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Isaac Webb – Fulbright Research Grant to Ukraine

Name: Isaac D. Webb

Class Year: 2013

Hometown: Waterville, Maine

Major(s): History, Russian Area Studies

Opportunity and Year: Fulbright Program for U.S. Students, 2013-14

Project Summary: A study of the legacy of Soviet disability policy and its implications for human rights for the disabled in contemporary Ukraine.

How did W&L prepare you for this opportunity? W&L provided numerous opportunities for international study and travel, which gave me the experience and skills necessary to apply for a competitive national fellowship. Professor Bidlack and Professor Brodsky fundamentally shaped my understanding of Russia and Eastern Europe and gave me the tools necessary to succeed during my time there.

Why did you apply for this opportunity? The literature on the disabled in the Soviet and post-Soviet Ukraine remains severely underdeveloped. I hope that my study of disability will shed light on the nature of human rights in the Soviet Union, and provide insights into the trajectory of human rights in post-Soviet Eastern Europe.

Post-graduation Plans: I plan to continue to study and advocate human rights – how exactly I will do so remains to be seen. I hope that living in Ukraine on a Fulbright will both develop my knowledge of Eastern Europe and present opportunities for further research or employment after the conclusion of the grant.

Extracurricular Involvement:

Omicron Delta Kappa; Overall Student Coordinator of the “Volunteer Venture Pre-Orientation Program; ” Campus Kitchens Leadership Team; Recruitment Chair of Lambda Chi Alpha; Traveller Safe-Ride Program Employee; Student Representative on the International Education Committee; Campus Kitchen Liaison to the Campus Garden.

Off-campus Experience:

Project Manager, George C. Marshall Foundation in Lexington, Virginia (2013); Project Coordinator at the International Memorial Society in Moscow, Russia (2012), Study abroad through Middlebury College’s C.V. Starr School in Moscow, Russia (2012), U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholar in Ufa, Russia (2011).

Research Experience:

I completed a History Honors Thesis on the “Action Group to Defend the Rights of the Disabled in the USSR” (2012-2013); I researched disabled Soviet human rights activists as a Project Manager at the International Memorial Society in Moscow, Russia (2012); as a George C. Marshall Undergraduate Scholar, I completed a research project on disabled World War II veterans living in Moscow during and after the war (2011-2012).

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