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SEJLA KARALIC finished her Fulbright Scholars project
Date:2012-04-09 00:00 

SEJLA KARALIC  Sejla Karalic graduated from the University of Akron in the spring of 2009, with a double major in Political Science and Economics. That fall, she set off for China on a Fulbright fellowship. She spent her first three months in China studying advanced Mandarin Chinese as part of a Critical Language Enhancement Award, and subsequently began her Fulbright research in December.

Sejla’s Fulbright project involved designing, translating, and administering a survey to assess how tobacco advertising, compared to economic and cultural factors, affects the smoking rates among Chinese undergraduates.  She worked closely with Professor Tingzhong Yang, director of Zhejiang University's Research Center for Tobacco Control, who graciously allowed her to tap into his survey network in Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province, where her survey was conducted. Sejla hopes to analyze the data she collected for a paper she plans to submit to a peer-reviewed public health or tobacco control journal. 

During her Fulbright term, Sejla had not only completed her own project, but also served as an assistant for Professor Yang’s China Tobacco Control Capacity Building Project (TCCB).  The TCCB aims to develop culturally-appropriate tobacco control curricula for 31 Public Health schools across China.  She also attended public health conferences in Hangzhou and Beijing, translated for visiting foreign scholars, and received many networking opportunities with Chinese and international Tobacco Control professionals.

The Fulbright grant is not only about research, however. More than anything else, it helped her understand and connect with a people and culture she knew very little about outside of a limited tobacco control framework. She made many Chinese friends who she still keeps in touch with and will hopefully see again when she visits China in the future.Since March 2011, Sejla has worked as a Research Assistant in the Macroeconomic Analysis Section at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C.  Economic data analysis and the ability to conduct independent research tasks is a vital part of her current position, and her Fulbright research experience undoubtedly contributes to her ongoing success.