June 3, 2007
UVa student athlete Andrew Dumm is preparing to make a trip of a lifetime.
He's gearing up to head overseas to help increase peace relations between the United States and people of other countries.
Andrew Dumm is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia where he was on the cross country team.
Two weeks ago, he found out that he was the proud recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship.
He may live in Northern Virginia, but there was a time when this self-proclaimed army brat lived in Japan.
"Even though I was very young, I came away from that experience very enriched and very excited about the possibility of returning overseas sometime later in life, so when this opportunity presented itself, I definitely jumped at the chance," said Dumm.
He has chosen Jordan as his new home for the next year.
His mentor and professor of Arabic Studies at UVa is a native of the country, but that's not his only reason for wanting to go.
"My research has to do with analyzing the Jordanian news media and how they view our foreign policy and how that affects the viewpoints of Jordanians," said Dumm.
While he's there, he hopes to become fluent in the native Arabic language.
"In the mission and the spirit of the Fulbright Program, I'm really hoping to sort of build a lot of long-term relationships with individuals over there and just do what I can in whatever small way to promote cross-cultural understandings," said Dumm.
He also said, "I think part of when I design the research project was that foreign policy generates pretty strong reactions sometimes in Middle Eastern societies, and it's really important at this time especially to sort of actually try to win the hearts and minds aspect of things that a lot of politicians reference in speeches."