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UW-Eau Claire Alumnus Will Use Fulbright
to Study Migrant Workers' Wives and Families

RELEASED: May 1, 2008

Sarah Janes
Sarah Janes

EAU CLAIRE — University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire graduate Sarah Janes, Franksville, has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Grant to study the impact of male migration on women in sending communities of Veracruz, Mexico. The grant will run from mid-August through June of 2009.

Janes — who graduated in December 2007 with degrees in Latin American Studies and political science — became interested in the topic when she was a student in Dr. Paul Kaldjian's geography capstone course. Students in the course looked at the role migrant labor plays in western Wisconsin's dairy industry. Many workers here are from the Veracruz area and have left families behind. Janes and others in the class traveled to Veracruz to meet families and hear their stories.

Throughout the course of her grant, Janes will live in Veracruz, where she will continue to study the effects of migration on the daily lives of women and families that reside there.

"I believe this issue is often overlooked by many in receiving countries like those in the United States," Janes said.

Janes will collaborate with two researchers from the Universidad Veracruzana Intercultural who have done extensive research on the impact of migration to the area. She also will take regional development courses. Her research will combine formal interviews with informal interactions. She said she hopes to emphasize the importance of incorporating non-migrant women's experiences into the immigration story, from public awareness to public policy and beyond.

"The inclusion of these voices is essential in creating a more comprehensive understanding of and approach to an issue that is anything but one-dimensional," Janes said.

When her grant ends, Janes plans to continue studying the role that gender plays in the field of international development.

Janes said she received an incredible amount of help and guidance throughout the Fulbright application process from faculty and staff, especially Dr. Rose-Marie Avin of the economics department and Cheryl Lochner-Wright, the Fulbright program adviser.

The highly competitive and prestigious Fulbright program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by Senator J. William Fulbright to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Student Program offers fellowships for one year of study abroad. This academic year, 1,450 scholarships were awarded.

UW-Eau Claire is ranked 8th in the nation among master's-level institutions producing U.S. student Fulbright Scholars in 2006-07, according to the Fulbright program's list of top masters-level institutions.

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LK/NW

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