Northwestern Law student Rachel Lindner JD '12 was recently awarded the chance of a lifetime to research and study in the Middle East on a Fulbright Scholarship. As a participant in the esteemed program, she will have the opportunity to conduct research in Syria, as part of a year-long project.
For Rachel, the award letter was one that proved to be bittersweet. "I'm pretty thrilled to have been selected - it's an incredible opportunity – but at the same time, I'm sad to be taking the year off. I've found such a great niche here at the law school, and I'm going to miss it," said Rachel.
The program, which aims to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and people of other countries, offers opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide.
Rachel's decision to apply for the program was based on her previous experience and interest, working and living in Syria prior to Law School. Right after finishing the law school application process, she left her job to travel to Syria to study Arabic and spent four months living in Damascus.
"It was during this time I fell in love with the city. Everyone I met was warm and welcoming and it was very easy to feel at home. I also loved the sense of history that Damascus carries, there is a sense that people from all over the world have been passing through for centuries before you," added Rachel.
While in Syria, Rachel will conduct a comparative study research project of two different types of NGOs that exist in Syria, charities which are flourishing in Syria and foundations which have prove to be floundering. Rachel's project will aim to compare the two and determine the reason for the disparity.
In preparation for her trip she has already connected with other students who will be studying with her and has began planning with organizations that will collaborate with her on her research.
"Students like Rachel serve as a great example of our Law School's global vision," said Kristen Stilt, Associate Professor of Law. "I encourage other law students to take advantage of fellowship opportunities that exist for them through the Law School."
Students interested in applying for next year are urged to contact the office of fellowships as soon as possible to gain the advantage of linking with a Fulbright faculty advisor. The Northwestern University internal deadline is September 7, and all materials must be submitted via the online application. Please visit Northwestern's scholarship and fellowships page for more information.