Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New Paltz senior receives Fulbright grant to photograph farms in China

College senior Veronica O’Keefe has been awarded a U.S. Student Fulbright grant to conduct a photography project in China following her May graduation from the State University of New York at New Paltz.

O’Keefe will spend 10 months in China working on a project titled “Agricultural Evolution: A Photographic Study of China’s Modern Farms.” Using a medium-format film camera, O’Keefe will photograph farms throughout the nation in order to compose a portrait of China through photographs of its farmers.

“This is the most amazing graduation gift I ever could have received,” said O’Keefe, who graduates from New Paltz on May 17. “It gives me the opportunity to work on a project that I know I have the capacity to complete, but that I would never have been able to do on my own.”

The Rosendale resident will leave for northeast China in August if she receives a Critical Language Enhancement Award from the international organization. Otherwise, she is scheduled to begin work on her photographs in December. While in China, O’Keefe will be affiliated with Dalian University of Technology, which is located in the city of Dalian in the Liaoning Province.

At New Paltz, O’Keefe had a double major in philosophy and printmaking, as well as a minor in Asian studies.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program allows for individually designed study/research or an English Teaching Assistantship; provides grants for study/research/teaching in a single country; facilitates cultural exchange; and promotes mutual understanding. The program operates in more than 140 countries and awards grants in numerous fields and disciplines.

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