UNT student named Outstanding Foreign Student by Dallas/Fort Worth Consular Corps
DENTON (UNT), Texas -- With a mother who married at age 16 and completed only elementary and junior high school, University of North Texas student Gulin "Eva" Gelogullari knew she wanted to have a college education. A native of the Black Sea Region of the Republic of Turkey, Gelogullari remembers her mother taking her and her brother to Ankara, the capital city, when she was 12. The family visited both the city's richest and poorest neighborhoods.
"I didn't understand what she was doing at the time, but she showed me the life that I could obtain, while simultaneously reminding me that I shouldn't forget about those who are less fortunate," she said. "She also told me when I was 6 years old that I would be her freedom, and she always encouraged me to take my education as far as I could."
Pursuing that freedom led Gelogullari to UNT, where she is earning a master's degree in radio, television and film and is minoring in both women's and gender studies and merchandising. The Dallas/Fort Worth Consular Corps recently named her the Outstanding Foreign Student in North Texas for 2014, awarding her with a $2,500 scholarship.
The Consular Corps is comprised of Consuls General and Honorary Consuls from 34 countries. Consuls represent their nations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and assist citizens from their nations who are living in the area, and also support local international organizations. Funding for the scholarship came directly from individual Consuls. Gelogullari was one of three finalists for the award. Finalists were nominated by their colleges, universities or schools.
Gelogullari is focusing on critical-cultural studies and film criticism for her master's degree. She used her award to study for a month this summer at Harvard University, adding that she's always wanted to visit the oldest college or university in the U.S. She completed an independent study course on gender, food and culture in American history taught by Marilyn Morgan, manuscript cataloger at Harvard's Schlesinger Library.
"I strongly believe that the interplay between gender, food and culture facilitates positive communication around the world. Humankind can break many barriers via mutual understanding of these concepts. I have recognized the powerful impact of multicultural cuisines on human interactions, and I want to learn more about these subjects," Gelogullari said.
While in Boston -- a city that she's never visited -- Gelogullari planned to tour landmarks of America's history, including the Freedom Trail, go to Boston's many museums and attend events at Harvard and other Boston universities.
"My learning about the U.S. went far beyond the one class," she said.
At UNT, Gelogullari is a peer mentor for both UNT's Multicultural Center and the Welcome Center of UNT-International, the university's office for international students. She helps new students adjust to life on campus. She is also a volunteer with UNT's Jewish and Israel Studies Program and a member of UNT Merchandising Inc., the Women in Business Student Association and the India Student Association.
Gelogullari is a teaching assistant in both the Department of Radio, Television and Film and the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, and was a student assistant for UNT's International Admissions Office and the Welcome Center. This past spring, she was named the Outstanding Master's Student in the Department of Radio, Television and Film and was one of four students to receive UNT-International's Great Global Citizens Award. In addition, she received the Epsilon Honors Award of 2014 from Delta Epsilon Iota, an interdisciplinary academic honor society.
Gelogullari earned her bachelor's degree in cinema and television is from Anadolu University in Turkey. While at Anadolu, she received a scholarship from the European Union Erasmus and Socrates Student Exchange Program, and studied in Germany for a semester.
After receiving her master's degree in May 2015, she plans to earn a second master's degree or doctoral degree in international studies, focusing on international media and peace studies.
"I want to work for the United Nations and contribute to education and peace in any way that I can," she said.