USF PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL and Professor of international and multi-cultural education Susan Katz has been named a Fulbright Scholars award winner for spring 2010, her second such award in six years.
Katz intends to use the four-month, all expenses paid research grant to trek into the remote Amazon rainforest to study and live among the Shuar, an indigenous people in the southern Amazon region of Ecuador.
Katz will deliver a series of presentations on her past bilingual research at the Latin American Academy for the Social Sciences in Quito and conduct research with the Shuar Federation on the effects of bilingual education at its secondary school and teacher training institute in Bomboiza.
Her plan is to collect data on how state education, identified as bilingual and intercultural, relates to Shuar concepts of autonomy, power, and cultural identity. She also wants to know how teacher training prepares or fails to prepare Shuar youth to become future leaders by analyzing whether school concepts of knowledge and leadership support or conflict with indigenous concepts of autonomy, power, and culture.
Katz chose the Shuar, with a population of about 40,000, for their strong sense of culture, independence, organization, and for their proud history of never being colonized.