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UMKC Scholars Chosen for Fulbright Awards

Two UMKC instructors can now add “Fulbright” to their resumes.

Aidan Soder, Conservatory of Music and Dance Associate Professor of Vocal Studies, was selected for a Fulbright Scholar award. She will travel to West Bengal, India. Soder’s field of concentration is the work of Rabindranath Tagore, winner of the 1913 Nobel Prize for Literature. Tagore’s work, which ranges from poems to song compositions to paintings, is widely known in his native India. Over time, his work has grown in popularity; and many Western composers have set his poems to music, known as art songs.

Soder has studied and performed Tagore’s work in English, German, Polish, French, Italian, Spanish and Russian. But it occurred to her recently, as she was preparing an all-Tagore recital and recording project, that the people of India might not be aware of Tagore’s global influence. “My hope is that people will receive these art songs as the homage to their countryman that they are meant to be,” Soder said.

Annie Fischer, a UMKC 2012 MFA Graduate in Creative Writing and Media Arts, will go to Budapest on a Fulbright research grant in creative writing. One of her projects is researching the life of a renowned classical pianist, also named Annie Fischer. Fischer’s other project is to draft a novel about contemporary digital life, drawing on the Annie Fischer Festival in fall 2014 as a point of departure. Because she is not presently enrolled in an academic institution, Fischer applied for the Fulbright as an At Large candidate. However, her success in securing the Fulbright grant was tied to her UMKC MFA studies. Since graduation, Fischer has maintained an active teaching schedule at UMKC and Rockhurst University, and is writing a book about the Grand Arts gallery in Kansas City.

-Sandra Beaty, Executive Writer, UMKC Strategic Marketing and Communications

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