Clark University student selected for Fulbright Summer Institute, expands research about Hadrian's Wall

June 19, 2015
Clark University undergraduate Hannah Kogut will spend a month in the U.K. this summer studying history as a Fulbright Summer Institute program participant.

Clark University undergraduate Hannah Kogut will spend a month in the U.K. this summer studying history as a Fulbright Summer Institute program participant.

Clark University undergraduate Hannah Kogut, of Ellington, CT, has been selected as a Fulbright Summer Institute program participant and will spend four weeks at Durham University in the United Kingdom, studying British history and Hadrian's Wall.

Kogut soon will enter her junior year at Clark University, where she double-majors in history and screen studies. It was during a "Writing History" course that she became interested in Hadrian's Wall and chose the social makeup of the Roman forts along the famous wall as a thesis topic. She had watched a film about Hadrian's Wall and noticed that "information about the wall at the beginning of the film was just wrong." The atmosphere and cinematography piqued her interest, however, she added. "I've always been fascinated by medieval history, so I took the opportunity to do my own research."

During her first year at Clark, Kogut learned about the Fulbright Summer Institute program during a campus-wide information session presented by Constance Whitehead Hanks, associate director of Study Abroad and LEEP Center adviser.

Kogut knew that Durham University's program titled "The Northern Borders of Empire to the Making of the Middle Ages," described as a medieval history program that includes two weeks of archeological excavation at the wall itself seemed a perfect fit and she says she was thrilled to be accepted to this prestigious program. "I've always wanted to travel and this is an incredible opportunity to focus on something that has always intrigued me, and to work with experts in the field at the place where it happened."

Kogut's career goals include documentary film production with a historical focus. While in Durham (July 5 to August 1), she will earn university credits for coursework and field research conducted in the near shadow of the ancient wall whose history and stunning visual traits inspired her. As a Clark student, Kogut is a member of the International Thespian Society, a Presidential Scholar (Clark), and National Honorary Society Member. Her extra-curricular activities include: E-board of Clark University Outing Club, Clark Musical Theater, Clark University Players, E-board of Clark's Film Production Society, and Vice-President of Clark University Pagan Alliance.

Kogut is a 2013 graduate of Ellington High School.

"Hadrian's Wall at Greenhead Lough" (Personal photograph by Velella)

"Hadrian's Wall at Greenhead Lough" (Personal photograph by Velella)

"Hannah is a great example of how important it is for first year students to become informed about opportunities in college," Whitehead Hanks said. Kogut had applied for the same opportunity during her freshman year and was not selected. Once a sophomore, she told Whitehead Hanks of her plan to re-apply, saying that her goals and interests had become much more focused than during her first year. Whitehead Hanks: "She skillfully incorporated this into her essay, we practiced her phone interview, and with competence, confidence, and a bit of luck, Hannah earned the opportunity to participate in the Fulbright Institute the second time around. She is an impressive and tenacious young woman."

Kogut's success is especially gratifying, Whitehead Hanks said. "For me, this is what my job as study abroad advisor and a LEEP Center adviser is all about — helping students take their education beyond the borders of the campus to do things they never knew they were capable of. The sky's the limit once they get started."

Kogut will be eligible to apply for a Fulbright Scholarship or a Fulbright Research Grant later in her career, Whitehead Hanks added.

Founded in 1887 in Worcester, Massachusetts, Clark University is a liberal arts-based research university addressing social and human imperatives on a global scale. Nationally renowned as a college that changes lives, Clark is emerging as a transformative force in higher education today. LEEP (Liberal Education and Effective Practice) is Clark's pioneering model of education that combines a robust liberal arts curriculum with life-changing world and workplace experiences. Clark's faculty and students work across boundaries to develop solutions to complex challenges in the natural sciences, psychology, geography, management, urban education, Holocaust and genocide studies, environmental studies, and international development and social change. The Clark educational experience embodies the University's motto: Challenge convention. Change our world.