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CCU announces its first Fulbright student grant recipient

March 17, 2017
Peter SeifarthPeter Seifarth (right) and Brantley Ivey in the CCU Theatre production of "Metamorphoses"Peter Seifarth (left) and Roshan Mehta in a show that was performed at the Teatro C'art in Castelfiorentino, Italy.

Peter Seifarth, a senior theatre arts major from Young Harris, Ga., is the first Coastal Carolina University student to receive a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Study/Research Grant from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Seifarth, who is scheduled to graduate from CCU in May 2017, will conduct research on theater in Nepal during the 2017-2018 academic year. He is one of more than 1,900 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research, and provide expertise abroad during the upcoming academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.

Seifarth will spend the next academic year closely observing Kathmandu’s Theatre Village Company and working alongside his theatrical partner and Nepali collaborator, Roshan Mehta, to research new and effective Nepali forms of creating sociopolitical physical theater for change. He will categorize and classify Nepali theater techniques as well as their western counterparts in order to understand how Nepali theater successfully achieves unified expression while transcending complex communication barriers owing to the country’s many languages and dialects. According to the 2011 census, more than 120 languages are spoken in Nepal.

“We are very proud of Peter and excited to see how his work in Nepal advances our understanding of theater as a mechanism for social change,” said CCU President David A. DeCenzo. “His recognition as the first student Fulbright award winner for Coastal Carolina University is a wonderful milestone and is indicative of our commitment to high-value engagement experiences for our students. Our Fulbright Council and Arts and Humanities Global Experience Program have been working hard to advance Fulbright programming at CCU, and I have been very positively impressed to see how this Fulbright engagement has brought exceptional global resources to our campus and community.”

Five CCU students and one recent alumna went through the mentoring process for this year’s student Fulbright competition. Photographer Maranie Staab, a 2010 CCU graduate, was also named a semifinalist for the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Award.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered at CCU through the Fulbright Council under the coordination of the associate provost for global initiatives, Darla Domke-Damonte, Ph.D., who also serves as CCU’s Fulbright Program adviser. Seifarth’s award comes just ahead of the one-year anniversary of the establishment of the CCU Fulbright Council, which was developed to support a mentoring program to assist interested students in applying for student Fulbright awards, to mentor and advise CCU faculty and staff in applying for Fulbright awards, and to advance Fulbright programming through conferences, hosting outreach lecturers, and bringing scholars in residence to the campus and community.

CCU has 18 current faculty who have been awarded Fulbright grants, including one faculty member currently serving in Madagascar, and 12 more among retired faculty and staff.

Information about Global Initiatives at CCU: Contact Darla Domke-Damonte, associate provost for global initiatives, at 843-349-2129 or ddamonte@coastal.edu or visit Global Initiatives.

About the Fulbright Program: Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 370,000 participants – chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential – with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. More than 1,900 U.S. students, artists and young professionals in more than 100 different fields of study are offered Fulbright Program grants to study, teach English, and conduct research annually. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program operates in more than 140 countries throughout the world. In addition, some 4,000 new foreign Fulbright students and scholars come to the United States annually to study for graduate degrees, conduct research and teach foreign languages. For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit Fulbright.