Two young Wallowa County women recently learned that they are recipients of prestigious Fulbright Program grants for next year.
The recipients are Erin Lunde, a 1995 graduate of Joseph High School, and Kelly Siebe, a 1998 graduate of Enterprise High School.
Lunde is finishing her third year of medical school at Harvard. Her Fulbright is for a women's health project in a rural area of Ecuador.
"I'll be looking at traditional obstetrics and women's health care," said Lunde by telephone. "I'm interested in how we can mesh modern practices with traditional care." She noted that the area of Ecuador to which she is traveling has a very high maternal death rate.
Lunde said she would be working with two local midwives, who were the only health care providers in the village until the year 2000, when a nongovernmental foundation built a health clinic.
Lunde said she will have one more year at Harvard after she returns from Ecuador before she graduates. She plans to specialize in either obstetrics and gynecology or family practice, with an emphasis on women's health. Prior foreign experiences include a year as an AFS exchange student in Sweden and a summer spent in Kenya.
Siebe, 21, will graduate with a bachelor's degree in communications from Whitworth College in Spokane this year. She was already planning on working on her masters degree in English at the University of Groningens in The Netherlands next year when she received word of the Fulbright scholarship.
Siebe, who attended the University of Salzburg last year and became fluent in German, is currently in The Netherlands being tutored in the Dutch language. Her fiance, Andri Fonteijn, whom she met at the University of Salzburg, is a native of The Netherlands and a student in Groningens.
Under her Fulbright grant Siebe will be doing a research paper having to do with women's travel writing in the Victorian era.
The Fulbright Program has been the U.S. government's flagship program in international educational exchange since 1946.
Fulbright grants are made to U.S. citizens and nationals of other countries for a variety of educational activities, primarily university lecturing, advanced research, graduate study and teaching in elementary and secondary schools. Since the program's inception, more than 250,000 participants - chosen for their leadership potential - have had the opportunity to observe each other's political, economic and cultural institutions.