Give Ted a Hand

This is a letter that I would like to send to a few of my professors and contacts at the University of Minnesota. I thought I would put it out there before I sent it off, perhaps get a little feedback. Do you think this is an appropriate thing to send, from a mere undergraduate to a professor? Please send me some feedback at tedericco@gmail.com.

 

Greetings!

 

This is Ted Meinhover, undergraduate in the Global Studies department. I was hoping that you could help me with a question. I do not know if there are any conventions for this sort of thing, so please do excuse me (and let me know!) if I am at all acting inappropriately or violating any codes of conduct.

 

I am currently in Indonesia, studying at Universitas Indonesia through the Sullivan Scholarship (from the University of Minnesota). I have been here since the beginning of August and it has been an absolutely amazing experience. I have learned so much – about language, politics, people – and there is so much left to learn.

 

I would like to ask your advice about searching for opportunities for a new friend of mine, Imam Cahyono, to continue his studies in the USA. He graduated with Sociology from Sudierman University in the city of Purwokerto, Java, and is now working in Jakarta. He is writing columns for two newspapers (Kompas and The Jakarta Post) and several magazines (on social justice and globalization issues); he is also part of a research team with the Indonesian Human Rights commission, a domestic, government funded entity. Their project now is researching human rights impacts in large factories. As prestigious as this may sound, he, his wife and two children live in a single room concrete house in South Jakarta, and he dreams of the day when journalism is recognized as a profession worth paying a living wage for in Indonesia. I have found him to be incredibly intelligent and progressive, and he has spent his adult life working for social justice in his country.

He would very much like to continue his education, preferably in the United States, which he of course does not have the resources for. His main focus is political economy. I thought he could be a very valuable recruit for the University of Minnesota, and also a worthwhile investment, in terms of scholarships or fellowships, etc.

Do you have any advice where he could possibly look for help financing his education? People like Imam are so important, I believe; he is working to make change in places that truly need it. It is most definitely in the interest of the United States and the world to empower people like him to help Indonesia become the democracy that they want it to be.

 

Thank you so much for your time and any advice. I hope that all is well at the beginning of another semester.

 

Ted Meinhover

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