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Carla Blackwell, M.Ed., receives 2019 Fulbright Scholarship

Loyola University Maryland is celebrating a record number of Fulbright Scholarships this spring, as five graduating seniors and three recent alumni have received the prestigious award.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program facilitates cultural exchange provided in more than 140 countries around the world through opportunities to engage in research in a foreign country or teach English for students of various age groups. Through engagement in the community, grantees interact with their hosts on a one-to-one basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity, and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual understanding. The program is sponsored by the United States Senate and various organizations in the host countries.

The School of Education is happy to announce that Carla Blackwell, M.Ed., ’16, received the award.
Carla Blackwell, born and reared in Baltimore City, received her Master’s in Education in Literacy Education, Literacy Teacher from Loyola in 2016. She received her undergraduate degree in deaf studies from Towson University in 2003. She currently works at Arts Every Day, a Baltimore-based non-profit.

For Carla, this Fulbright Scholarship is an achieved and humbling opportunity for her to serve as a U.S. ambassador of “good will.” It’s also a prestigious recognition of her scholastic/academic achievements and excellence and scholarly emergence that’s fueled by her dedication and passion to serve humankind through cultural and intellectual exchange abroad. 

Carla will use her Fulbright Scholarship to teach in South Africa from January to October 2020. She will work as an English teacher assistant at the high school or collegiate level. She will also implement a photo-narrative project with students. In response to the inquiry “What is South Africa’s born-free’s literacy identity in the post-Mandela era?”—a self-designated identifier of the first generations born post-apartheid—students will narrate through self-captured images and accompanying writings, the ways in which their literate identities in academic, social, cultural and other settings are developed, influenced, and utilized to navigate life in today’s South Africa. 

“Once an educator, always an educator, and a photographer to boot,” said Blackwell. This work will provide a broader, more globally informed perspective and pool of knowledge from which she can better understand and challenge the persistent, systemic issues of inequity and inequality in the education of Black students and students of color. Artistically, she looks forward to the diversity in imagery she can capture—and that of her students’ images—during their project. The photography-based work she does with her students will hopefully impact the work she’s doing locally to share with teachers a photo-based method of inquiry and social change connecting students to their communities and beyond.

“The culmination of my life as educator, photographer, and descendant of the African continent… this scholarship is a personal and professional dream come true,” said Blackwell. She hopes that her work will speak to the type of education Loyola’s School of Education imparts to its students—both pedagogically and ethically. Through practice in vast and varied contexts, and in ways which respond to the strengths and challenges of the students with which we work, she aspires to have her work serve as evidence of the commitment current students and alumni of the School of Education have to drive education forward.