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Johnson C. Smith University Professor Kirsten Hemmy awarded Fulbright Grant

Charlotte, N.C. (April 5, 2012) —  Kirsten Hemmy, assistant professor at Johnson C. Smith University has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to write and do research in Senegal during the August 2012-  July 2013 academic year, according to the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Hemmy is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2012-2013. She will examine the relationship between African and African-American poetry as it crosses the Atlantic and other politicized bodies.

Hemmy is assistant professor chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, Philosophy and Religion at Johnson C. Smith University. She is also a member of the Southern Humanities Council executive board. Hemmy has traveled and studied extensively in West Africa and is completing a book on Emma Brown, an Ibibio freedom fighter and political activist in Nigeria, as well as an interdisciplinary social entrepreneurship program with JCSU students and the Angela Davis School in Yembul, Senegal.

Hemmy’s book, The Atrocity of Water, was released in December 2010 by Press 53. Hemmy’s writing has been published in Amistad, Sonora Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Green Mountains Review, Callyx, Cake Magazine, Midwest Poetry Review, Lake Effect, Bellingham Review, Southern Humanities Review, Cream City Review, Smartish Pace, Antioch Review and elsewhere. She was the 2008 recipient of the Linda Flowers Literary Award, has received the Academy of American Poets Award, and has published interviews with poets such as Yusef Komunyakaa and Ralph Angel. She is currently working on an epistolary arts collaboration with Charlotte artist Antoine Williams.

“Dr. Hemmy’s work has contributed greatly to the quality of instruction for our students and to the research that is taking place on campus,” said Dr. Ronald L. Carter, president of Johnson C. Smith University. “I am not surprised that she was selected for this honor by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board because of her contributions to advancing an understanding of poetry and to advancing the humanities. We are very proud that she will make an even greater global impact as a Fulbright Scholar.”

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education and athletics. Forty-three Fulbright alumni from 11 countries have been awarded the Nobel Prize, and 75 alumni have received Pulitzer Prizes.

Founded in 1867, Johnson C. Smith University is the premier independent urban liberal arts university located in the heart of Charlotte, N.C. It offers a progressive liberal arts curriculum with 26 fields of study to more than 1,600 students. The University prepares students for success through excellent academic programs with a focus on servant leadership, civic engagement and global responsibility.          

Jennifer Gaskins
Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing
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