Fulbright Scholar
Erin Dougherty, who graduated in 2000 cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a double major in politics and history from Willamette University, has been named a Fulbright Scholar for 2003-2004. Established in 1947 and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright program offers opportunities for scholars, professionals and artists to conduct study and research abroad. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards approximately 1,000 grants each year and currently operates in 140 countries worldwide. Dougherty will use the grant to travel to Tromso, Norway, where she will study the Sami, indigenous people who live in the polar regions of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. The unique culture of the nomadic, reindeer-herding Sami has been dramatically altered by political upheavals, especially the Alta conflict of the 1970s. Dougherty's project will provide insight into how the Sami and other indigenous peoples can preserve their way of life.
Since graduating from Willamette, Dougherty served for a year as a Truman Fellow with the National Rural Development Partnership (NRDP) in Washington, D.C., working as the strategy manager and webmaster for the Women in Rural American Task Force. In 2001, she moved to Sitka, AK, as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer with the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. She is currently serving a second year with the Sitka VISTA program as a program coordinator for ANDVSA, a statewide program that helps find pro bono attorneys to represent victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. She's also the pace-setter in Kadulshkx'l, the Sitka Traditional Canoe Club, where she has traveled to remote villages in the Alaskan bush to participate in traditional canoe races, celebrations and food harvests.