Student to Survey Kuwait Politics; Boston College Coed Has a Fellowship to Study in Middle East

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Byline: JOSH SALMAN

Jessica Cusano could have majored in business. She could have majored in history or education.

The Jacksonville native and Episcopal High School alum could have majored in any of the popular tracks offered at Boston College. Instead, she wanted to get involved in politics - Middle Eastern politics.

And now, thanks to the coveted J. William Fulbright fellowship, she'll get to do just that.

Cusano will spend the 2009-10 school year in Kuwait, studying women in politics - an interest that stemmed from the Gulf War and the Sept. 11 attacks.

"The topic is really current and that's what's so exciting about it," she said.

Cusano will leave for Jordan in September for a language program. From there she will head to Kuwait in December, where she will have an apartment in heart of the Muslim nation's capital, Kuwait City.

Cusano will interview Kuwaiti political leaders, as well as study the language and culture. And she hopes to land an internship with one of Kuwait's political organizations.

"There's a lot going on there that could affect the neighboring countries," Cusano said. "And women are right in the thick of it."

Cusano said she chose Kuwait because women's role in politics there is far advanced from other countries in the region.

Kuwait has four women serving in parliament. Women were also granted full political availability in 2005, allowing them to vote for any elected position. …