MISSOULA – Margaret Schaefers, a 2019 graduate of the University of Montana’s World Languages and Cultures department, has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to study in Uruguay during the 2020-21 academic year.
Schaefers, who majored in Spanish, is one of six former and current UM students to receive a Fulbright Scholarship this year. Her research project in South America will investigate factors that lead to gender disparity in the classroom and how these gender disparities affect girls’ educational experience.
“Uruguay is an excellent country to conduct this research, as gender equality efforts have already taken root, which will provide a great opportunity to observe and evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies being employed,” she said. “I feel incredibly grateful and so excited to have the opportunity to teach, learn, eat and research in a country as culturally rich and progressive as Uruguay.”
Schaefers completed a Teaching English to Speakers of Others Languages (TESOL) during her time at UM. After graduation, she used this certification to teach English in the Basque Country of Spain.
A native of Eugene, Oregon, she is the daughter of Bill and Sherry Schaefers.
“In the future I would like to learn more about progressive education and education policy and use this knowledge with non-governmental or governmental organizations such as the Learning Policy Institute or the United Nations Girls' Education Initiative.,” Schaefers said.
She and the other recipients continue UM’s legacy of securing Fulbright Scholarships, said Clint Walker, the UM Fulbright adviser and an associate professor of Russian.
“We had a 50% success rate this year,” Walker said. “This percentage is well above the national average and speaks to the high quality of our UM applicants for Fulbrights.”
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide.
For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit https://us.fulbrightonline.org/.