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Loyola student awarded Fulbright Scholarship

Loyola press release - May 3, 2007

(New Orleans)—Loyola University New Orleans English writing Senior and honors student Christopher Lirette has been awarded a prestigious 2007 Fulbright Scholarship.

Lirette possesses an impressive track record of publication and involvement in the Loyola community. Lirette has won the Dawson Gaillard Award for Expository Writing, the Dawson Gaillard Award for Poetry, the Excellence in Writing award, and the Women’s Studies Creative writing contest. He has been published in Revisions, Pebble Lake Review, and Reader’s Response. He was also a student at Université de Paris IV: La Sorbonne foreign students program. He has tutored and mentored in the Loyola New Orleans Summer Bridge Program, tutored in the English writing lab at Loyola, was a teacher’s assistant for English professor Barbara Ewell, Ph.D., and was a research assistant and handyman for English professor Marcus Smith, Ph.D.

In the last year, Lirette has engaged in a broad range of experiences, from cleaning a musket from the American Revolution that was nearly destroyed by floodwater, proposing to his girlfriend in a café on the roof of a modern art museum looking out on gothic cathedrals and palaces, to promoting grassroots activism in Chicago. “I grew up and fell in love. I fell in and out of faith. I discovered poetry. My evidence is my poetry and memories,” says Lirette.
This fall, Lirette will move to Acadia in Canada on a Fulbright grant to write poems that speak of diaspora, homeland, history, and memories. Lirette chose Acadia, specifically the towns of Moncton and Point de l’Eglise, because of its centrality to his Cajun heritage.

“The goal of the Fulbright is a cultural exchange, an amalgamation,” Lirette says. “I intend to write poems that can speak to Cajuns, Acadians, and especially those outside either culture who may begin to experience the richness of these traditions apart from their stereotypical representations.”
Established in 1946, the Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and other countries, through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills.

Loyola University New Orleans is a Jesuit-Catholic institution with a total student enrollment of 4,724 including 800 law students.