Chirlie Y. Felix WS ’04 was recently named a Fulbright Scholar. The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is the largest international exchange program in the United States. As a Fulbright Scholar, Felix will be given the opportunity to do in-depth research in Brazilian universities. Her course of study will be Afro-Brazilian students and their first year progress, giving consideration to the impact of Affirmative Action initiatives recently implemented across Brazil.
Felix received her bachelor’s degree in international studies and sociology from William Smith College in 2004. While studying abroad in the fall of 2001 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, she did independent research on contemporary race and gender relations. The experience left a lasting impression that led her to work with a newly established not-for-profit agency, Project Open Minds/Open Doors (P.O.M.P.A.), in New York City, for the majority of 2004.
P.O.M.P.A., an organization that helps teach leadership skills and provide scholarships to Afro-Brazilian students in Salvador da Bahia, was in its infancy when Felix joined the team as a project intern. She worked directly with the program’s co-founder/director, Lorelei Williams to raise funds, develop programs and promote the organization through the media. Williams, a Fulbright Alumna from Yale University, impressed with Felix’s work, encouraged her to apply to the program.
She will travel to Brazil to begin her studies in March of 2006, returning to the United States in December of the same year.