U.S. Student Fulbright Grant Awarded to Kristina H. Reardon ’08
Providence, R.I.--Kristina H. Reardon ’08 recently received a U.S. Student Fulbright Grant and will use it to fund her love of writing--and of her mother’s home country--in a unique independent research project during the 2010-11 academic year.
“I will be working full time in Ljubljana, Slovenia, translating into English the fiction written by women in the area since Slovenia declared independence in 1991, and then compiling it into an anthology I hope to publish,” said Reardon, who is pursuing her master of fine arts in writing degree at the University of New Hampshire.
She plans to analyze the way Slovenian nationalism has created a unique literary identity for contemporary women writers in Slovenia--formerly Yugoslavia--over the past two decades.
The Fulbright grant will fund her living expenses and round-trip airfare to Slovenia. She will work in the Department of Translation at the University of Ljubljana, where she studied languages on scholarship last summer and will continue those studies during her Fulbright year.
An accomplished writer, Reardon has been published in The Newport Review, the Encyclopedia of Contemporary Fiction, Rhode Island Monthly, and the Stonebridge Press.
Fulbright grant brings heavy responsibility
Reardon noted that her mother, Milanka Zdravic Reardon ’83, emigrated from the former Yugoslavia as a child, “so this project is really close to my heart.” Reardon’s father, Edward, is a 1982 PC grad.
Reardon learned she won the grant in April as she was rushing to her job as a graduate assistant at UNH. Her mother called with the news that a letter had arrived from the Institute of International Education, which administers the Fulbright programs.
“My mother emigrated from the former Yugoslavia in 1968 and she’s never gone back,” Reardon said. “I had studied at the University of Ljubljana in the summer of 2009, and the process of re-connecting with family was joyful, heartbreaking, and saddening all at the same time. So, on a personal note, getting the Fulbright grant meant I’d have a year to continue trying to do that.
She continued, “I was so, so happy to have won the award--but I felt a heavy sense of responsibility weigh down upon me, both to try to do justice to the women writers’ works I want to translate, and to try to bring my family closer together again. It’s a privilege and an honor to be a Fulbright scholar, and I have a lot of work ahead of me.”
Professors play role in Fulbright
A double major in English and Spanish with a minor in women’s studies while at Providence College, Reardon graduated with summa cum laude honors and as a member of the Liberal Arts Honors Program. A member of the student newspaper, The Cowl, she served as associate editor-in-chief while a junior. She was an editor for The Alembic, PC’s literary journal, as a senior.
Her awards included the first St. Catherine of Siena Award in Women’s Studies, the Rene E. Fortin Essay Award, and the Paul van K. Thomson Award for excellence in English literature.
Reardon said her PC professors influenced her to apply for the Fulbright and conceive of the Slovenia project.
“As a women’s studies minor, I took a class called Women in Literature with Professor Jane Lunin Perel,” she said. “I became more interested in exploring the ways that women’s voices are under-represented in many cultures.”
After taking Dr. Peter Johnson’s creative writing-fiction class--and completing an independent study in creative writing with him in which she primarily wrote fictional stories about Slovenia--“his encouragement to keep writing inspired me to both pursue my M.F.A. in writing and to apply for the Fulbright grant,” she added.
Both professors, she said, wrote letters of recommendation for her for the grant.