USD professor receives Fulbright Scholarship by Hope Schneider A Fulbright Scholarship opportunity will take on special meaning for University of South Dakota music Professor Sarah Smith when she leaves for Botswana (southern Africa) in August. Smith leaves for Botswana one day after her marriage to Dr. Robert A. Waters Jr., who will accompany her. The newlywed couple will enjoy a �most memorable honeymoon,� said Smith.
The prestigious Fulbright Scholar Award, established after World War II through legislation sponsored by William J. Fulbright, provides support to students and/or faculty to teach or research in other countries around the world.
Smith, 33, will teach percussion and conduct research on percussion instruments during a ten-month period at the University of Botswana, which is located in the capital city of Gabarone. The University of Botswana will establish a music program for the first time this year.
While in Botswana, Smith hopes to write a book on percussion and develop a CD of Botswana�s music and percussion styles. �It is exciting to visit and research the native land where percussion originated,� said Smith, who teaches percussion and music theory at USD.
While the predominate language in Botswana is English, Smith hopes to learn the native language during her travels.
Smith is excited about the Fulbright Scholar opportunity. �Although I will miss my students and colleagues at the university, this is a once in a lifetime event that I cannot pass up,� said Smith, who will return to USD in the fall of 2000. �By immersing myself in the Botswana culture, I hope to gain new knowledge and information that I can contribute and share with my students when I return.�
Smith�s interest and passion for percussion instruments began during her childhood in Lima, OH. She graduated from the Ohio State University with a doctorate degree in percussion performance in 1995. She is the daughter of John and Carla Smith of Lima. She came to USD in 1997. During the summer of 1997, Smith was awarded a National Endowment for Humanities Grant to study Caribbean culture and music in Puerto Rico for six weeks. She has also traveled to Trinidad to study its native steel drum. She has been published in Percussive Notes for her feature story on the America�s Shrine to Music Museum and their collection of percussion instruments.