Knox Fulbright Scholar travels to Senegal

From The Register Mail:

When Karima Daoudi applied for a Fulbright-MTVU Scholarship to go to New Zealand in 2008, she was rejected.

“I was disappointed but not discouraged,” said Daoudi, 22, who was in her junior year at Knox College when she applied.

Of the thousands of applicants who applied for the MTVU Fulbright that year, only five were selected. Those approved for the program would travel to different countries to conduct research on a project of their own design. As a music-centered extension of the traditional Fulbright scholarship, projects approved for the MTVU Fulbright focus on the power of music to bridge gaps between cultures.

The Fulbright program, which is primarily funded by Congress, has given more than 300,000 grants to individual projects since its inception. The program was formed in 1946 under legislation introduced by former Arkansas Sen. J. William Fulbright as an international exchange program intended to promote understanding between the U.S. and other countries.

Applicants for the 2010 MTVU Fulbright were nominated by a Blue Ribbon panel of recording artists and approved by the presidentially appointed, 12-member J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, according to Tony Claudino of the Institute for International Education.

This year’s MTVU judges were Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips and Beth Ditto of Gossip.

Though she was not approved in 2008, Daoudi wouldn’t give up.

The following year, she re-applied for the program, this time planning to travel to Senegal in western Africa to study the hip-hop scene of the capital city of Dakar and its relationship with the more traditional musical form of “griot” storytelling.