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Tucker graduate earns Fulbright grant

J.R. Tucker High School alumnus and 2011 Elon University graduate Chris Jarrett recently earned a Fulbright grant that will be used to fund his overseas anthropological research in Ecuador in 2011-12.

For his research project, Jarrett will be working and living with the Amazonian Kichwa, a group of indigenous peoples who live in the Napo province of Ecuador.

The primary focus of his research will be the guayusa tea ritual, a ritual in which Kichwa families gather in the early morning to drink tea, tell stories and play music.

“I will be working on creating a book of cultural narratives [related to the guayusa ritual]” Jarrett told the Citizen.

According to Jarrett, these narratives initially will be written in the native Kichwa language and later be translated to both Spanish and English. Additionally, he hopes to get enough material from his research to produce a couple of academic articles regarding the topic.

This, however, is not the first time that Jarrett has visited Ecuador for academic pursuits.

He also spent a semester studying abroad in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito in the fall of 2009 after he won the Lumen Prize, a $15,000 grant from Elon that awards academic and creative achievement.

During that semester, Jarrett did research for his 160-page-long undergraduate thesis about the cultural history of Ecuador. In the undergraduate thesis, Jarrett focused primarily on the relationship between culture and politics in Ecuador, Amazonia, indigenous identity and alternative development strategies.

Despite his success in the field of anthropology up to this point, it was not Jarrett’s initial choice for his field of study.

“I was originally going to study international relations [at Elon], but after taking an anthropology class during my freshman year, my interest began to turn towards that particular topic” Jarrett said, “Also, I’ve always been very interested in different development processes [among different groups of people].”

In addition to his academic pursuits, Jarrett was very involved during his time as a student at Elon in North Carolina. The summer after his freshman year, Jarrett worked as an intern in the Dominican Republic for a non-profit organization. He also spent an alternative spring break in Honduras and was involved in a Spanish learning community at the university.

Jarrett also was very involved during his four years at Henrico’s J.R. Tucker High School. He won the senior history award for his class and was a member of National Honors Society, National Beta Club, the Spanish Immersion Center and the president of the school’s Spanish Outreach Center.

According to Jarrett, two of his teachers at Tucker had a significant influence on him and his academic career.

Jarrett credits Steven Galyen, his US government teacher, for sparking his interest in history/politics. He also acknowledges English teacher Becky Wright for “helping me to become a much better writer.”

Galyen is now retired, while Wright is the head of the English Department at Tucker.

Jarrett is the son of Elizabeth Jarrett of Henrico and Thomas Jarrett of Gwynn, Va.


Community

Garden tails

The threat of bad weather didn’t keep visitors away from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden July 10 for the facility’s weekly Flowers After 5 event (which pairs music and food with a chance to stroll the garden) and its monthly Fidos After 5 (which allows dog owners to bring their pets with them to enjoy the evening). > Read more.

Western Henrico Rotary helps fund Midwives For Haiti Jeep


Thanks in part to a $10,000 gift from the Western Henrico Rotary Club, another bright pink Jeep modified to travel extremely rough terrain has been delivered to Midwives For Haiti so that more pregnant women in the quake-ravaged country will have access to prenatal care and a greater chance of surviving childbirth.

The funds were raised at the annual casino night held in February, club president Adam Cherry said. The Rotary Club also helped purchase the Virginia-based charity’s first pink jeep three years ago. > Read more.

Agencies combine on new entry point to Chickahominy


Canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts soon will have a new access point to the Chickahominy River. VDOT, the James River Association and Henrico County Parks and Recreation are teaming up to establish a new site in Eastern Henrico.

The James River Association negotiated the deal with VDOT to procure official access to the area located just east of I-295 on North Airport Road in Sandston. The site includes a park-and-ride commuter lot bordering the Chickahominy River and has been an unofficial launch site used by paddlers for years. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Take in a show at several locations this weekend! West End Comedy will provide laughs at HATTheatre; the production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes” will close Sunday; and the youth theatre company CharacterWorks will present “Footloose” at The Steward School. Another show perfect for the kids – “Despicable Me 2” is playing at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center tonight. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Is there an Echo in here?

‘Earth to Echo’ aims to become this generation’s ‘ET’
It’s no secret that all found-footage genre movies are the same. Grab a couple of characters, give one of them a camera, and expose them to something supernatural that’s content to lurk just off-screen until the last five minutes. Everything else will just fall into place.

But that formula isn’t particularly family friendly, if only because that thing waiting a few feet to the left of the cast is usually plotting their violent doom.

That’s what sets Earth to Echo apart from the pack. It, too, follows a group of characters armed with a camera and a tendency to encounter unknown life forms. But all those familiar parts have been rearranged just enough to make it suitable for a much younger audience. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


An eclectic array of events are taking place this weekend throughout the county. In the West End, we have the Richmond Wedding Expo, the Under the Stars Family Film Series and Henrico Theatre Company’s production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” In the eastern part of the county, we have a blood drive at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, Gallmeyer Farm’s annual Sweet Corn Festival and an origami workshop at Fairfield Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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