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Two win Fulbright awards

October 08, 2001

As Christos Jensen ’01 packed his bags for Germany, Theron Morgan-Brown ’01 finished his work in the Mount Hood National Forest and headed for Tanzania.

Jensen received a teaching assistantship and Morgan-Brown received a grant from the J. William Fulbright Program.

Jensen, who studied at the University of Munich during his junior year at Lewis & Clark, is fluent in German. He will teach English and American studies at Bertoldt Brecht Gymnasium in Dortmund, in the northwest region of Germany. A gymnasium is comparable to a high school that prepares students for college.

Jensen credits his parents for inspiring his academic journey. His father, a Fulbright scholar from 1971 through 1972, regaled him with stories of anthropological digs in southern Germany. And his mother, who is a teacher, challenged him to investigate the world of ideas.

Jensen explored nine different departments at Lewis & Clark before he settled on a course of study. He graduated in May with majors in German studies and international affairs and a minor in economics.

“Chris has a passion for learning, a talent for teaching, and the kind of loving perspective on the world that makes him see the good in everybody and everything,” says Erika Berroth, assistant professor of German.

“He will be an outstanding ambassador for intercultural and international understanding,” she says.

Morgan-Brown traipsed through the Mount Hood National Forest during the summer, cataloging the places where rare plants live. In September, he headed to Tanzania’s Usambara Mountains—a region described as the Galápagos of Africa. With funding from the Fulbright Program, Morgan-Brown will study the feasibility of butterfly farming as an economic incentive to promote forest conservation.

“From a biodiversity standpoint, the Usambara Mountains are the most important region in east Africa,” says Morgan-Brown. “The forests atop those mountains have been separated from other tropical forests for millions of years. Twenty-five percent of the flora there is found nowhere else in the world.”

Morgan-Brown’s journey to the Usambara Mountains began at Lewis & Clark. As an undergraduate student with a major in biology, he studied butterfly husbandry with Paulette Bierzychudek, William Swindells, Sr., Professor of Natural Sciences. Later, he traveled to Africa on an overseas study program led by Sherry Ennis, instructor in the Institute for the Study of American Language and Culture. While there, he fell in love with the mountains.

“What impressed me about Theron was how well he got along with the locals in east Africa and how hard he worked to learn their language,” says Ennis. “He’s a good listener.”

“I don’t see butterfly farming as a permanent solution,” Morgan-Brown says. “I see it as a temporary project to generate income until tourism becomes more popular and until group-oriented development projects are established.”

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