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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

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

Highland Springs field to be dedicated in honor of longtime coach Spears

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.

Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.

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Entertainment

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


There’s no excuse for kids and families to not get out of the house this weekend! The Armour House and Gardens has an “Egg-celent Egg-venture” planned and Reynolds Community College will host the Reynolds Family Palooza. If you’re looking to give back to your community, Dorey Park will host Walk Like MADD and coordinators2inc will present the annual Kids Walk for Kids. And a special event for children with special needs will be on Sunday – the Caring Bunny will be at Virginia Center Commons. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

A new meaning for fried chicken

Is it heresy to say – in this bastion-of-tradition capital of the Old South – that it's time for Southern fried chicken to take a step back and make way for a new fried chicken king?

Count me among the new believers bowing to Bonchon Chicken's delectable double-fried bliss. Hand-brushed with signature garlic soy or hot sauce, flash-fried once and then again, the decadent drums and wings take "crisp" to a new level. If you're eating with a crowd and everyone bites in at once, be warned: you might need ear plugs to handle the din. > Read more.

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