Andersen selected for Fulbright scholarship to Brazil

Lindsey Andersen (Photo by Craig Chandler, University Communications)
Lindsey Andersen (Photo by Craig Chandler, University Communications)

Lindsey Andersen, a political science and international studies major, has been named a Fulbright Scholar. The Omaha native plans to use her Fulbright to travel to São Paulo, Brazil, for nine months in 2013 to research the role of grassroots human rights movements in Brazil’s transitional justice efforts.

Because her Fulbright award will not be applicable until March 2013, Andersen will have almost an entire year after graduating in May 2012 to get started on her career before she travels to Brazil.

“I hope to have an internship in Washington, D.C., at an NGO or think tank during this time,” Andersen said.

Currently a member of Delta Gamma sorority, Andersen is a member of the Nebraskan Human Resources Institute, the Honors Program, Order of Omega Greek Honor Society, Arts and Sciences Student Advisory Board and UCARE, the Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experiences program.

For her UCARE project, Andersen is working with political science professor Patrice McMahon researching transitional justice.

“Lindsey is a remarkably curious, positive and hardworking student,” said McMahon. “She is focused and driven, but she doesn’t forget to take advantage of opportunities and have fun.” Andersen plans to use the research to prepare her senior thesis titled “Pioneers, Laggards, and Outliers: The Timing of Transitional Justice in Latin America.”

Andersen’s first experience abroad was a summer trip to Xi’an, China, to study Chinese history, culture, and politics.

“A couple of years ago I was asked to nominate students from UNL to be ambassadors for our university and country for a trip to China,” said McMahon. “The political science department has many good students, but I immediately thought of Lindsey because she combines both a high IQ and EQ (emotional intelligence).”

The trip influenced her basic foundation on how she views global issues. The trip was so influential that Andersen then spent a semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina, studying human rights and Latin American history and politics. While in Argentina, Andersen worked at the Center for Genocide Studies, where she gained valuable time in a real-life atmosphere. Her minors are in Spanish and human rights.

“The experience not only helped me become a fluent Spanish speaker, but it also provided me with my first experience studying human rights — a topic I became fascinated with and pursued through my human rights minor, UCARE, and now my thesis,” she said.

The Fulbright Program, established in 1946 and funded by the U.S. Department of State, is designed to foster understanding between the United States and other countries. The U.S. Student Fulbright program gives recent graduates, graduate students and young professionals the opportunity to conduct research, study or teach in one of the 155 countries that the program operates. The Fulbright program is the flagship international education program sponsored by the U.S. government. About 8,000 grants are awarded annually, and about 1,600 of those grants are awarded to U.S. students.

Andersen’s Fulbright is the first of several awarded to UNL students this spring.

— Haley Whisennand, Honors Program