GradImpact: Creating a Transatlantic Storytelling Group for Able-Bodied and Disabled Communities

    Hailey Hughes, a master’s student in English at the University of West Georgia, has been an advocate for the disabled community for years. During high school, she became involved in an online forum for cerebral palsy and remained active through her undergraduate years at Marshall University. This experience inspired her aspiration to develop a transatlantic storytelling group for able-bodied and disabled communities.


    Hughes’ desire to build this community led her to apply for a Fulbright scholarship in 2017 while she was finishing her bachelor’s degree. She made it to the semifinals but didn’t give up on her dream. While in her first semester of graduate school at UWG, Hughes prepared to reapply. Her persistence paid off, and Hughes received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to study creative writing in Ireland beginning Fall 2018. The Fulbright mission is to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” Hughes is one of roughly 1,900 U.S. citizens to receive this honor for the 2018-2019 academic year.


    “I believe in the mission and love creative writing,” she concluded. “The idea that underpins this all is that it’s not about cultivating a voice. It’s about amplifying a voice that’s already there. The larger implication is that this can allow people with disabilities to develop self-advocacy and life skills.” To learn more about Hailey’s work visit the University of West Georgia website.


    Visit the GradImpact Feature Gallery to learn more about the amazing, innovative research being done by graduate students and alumni across the world.


    Photo Credit: UWG News



    The CGS GRADIMPACT project draws from member examples to tell the larger story of graduate education. Our goal is to demonstrate the importance of graduate education not only to degree holders, but also to the communities where we live and work. Do you have a great story to share about the impact of master’s or doctoral education? Visit our WEBSITE for more information.


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