WWC Grad Receives Fulbright Grant

Charis Walikonis to study linguistics in Albania

By: Kristi Spurgeon

Walla Walla College graduate Charis Walikonis has received a Fulbright grant to study linguistics in Albania next year.

Walikonis, who is currently an adjunct faculty member at WWC, will study the effects of language standardization during the Communist period on the northern Albanian dialect. The grant covers tuition and all travel and living expenses for the year abroad. The Fulbright educational exchange program was started in 1946 in order to promote cross-cultural understanding.

In addition to taking classes and researching Albanian linguistics, Walikonis will be involved in numerous extracurricular activities designed to immerse her into the community. She also plans to volunteer as an English teacher with the Association of Albanian Girls and Women, an organization that helps former victims of enforced prostitution reintegrate into society.

“Most of all I’m looking forward to the experience of cultural and linguistic immersion,” says Walikonis, who has had an interest in linguistics for many years and plans to pursue graduate studies on the subject in the future.

Approximately 4,500 Fulbright grants are awarded each year. The Fulbright program is primarily funded by an annual appropriation made by the United States Congress to the Department of State. Other funds are provided by participating governments and host institutions in both foreign countries and the United States.

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