Fulbright Recipient's Brazilian Research Will Guide Classroom Conversation

Patricia Hamlen spent four weeks in Brazil this summer touring universities, talking with educators and students, participating in cultural events and dialoguing with local residents as one of 15 educator participants in a Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad program.

Now back at Harper College, the Associate Professor of Anthropology is armed with firsthand accounts of the cultural, economic and social aspects of Brazilian life - material she says she'll relay to Harper students in her anthropology classrooms.

"I originally knew so little about Brazil, but the trip's focus on global community, creativity and collaboration tied directly into topics we always cover in class," says Hamlen, who covers a unit on emerging nations in her cultural anthropology course. She hopes her personal stories about Brazil will help her students better relate to the concepts she teaches in class.

"It's so important for students to explore how they fit into the world, and to know how they may need to evolve," she says. "Being exposed to different cultures breeds tolerance and appreciation, and there are many things we can learn from Brazil as a country."

Hamlen is Harper's second Fulbright recipient in as many years; International Student Coordinator Jill Izumikawa received a Fulbright grant to spend two weeks in Korea in 2010.

"Experiences like this are life-changing, both for the faculty and for the students," Hamlen says. "It will make a huge difference that I can now say, 'I have been there and seen this.'"

Hamlen is a Harper alumna who later earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in anthropology from Northern Illinois University. She began teaching fulltime at Harper in 2011, and has accompanied students on excursions to Peru and across the world


CONTACT: Erin Brooks