Senior Michael Potere has been named a 2007-08 Fulbright Scholar. He is the first UR student to receive the honor. He will spend the next academic year in Malaysia, teaching conversational English in rural Terengganu Province.

The Fulbright Program was started after World War II. The program originally sent students to Germany to foster goodwill between the nations. The program allows scholars to design unique educational programs and arrange institutional affiliations in countries around the world.

Potere, a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, transferred from the University of Colorado-Boulder in fall 2004. He has made Dean’s List every semester and has been active on campus.

Potere plans to learn the local language and culture of Terrengganu, which has a rich cultural and religious heritage. While he is not teaching, Potere will study how democracy works in an Islamic country outside the Middle East.

“I chose Malaysia because I have become very interested in the relationship between Islam and democracy after reading several articles that claimed the two institutions are incompatible,” Potere said. “I think observing the way small town governments are run in the predominantly Muslim Terengganu province will shed light on the reality of those claims.”

Potere is pursuing his bachelor of arts degree in political science with a minor in history. After completing the program, he will study public policy and administration at the London School of Economics.

“Academic interest aside, Malaysia and the rest of Southeast Asia is very beautiful, and I am looking forward to traveling around the region and seeing that beauty first-hand,” Potere said.

Wrobel is a member of the class of 2010.

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