For the third consecutive year, a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga student has been selected for a summer research internship with a Canadian university.
Junior Lake Best, a Brock Scholar and communication major at UTC, was accepted into the Fulbright Canada Mitacs Globalink program—an international education experience under the Fulbright umbrella for U.S. students interested in traveling to Canada to undertake advanced research projects in their areas of interest.
Best, whose interests include photography, film and TV, has been matched with a project being conducted by University of Winnipeg Professor Pauline Greenhill titled “Transforming Wonder: Justice in Old and New Fairy-Tale Media.”
“This opportunity was made for Lake,” said Leslie Pusey, director of the UTC Office of National Scholarships. “As a communication major, Lake really thinks about other people, about storytelling and how to tell other people’s stories.”
The internship will begin in May and serve as Best’s first excursion to Canada and initial study abroad experience.
“This is something I really wanted to do. It’s very research-based and we’re going to learn about concepts,” said Best, a 2020 graduate of Pope John Paul II High School in Hendersonville, Tennessee. “This opportunity is a weird balance of it’s going to be the farthest I’ve gone just by myself without my family and the opportunity to be on my own and directly interact, make connections, learn, grow, observe and gain knowledge.
“When we’re not working, we’re encouraged to be like, ‘You are a college student having this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Go into the city, explore and go find things.’ To have that opportunity built in is exciting.”
Best, who explained that Greenhill’s research examines how fairy tales are told and retold in different media formats, has already participated in an “absolutely amazing” initial interview with the professor.
Over the next few months before beginning the internship, Best plans to brush up on Greenhill’s work “to see what research she has already done. What can I learn from it? What other ideas will come to mind?”
“Fairy-tale media is one of the first things that you encounter in terms of media. It’s fairy tales, like children’s stories,” Best said. “So there’s this interesting parallel that I’ve noticed rising in media where we’re looking at fairy tales. One of the first things you see are those lessons, those stories, those happily ever afters that you aspire to.
“A lot of what media has created is very much influenced by the director, the producer, the people working in the crew, the actors creating so much of the message.”
While Best’s future plans are admittedly a work in progress, the upcoming research experience could go a long way to charting a course.
“To be honest, I don’t know which direction I want to go,” Best said, “but as I was doing the application, I was like, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if I get this internship and then this internship teaches me a direction I could go after college?’
“Now I’ll be starting this journey. There are a lot of different avenues that I can go down, so having this opportunity is amazing.”
In 2021, Lola Oke became the first UTC student to be accepted into the Fulbright Canada Mitacs Globalink program. Last year, Emma Sprayberry and Christine Rukeyser spent their summers in Canada participating in advanced research projects in their respective areas of interest.
“I think we’ve started a Canadian pipeline,” Pusey said, “and we’ve produced some pretty fabulous students who want to expand their horizons and participate in an international experience.”
Pusey said it’s never too early for students to consider applying for competitive national scholarships.
“If students are interested in these international research opportunities, I’d love to work with them,” Pusey said. “This one in particular has an early deadline; it was early September last fall.
“Students do not have to be Brock Scholars to apply for these scholarships and they don’t have to work with me. But you should always be thinking about preparing yourself to apply for these awards. And if you’d like to work with me, I would love that.”