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UMW's Danielle Jones receives Fulbright grant

UMW News Bureau

danielle jonesUniversity of Montana Western Visiting Assistant Professor of English Danielle Jones recently received a Fulbright Scholar Grant for a residency in Russia to teach American literature at Perm State University and complete her memoir “Mother Russia, Father Time.”

Jones, who grew up in Dillon, Mont., will complete her residency in Perm, Russia, a city of one million people near the edge of the Ural Mountains. The residency will be in the 2012-2013 academic year. It will not be the first time the writer has traveled to Russia, however.

Jones traveled to Russia and Ukraine in 1993 to visit friends and soon found herself enamored with Russian literature and language. She and her husband Kreg soon returned to study Russian history, literature and language and Jones said she “fell in love with all things Russian.”

“Russian literature deals with the hard questions,” Jones explained. “They don’t mind dealing with religion or politics or philosophy. I just really like how Russian literature doesn’t shy away from the hard things, nor do the Russian people. I also love the sound of the language.”

The Jones’s have returned to Russia five times since 1993. The country continued to lure them, and the Fulbright provided a unique opportunity for Jones to return, work and write about Russia while steeped in the culture.

“We’re always trying to get back to Russia in some way, and to be able to have nine months there to write and have it all be funded is just the best of both worlds,” Jones added.

“We’re always trying to get back to Russia in some way, and to be able to have nine months there to write and have it all be funded is just the best of both worlds,” Jones added.

When she is not teaching, Jones will be completing her memoir, which is about the adoption of her daughter Angelika. The Jones’s adopted Angelika in 2007 from Tver, Russia after a nine-month process in which the Supreme Court of Russia suspended all adoptions indefinitely on the very day the Jones’s planned to adopt.

While her husband returned to the United States to work, Jones spent nine months studying Russian at a language institute while visiting Angelika, who was then eight years old, at a nearby orphanage. The family was eventually cleared to adopt, and Angelika is currently a student in the Dillon School District.

Jones has been working on the memoir for four years and plans to finish writing in Perm.

While at Perm State University, a campus of 12,000 students, she will teach in the World Literature and Culture Department.

Jones holds a Ph.D. in Poetry and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction writing.

In addition to the opportunity provided to her, Jones said she hopes the grant will also draw positive attention to Montana Western.

“Obviously, this is a huge honor and a wonderful opportunity,” Jones stated. “I hope it also reflects well on Montana Western.”