June 29, 2011
The African Studies Program and the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships Program (FLAS) have awarded a fellowship to Shawnee State University's Assistant Professor and Director of the Teaching and Learning Center Shannon Lawson.
The FLAS program provides grants to a select number of public and private institutions of higher education and since its inception as part of the Title VI, National Defense Education Act of 1958 and now part of the Title VI, Higher Education Act of 1965, has produced a uniquely qualified cadre of modern foreign language experts.
The award covers the cost of tuition, the quarterly general fee and carries a $15,000 stipend for the academic year. The goals of the fellowship are to assist in the development of knowledge, resources, and trained personnel for modern foreign language and area of international studies; to foster foreign language acquisition and fluency; and to develop a domestic pool of international experts to meet national needs.
Lawson is in her third year of a doctoral program at Ohio University in communications with a focus on rhetoric and public culture. She received her undergraduate bachelor's degree in South Africa.
"I am hoping to go back to Africa," Lawson said. "The language study will help me in rhetorical performance and narrative storytelling in ceremonies."
Most of the ceremonies are performed in the local languages and the study of isiZulu language will help her, she said.
Lawson is returning to Rwanda, Africa, this summer to do volunteer work helping to build a school and teach.