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Keystone College graduate Nicole Guzenski has won a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to pursue research in India.

Mrs. Guzenski, formerly Nicole Barasse, graduated from Keystone in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a concentration in photography. The Fulbright-Nehru award she has received will enable her to conduct research in the field of women’s empowerment in the context of climate-change mitigation. She will begin her work in mid-August and will be based in Pune, India, in the state of Maharashtra.

“I’m absolutely thrilled and honored to receive this Fulbright Scholarship and engage in research which can make a difference to the people of India.”

About the Fulbright Award

A resident of Dunmore, Mrs. Guzenski is one of over 1,900 United States citizens who will conduct research and provide expertise abroad for the 2018-2019 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Recipients of the highly competitive Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement and for their record of service and leadership. The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by then-Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Nicole Guzenski makes traditional pottery during a visit to Ladakh, India.

Mrs. Guzenski’s Research

“I’m absolutely thrilled and honored to receive this Fulbright Scholarship and engage in research which can make a difference to the people of India and possibly in many other parts of the world as well.” Mrs. Guzenski said. “I can’t wait to begin my time abroad and I want to thank all of my family and friends who supported me and encouraged me along the way. My husband, Mike, has unconditionally shown me what believing in someone really means.”

Mrs. Guzenski will conduct research on women-led, climate-resilient farming. She will research a community’s use of traditional knowledge to develop creative solutions towards modern problems. She hopes to discover how the incorporation of gender-inclusive practices, such as female entrepreneurship and leadership, can impact a community’s resilience and well-being.

“Throughout my work, I will aspire to document techniques and innovative programming that upholds the recognition of local and traditional knowledge as a vital part of a community’s ability to thrive. I hope that my research will further demonstrate the need for gender-sensitive responses to the impacts of climate change and exhibit the importance of women as change-makers to implement successful strategies for economic sustainability.”

Nicole Guzenski meets villagers in Hampi, India.

This is not her first trip to India.

After graduating from Keystone, she traveled to Ladakh, India as a volunteer with the International Society of Ecology and Culture. She has also traveled throughout Asia to study and promote the concept of organic farming and has worked at camps in rural villages in Alaska through a program with the Girl Scouts.

For the past six years, she has taught English as a Second Language at the United Neighborhood Centers in Scranton, Marywood University, and Northampton Community College. She also recently obtained a master’s degree in cultural sustainability from Goucher College.

Keystone offers more than 40 undergraduate and graduate degree options in liberal arts and science-based programs in business, communications, education, fine arts, natural science, environmental resource management, geology, and social sciences. Located 15 minutes from Scranton, Pa. and two hours from New York City and Philadelphia, Keystone is known for small class sizes and individual attention focused on student success through internships, research, and community involvement.