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WSU Undergraduate Education Distinguished Scholarships Program

WSU’s First Fulbright-Nat Geo Storyteller Award Takes Bee Researcher Melanie Kirby to Spain

Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship 2019 recipient Melanie Kirby.

MEDIA: April Seehafer, WSU Distinguished Scholarships Program director, 509-335-8239, seehafer@wsu.edu

Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship 2019 recipient Melanie Kirby.PULLMAN, Wash.—Though career coaches encourage job applicants to say “yes” with a can-do attitude, answering “no” to a Peace Corps question 22 years ago set Washington State University student Melanie Margarita Kirby on a career and academic path like no other. It’s one that will take her to Spain this fall for a nine-month Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship—WSU’s first.

“In 1997, the Peace Corps questionnaire asked if I would mind working with stinging insects,” the 45-year-old mother of two recalled, “and by saying ‘no, I wouldn’t mind,’ my life changed forever. I was introduced to beekeeping as a volunteer in Paraguay, and that led to my own small farm back in New Mexico, raising honey bees and breeding queens.

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