Fulbright experience: Student from Liberal to spend part of summer digging into England's history
Friday, May 5, 2017
MANHATTAN — Archaeological excavations and medieval investigations will be part of a Kansas State University student's experience in the United Kingdom through the Fulbright Commission.
Nathan Dowell, sophomore in history, Liberal, has been selected to participate in the commission's Durham University Summer Institute.
The four-week program invites participants to contribute to professional excavations and evaluate remaining buildings along the northern edges of Britain's old Roman frontier; study medieval theory through classes in Durham's Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies; take trips to examine artifacts of the period's design, architecture and culture; and attend seminars and workshops from experts exploring matters in archaeology and cultural history.
"I have a longtime interest in England's history from the days of the Roman Empire to the Medieval era, and Durham is a great place — geographically and academically — for exploring that," Dowell said. "This program not only fits in perfectly with my historical interests, but it also provides the opportunity to visit sites where I can explore the history and archaeology of important elements from that time period."
Jim Hohenbary, Kansas State University's director of nationally competitive scholarships, said Dowell is the first student from the university to participate in the institute at Durham.
"The Fulbright Summer Institutes create a great opportunity for competitive first- and second-year students to obtain a fully funded international experience in the United Kingdom," Hohenbary said. "I am excited about Nathan's win, and I look forward to hearing about his adventures at Durham University."
To be selected for the institute, students must have at least a 3.7 GPA, a range of extracurricular and community involvements, and a plan to use what they learn at the institute to benefit others upon returning to the U.S. Dowell said he wants to use the understanding he gains from the institute to spread knowledge and an appreciation for history as an instructor at the college or university level.
Dowell is a member of the University Honors Program and the K-State Speech Team, which recently placed 14th in the nation at an American Forensic Association tournament. Dowell has received the K-State Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship. He is an Eagle Scout and is the founding speaker of the Dowell Lecture Series.
The series started during his senior year at Liberal High School because a teacher, Eli Svaty, reached out to Dowell. Svaty, who knew of Dowell's career goal of becoming a college history instructor, gave him a special assignment to prepare a lecture and present it to a panel of teachers and administrators. Dowell's lecture became the basis for a program in which other students could present lectures on topics of their choice to teachers and administrators.
"I thought it was very generous of them to call the program the 'Dowell Lecture Series,'" Dowell said. "I participated again by giving a second lecture, and I'm glad to hear that several other students have since presented in the series."
Dowell said many of the presentation skills he used in the lecture series have applied to his involvement with the university's speech team.
"Holding audience interest, organizing the lecture or speech effectively, projecting the speaker's own interest in the topic, and making sure information is easy to follow are essential elements of any oral presentation, whether it's in high school or at the university level," he said.
Dowell is the son of Luke and Tanya Dowell, Liberal.