A passion for promoting intercultural understanding drove a Gettysburg College graduate to study Arabic, both in America and abroad. Another Gettysburg grad is focusing on microscopic nanoparticles to help make artificial joints safer for patients.
Both are among this year’s recipients of prestigious grants from the U.S. Department of State's Fulbright Program, which supports research, learning, and teaching in more than 155 countries worldwide.
After Navdeep Sokhey ’11 and her family emigrated from Thailand to the United States, she quickly realized that language is “a key to comprehending fully a people’s perception of the world. I experienced this process first by learning English and living in America.” She began studying Arabic at Gettysburg and dove deeper during two study-abroad semesters in Egypt. She earned a Critical Language Scholarship for study in Tunisia last summer, but the political instability of the “Arab Spring” led her to the Middlebury Summer Language Institute in California instead.
The Fulbright grant will permit her to study at the Center for Arabic Studies Abroad (CASA) in Cairo. “It is a priceless chance for dialogue — in Arabic — with Egyptians and other Arabs I will encounter,” thereby “dispelling false stereotypes and misunderstanding by all parties involved.”