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Alumna Heads to Middle East on Fulbright Grant
Cristin Burke, '03, was recently awarded a Fulbright Grant and in September she left for Kazakhstan to study how the use of state-controlled energy funds affects national identity. While at BSC, Ms. Burke majored in geography with a concentration in geo-technology. Currently she is working on her masters degree in geography at the University of Kansas, studying in particular the geopolitics of oil and national identity. The trip to Kazakhstan is to conduct the fieldwork for her dissertation.
The 14-month trip will include Russian language courses at Ablai Khan University for the first four months, during which Ms. Burke will be lecturing on geopolitics. Her research, in her own words, "involves looking at the factors that can pull a country apart or create a sense of unity." In particular, she cites the role of state-controlled entities such as the Kazakh National Oil Fund. "I would like to see how people in different regions perceive how the National Oil Fund is being used," she said. "I am curious to see if there are some regions that feel they are excluded --and what factors, such as clans, religion and ethnicity might play a role in regional perceptions."
Last Modified: September 17, 2007