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Demarttice Tunstall CC’15 wins two prestigious fellowships

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Demarttice Tunstall CC’15, a linguistics and ethnicity and race studies double major from Mobile, Ala., has been selected for a 2015 Humanity in Action Fellowship, which brings together college students and recent graduates from around the world to explore different national histories of discrimination and resistance to injustice, as well as contemporary issues affecting minority groups.

Demarttice Tunstall CC’15 at the Peking Opera while studying on the Summer Language Program in Beijing. Photo: Courtesy Demarttice Tunstall CC’15Demarttice Tunstall CC’15 at the Peking Opera while studying on the Summer Language Program in Beijing. Photo: Courtesy Demarttice Tunstall CC’15

Tunstall has also been selected for the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) for Young Professionals, a full-year fellowship that gives 75 Americans the opportunity to spend a year in Germany, studying, interning and living with hosts on a cultural immersion program.

“I was so happy that I got into both programs and that they don’t overlap, allowing me to participate in both of them,” said Tunstall, who has been studying German since sixth grade. “German culture was probably the first non-American culture that I engaged with in any meaningful way, so now, through CBYX, I have a chance to go and really get my German language speaking skills down.”

The 2015 Humanity in Action Fellows include current students and recent graduates from universities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine, as well as the United States.  The program will take place in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Paris and Warsaw from May 25- June 28, 2015

Humanity in Action, an international educational organization that works to educate, inspire and connect a global network of students, young professionals and established leaders committed to promoting human rights, diversity and active citizenship,  received a record 688 applications from 253 American colleges and universities for its 2015 fellowship program, and recipients were ultimately selected for their high academic standing, active participation in human rights issues and outstanding letters of recommendation.

The 2015 Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals program is a reciprocal exchange program between the United States and Germany, designed to strengthen ties and understanding between the people of both countries. CBYX participants act as ambassadors of their home country and culture while immersing themselves in the academic, professional and everyday life of their host culture.

Seventy-five American participants are selected annually for the program’s cultural immersion, which includes intensive language training, university study, an internship in a German-speaking work environment and accommodation in a German home or student residence, providing participants with first-hand experience in many aspects of German life and culture.

Tunstall spent the summer of 2014 studying Mandarin at Peking University in Beijing through the Summer Language Program in Beijing and spent his senior year spring break at McGill University in Montreal through the Center for Studies on Ethnicity and Race (CSER)’s Workshop on Exploring Race, Ethnicity and Indigeneity, examining the contemporary theoretical frameworks of the intersections of Montreal’s unique brand of interculturalism.

On campus, Tunstall is a member of Stressbusters and serves as the social programmer for the New Student Orientation Program (NSOP). He is also a member of the marketing committee of Afropolitan, an African socio-cultural showcase for which he helped to coordinate the group’s first annual African dinner, held in the fall of 2012.

Tunstall credits the Writing Center and the Fellowship office, in particular Jodi Zaffino, program coordinator in the Office of Global Programs, with helping him as he applied for both the Humanity in Action Fellowship and the CBYX for Young Professionals program.

“She was one of the most instrumental people in my fellowship application process,” said Tunstall.

Tunstall’s Humanity in Action Fellowship will begin with an orientation program with a focus on American civil rights, Holocaust education and European security and political issues in Washington, D.C. in late May and will conclude in late June at the Sixth Annual Humanity in Action International Conference in The Hague.

Tunstall will begin the CBYX for Young Professionals program with two months of intensive language study at a Carl Duisberg Centrum language school, followed by 4 months of study and concluding with four months of an internship.

After the fellowships, Tunstall plans to pursue a graduate degree in urban studies.