Two College of Arts and Sciences alumni have been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Award to continue their research and scholarship. Sydney Harvey, who received her Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy and Film from UMKC in 2016, will study in the United Kingdom; and Marc Reyes, who received his Master of Arts in History from UMKC in 2014, will study in India.
Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has given more than 380,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, professionals and scientists the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in many fields, including 59 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 82 who have received Pulitzer Prizes and 37 who have served as a head of state or government. UMKC students interested in the Fulbright Scholar Program can contact UMKC’s Fulbright Program Advisor Peter Morello.
Sydney Harvey, B.A. ’16
Harvey, currently a Ph.D. philosophy student at the University of Calgary in Canada, has been accepted into a unique master’s program focusing on the connection between philosophy and art. She will study for a year at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. Her Fulbright is sponsored by the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
“This award will not only advance my education but it will also solidify me as a leader in the field of philosophy,” Harvey said. “My focus will be on the interrelationship of consciousness, time, space and film, as it contributes to an understanding of the metaphysics of mind, phenomenology and images. I will employ philosophical methods to examine how a film’s narrative structure and elements such as color, sound, drama and comedy affect our understanding of meaning and experience.”
Harvey began her research during her undergraduate studies at UMKC, where she received a dual bachelor’s degree in philosophy and film with a minor in classic and ancient study. Harvey credits the UMKC film and media department for inspiring her and guiding her into film theory and production. She also thanks the UMKC Honors College and Dean Jim McKusick for cultivating her abilities as a researcher and a scholar.
“The education, research experience and mentoring that I received at UMKC was vital to my Fulbright success,” Harvey said. “The UMKC Philosophy Department values its students and clearly demonstrates this through classroom experience and one-on-one mentoring. In this department, I fell in love with philosophy and I found my life passion. I will never be able to thank them enough for all of their hard work in my education.”
Harvey also gives abundant thanks to her mentor, Clancy Martin, a professor of philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences and a professor of business ethics at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management.
“It is because of him that I have achieved this success, and I hope he continues to mentor me for the rest of my career. Dr. Clancy Martin is an exceptional educator and friend. He changed my life.”
Marc Reyes, M.A. ’14
Reyes is currently a history doctoral candidate at the University of Connecticut and an instructor in UConn’s Digital Media and Design Department. His Fulbright is sponsored by the University of Connecticut’s Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships.
“My success in graduate education and training began at UMKC,” Reyes said. His UMKC master’s thesis, “The Johnson Treatment: Cold War Food Aid and the Politics of Gratitude,” was completed under foreign relations specialist and University of Missouri Curator’s Distinguished Professor Dennis Merrill, Ph.D., of the UMKC Department of History. Merrill is also a Fulbright alumnus.
Reyes’ Fulbright project, “In the Circle of Great Powers: India, the United States, and the Postcolonial Atomic State, 1947-1974,” examines the political and cultural contexts of India’s atomic energy program and U.S. involvement in the development of their nuclear weapons program. Reyes will conduct research in Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad. He will be affiliated with Jawaharlal Nehru University’s School of International Studies.
“I will visit archives such as the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, the National Archives of India and the Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses,” Reyes said. “My grant is for nine months of research but I might be gone for an additional three to five months.”
Reyes applied for a Fulbright because he wanted more time to conduct research in India. He said it is a major investment in the research he is conducting.
“An extended stay in India means incorporating foreign sources unknown or unfamiliar to U.S. scholars as well as Indian literature on U.S.-India foreign relations or India’s atomic energy program,” Reyes said. “Winning the Fulbright demonstrates that persistence pays off. I worked closely with my fellowship advisor to plan my application strategy. The Fulbright will surely aid me in completing my dissertation and earning my PhD. It also makes me competitive for future dissertation completion fellowships.”
A great feature of the Fulbright India program is that it includes spousal support so his wife, Libby, will join him for the vast majority of the grant period.
“This is an amazing opportunity for us to live abroad and experience another country and culture up close.”
Reyes hopes to attain a full-time teaching position focused on U.S history, foreign relations and modern South Asia. He also hopes to gain a richer and deeper understanding of modern India and how the country and its people see themselves, both in the years immediately following Independence and now in the 21st century.
A version of this story was first published on May 8, 2018, on UMKC Today.