Monica Hunter-Hart '15 Receives Fulbright Grant to Turkey

June 30, 2015
Lisa Gulasy
Monica Hunter-Hart ’15 (right) plays with steel pan virtuoso and composer Leon Foster Thomas during an Oberlin Steel (OSteel) performance on December 3, 2014, in Finney Chapel. Hunter-Hart served as director of OSteel for two years and organized the group’s winter-term performance trip to Trinidad. Photo credit: Sela Miller

Monica Hunter-Hart ’15 has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Turkey. She will complete her fellowship at Usak University in Usak, a city in the Aegean Region of western Turkey.

Hunter-Hart studied English at Oberlin and was involved in a number of activities, particularly those musical in nature. She was a member of Oberlin College Taiko and Oberlin Steel (OSteel), the latter of which she served as director for two years; directed a production of Into the Woods; and served as a mentor for the after-school program Girls in Motion. She also worked in Mudd library and the Office of the President and served on the Educational Plans and Policy Committee.

For her fellowship, Hunter-Hart will help prepare students at Usak University for required standardized English exams. “I want to learn about how the Turkish system of standardized assessment relates to American standardized assessment, and I want to teach to help Turkish students pass these tests,” she says.

Hunter-Hart says her time in Turkey will also be spent learning how education policy can be employed to bring about social change. “I'm interested in what university-level education looks like in Turkey, where education inequality across gender, socioeconomic, and regional lines is even starker than in the U.S.,” she says. “I'm particularly eager to develop an internationally-applicable feminism that reconciles my liberal western notions of gender with my commitment to cultural relativism.”

Hunter-Hart departs for Turkey in September, where she will undergo a two-week orientation before relocating to Usak. Following her fellowship, she plans to pursue a career in music journalism and to become involved with the American education reform movement.

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