For immediate release
September 14, 2009
Contact: Rachel Pugh
Washington, D.C. – Georgetown University alumnus Alex Schank (C’08), of Edgewater Park, N.J., was selected by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board to receive a Fulbright award to Jordan where he will research historical portrayals of the Arab Renaissance, or Nahda, in Jordanian textbooks.
"In Jordan, in particular, the Nahda has served as the historical basis for much of the work the country is currently doing to foster an interfaith dialogue among its Muslim and Christian citizens," Alex wrote in his application. "The existing scholarship has been insufficient in examining the role of the Nahda in Jordan’s national narrative, despite the prominence of the movement in national literature and textbooks and its relevance to current interfaith efforts."
At Georgetown, Schank was a columnist for The Hoya and served as managing editor and then chair of the student newspaper’s board of directors. Schank composed a thesis paper on the deterioration of the Syrian-Israeli Armistice Agreement from 1949-1967 as part of his work as a Carroll Fellow. During his senior year he joined Phi Beta Kappa and was inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit Honors Society, in recognition of his academic excellence and commitment to community service.
"Alex Schank is a highly motivated, intelligent, and respectful individual," said Paul Heck, associate professor of Islamic studies at Georgetown University. "His proposed project for Fulbright, on the inter-religious dimensions of the educational curriculum and political discourse in the national imagination of Jordan, is feasible and very appropriate."
Congress established the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board for the purposes of supervising the Fulbright Program and certain programs authorized by the Fulbright-Hays Act and for the purpose of selecting students, scholars, teachers, trainees and other persons to participate in the educational exchange programs. Appointed by the president of the United States, the 12-member Board meets quarterly in Washington. The Board maintains a close relationship with both the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the U.S. Department of State and the executive directors of all the binational Fulbright Commissions. Since its inception more than 30 years ago, nearly 300,000 Fulbrighters have participated in the program. More information is available here: http://fulbright.state.gov/.
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