Fulbright Scholar asks for picturesfullbright-scholar


Winter 2010 edition of Marquette Magazine


How do young people see poverty?

Chris Hallber, Arts '09, is in El Salvador — for the fourth time. But this visit is different. He’s a Fulbright Scholar doing research to fight poverty.

Hallberg spent a semester studying abroad in El Salvador, volunteering two days a week at an HIV support group, a primary care clinic and the emergency room of the largest public hospital. He experienced poverty firsthand.

Back at Marquette, he talked with professors, friends and priests and organized presentations and lectures to share what he had seen. But Hallberg wanted to do more. He applied for a Fulbright Scholarship, which provides funds for students, professors and other professionals to study, conduct research or teach in another country.

Hallberg’s research strategy is unusual. He gave a dozen young El Salvadorans cameras to document their environment. Meanwhile, he is conducting interviews with their families and friends. He hopes the information will provide recommendations for development organizations working in the region.

“National governments, international financial institutions and nongovernmental organizations continue to pour millions of dollars into development programs in El Salvador, yet extreme poverty persists,” he says. “Current programs often ignore the voices of the very people they are meant to help, which limits program success.”

Hallberg hopes his research will help fill that gap. — AB