Daphne Weber.

Washington State University anthropology doctoral candidate Daphne Weber is the institution’s first recipient of a Fulbright-Hays award, said April Seehafer, director of the Distinguished Scholarships Program.

With it, Weber will spend a year living with and interviewing Thai female monks, formally known as bhikkhuni. She will conduct extensive research for her Ph.D. dissertation on the healing effects of ordination. While female monks are recognized in East Asia, where people mostly practice Mahayana Buddhism, bhikkhuni are not officially recognized within the predominately Theravada tradition of Southeast Asia.

“Anthropology opened me up to the human condition and how variable it can be,” she said, hoping to one day host study abroad opportunities for others. “Everyone in the world brings something unique to the table. I’m thankful for the Fulbright-Hays so I can share the story of these incredible female monks. I’m honored to do that.”

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