Autumn Pratt, a freshman at the University of Idaho, has spent most of her life on the Palouse. But this summer she will be spending a month of her vacation overseas in northeast England at an archaeological project studying the northern edges of the Roman Empire.
Pratt, a mechanical engineering student, will be one of seven American students attending the Fulbright Summer Institute at Durham University in Durham. She was selected for a full-ride scholarship for her good grades and her extracurricular and community activities.
“In my sophomore and junior years I should probably do engineering internships, but as a freshman there wasn’t really much I could do, so it seemed like a good summer to do something enjoyable,” Pratt said.
She is set to leave just after the Fourth of July and head to the United Kingdom – her first experience traveling internationally.
Pratt has grown up in the Moscow area, being home-schooled throughout elementary and attending Logos High School.
Her essay application outlined her involvement with cross-country, track, basketball, drama and knowledge bowl at Logos. She was also a camp counselor and is a member of the UI engineering scholars club.
She said she has always enjoyed reading and writing, two things she will be doing while in England.
“When we studied (British literature) at Logos we went into a little history about when the Romans were there, and I thought that was pretty cool,” Pratt said. “We talked about the really old history of England so it appealed to me when I looked into (Durham). And I get to do some hands-on stuff, so I am excited.”
The program, “The Northern Borders of Empire to the Making of the Middle Ages,” will give students a chance to participate in an archaeological dig and explore the city’s history and culture from Hadrian’s Wall of Roman times to the medieval founding of modern Durham and into the Renaissance.
She will receive university credit for her time spent abroad.
Pratt will stay at Durham University throughout, and all expenses of the trip will be paid for by the program.
“I have read about England a lot because it comes up in school,” Pratt said. “It will be a completely different experience to actually go there myself.”
Pratt is interested in a career engineering prosthetics, something she read about in the National Geographic magazine many years ago that has stuck with her all this time.
She is interested in how different each prosthetic must be.
“It is always very individualized,” she said. “It would be nice to use the technology to help somebody so much.”
She said the Fulbright program has been keeping in touch with her via email, sending her some suggested reading materials and practical information about packing and pre-departure preparation.
“I really don’t know what to expect yet,” Pratt said. “I was starting to get nervous, but God always takes care of me.”