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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

Lions Club donates backpacks to elementary school

The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.

Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

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Entertainment

The Boathouse to open at Short Pump Town Center

The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.

“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”

The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.

Getting a ‘mouf’-ful

Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.

Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?

Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.

Lakeside microbrewery beginning to take shape

Original Gravity gets the green light to move forward with relocation, expansion into larger space

A Lakeside home-brewing shop has felt the gravitational pull toward the booming craft beer scene.

Original Gravity, a shop that sells beer and wine kits for homebrewers, has just been given the green light to start work on a microbrewery.

Owner Tony Ammendolia is expanding his 1,000-square-foot shop in Lakeside Town Center to 5,000-square-foot digs a few doors down to add a brewery and expand his supplies.

Ammendolia opened the home-brew supply store in November 2011 and since then he said business has taken off.

“I think I outgrew this place in the first year,” Ammendolia said. “We’ve seen steady growth and I’ve been looking for a place to expand to move the shop to get more square footage.” > Read more.

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