Fulbright & Academic Collaborations
Roth Foundation Fulbright & Academic Collaborations include exchange-based project support scholarships and co-sponsorship of events and fellowships.
The first program the Roth Foundation established in the late-1980s consisted in small supplementary grants for projects being conducted in countries of special significance to Lois Roth. Organized in collaboration with the American Scandinavian Foundation (Denmark) and five Fulbright Commissions (in Australia, Finland, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden), these long formed the backbone of our exchange-based programming. In most cases, grantees are invited to submit a proposal for supplemental funding once they are settled overseas, enabling them to take advantage of unexpected opportunities and collaborations that arise while they are overseas. In celebration of our 35th anniversary in 2022, the Foundation is extending this exchange-based program to three new partners: Fulbright Uruguay, Fulbright Ecuador and the Moroccan-American Commission for Education and Cultural Exchange (MACECE).
Non-exchange programs include the annual Fulbright Distinguished Lecture, in collaboration with the US-UK Fulbright Commission, Oxford University, Kings College London and the University of Edinburgh. Established in 2011, these lectures focus on international affairs and relations and have featured luminaries in different fields, including John Kerry, Devi Sridhar, David Miliband, Janet Napolitano, Lord Nicholas Stern, Anne-Marie Slaughter and Joseph Stiglitz, among others. A second non-exchange program, currently on hiatus, is the CASVA-Henry & Judith Millon Award, which helps support a research fellow at the National Gallery’s Center for Advanced Research in the Visual Arts (CASVA).
Fulbright Distinguished Lecture
Now in its 12th year, the Fulbright Legacy Lecture features an annual lecture by prominent figures in international relations. It is co‐sponsored by the US‐UK Fulbright Commission, Pembroke College and the Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford, Kings College London and the University of Edinburgh. The lecture honors the life and work of Senator J. William Fulbright, who spent four years at Pembroke College in Oxford, from 1924 to 1928. In keeping with the constraints imposed by the COVID pandemic, the 2022 Legacy Lecture took place on December in a hybrid format – before an in-person audience at King’s College and simultaneously livestreamed.
On December 9, 2022, John Kerry, the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, spoke on “The Urgency of Global Climate Action.” A video of the lecture is available on the US-UK Fulbright Commission’s website.
Secretary Kerry’s conclusions made use of new research, conducted by a social research collaborations between Kings College London-Ipsos, on public perceptions of climate change and how we should respond in the U.S. and UK. He reviewed the urgent challenges presented by climate change and how they are already affecting every single nation on earth. While acknowledging the commitments countries have made to cut carbon emissions and invest in alternative energy, he stressed the importance of pressing major economies to hasten their efforts. Kerry called for urgency and accountability from everyone, every day, saying: “We will get to a low carbon economy, but will we get there in time?”
Secretary John Kerry was the US Secretary of State under President Barack Obama. From 1985 to 2013, he served as a US Senator representing Massachusetts and was Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 2009 to 2013. His current appointment—as the first-ever Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and National Security Council Principal entirely dedicated to climate change—represents the Biden administration’s concern and commitment to combatting climate change.
Programs that enable scholars and artists to live and work in other countries for a time are at the heart of international exchange and what we can understand as cultural diplomacy in a broader sense. Lois Roth worked with such programs throughout her career, both at the American Scandinavian Foundation and with the U.S. State Department. The Roth Foundation seeks to reinforce the service rendered by Fulbright and other such programs by offering supplementary support for projects in the social sciences and humanities, including the visual and performing arts.
Project Support is awarded only in tandem with primary funding agencies and assists students, scholars and artists in taking advantage of opportunities that deepen their international experiences. Awarded projects involve Australia, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, Morocco, New Zealand/Aotearoa, Norway, Sweden, and Uruguay.
The Roth Foundation provides supplementary support to one American Fulbrighter working in Australia each year, in collaboration with the Australian-American Fulbright Commission. The 2023 award went to Dr. Kayln McDonough.
Dr. Kayln McDonough is a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Melbourne and an advocate for social justice through sport, particularly for youth and using sport to strengthen communities. Her home institution is University of Delaware’s College of Health Sciences’ Partnership for Healthy Communities.
She is applying post doctoral research to sport programming she is leading at a youth detention center in partnership with the Queensland Department of Children, Youth Justice, and Multicultural Affairs, the National Indigenous Sports Foundation (NISF), Confederation of Australian Sport (CAS) and Lacrosse Australia. The objective is to increase access to physical activity, specifically lacrosse, among incarcerated youth. The collaboration of NISF and Lacrosse Australia marks a first of its kind, and can be used as a model for culturally-informed programming among other national sporting bodies.
The Roth Foundation offers supplementary funds to a grantee of the American Scandinavian Foundation traveling to Denmark. This prize was instituted in honor of Lois Roth’s friend, Sonja Bungard-Nielsen, long-time director of the Danish American Foundation. This year, Dr. Kristina Nielsen was selected as a recipient for the Award.
She will conduct postdoctoral research at Roskilde University on “Globalization without Multiculturalism?: Paradoxes of Danishness and Danish Children’s Music.” Utilizing ethnographic fieldwork, musical analysis, and archival research, Dr. Nielsen plans to examine how state-produced Danish children’s music responds to the paradoxes of belonging in Denmark. Her project seeks to understand this paradox in light of Denmark’s growing multiculturalism as she examines the myths of Scandinavian homogeneity within the growing field of Scandinavian post-colonial studies. Dr. Nielsen earned a PhD in Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2017. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Musicology at Southern Methodist University.
The Roth Foundation provides supplementary support for projects in the social sciences and humanities, including the visual and performing arts to one American Fulbrighter working in Ecuador each year, in partnership with Comisión Fulbright del Ecuador. The inaugural award went to Emily Kuhn.
This award will support her project, Understanding Kichwa Agroecology as an Intergenerational Pedagogy. She will work with linguists, Kichwa ethno-scientists, sound engineers and graphic designers to create audiovisual materials for students and educators to promote the transfer of ancestral ecological knowledge to support sustainable agricultural practices. She earned her BA in Environmental Sociology and Spanish from Pitzer College in California. Upon returning to the United States, she plans to continue her work in sustainable management of the land among indigenous communities.
A generous gift from Ann O. Thomson provides supplementary project support for up to two American Fulbrighters in Finland every year, in cooperation with the Fulbright Finland Foundation. The 2023 award went to Timothy Sowa and Irina Wang.
Timothy Sowa was selected for his project on Sustainable Digital Education. He will use the award to travel and expand his engagement with Finnish educators, researchers and students on how social sciences and technology can work together to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. He is currently working on his Master’s degree in Social Science with the Sustainable Digital Life program at Tampere University. He intends to return to the United States to work as an education technology consultant and help schools build ethical and sustainable digital platforms.
Irina Wang was selected for her project on Visualizing Indigenous Perspectives on Arctic Climate Change. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, she will use the award to develop gameplay materials to facilitate conversations with and among herders on the impact of climate change on reindeer husbandry in collaboration with colleagues from CHARTER (Drivers and Feedbacks of Changes in Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity), a research project focused on the processes driving rapid climate and land use changes in the Arctic. Upon returning to the United States, she intends to establish a design studio and apply her skills to the development and implementation of equitable climate policy.
The Roth Foundation provides supplementary support for projects in the social sciences and humanities, including the visual and performing arts to one American Fulbrighter working in Morocco each year, in collaboration with Moroccan-American Commission for Education and Cultural Exchange (MACECE Fulbright Morocco).
The Inaugural Morocco Project Support Award went to Ryan Milov-Cordoba. Our award for Morocco will help Ryan Milov-Cordoba (CUNY Grad School) visit remote areas and film documentation of Morocco’s Hakawati story-telling tradition. His project is entitled Streaming the Sooq: Presents, Futures, and Pasts of the Moroccan Darija Hakawati Tradition.” After Fulbright program, he plans to explore postdocs and assistant professorships at American and Moroccan universities to develop his research into a first book.
The Robin and Avril Winks Award honors the memory of Robin Winks, a founding board member of the Roth Foundation and Yale University history professor, and his New Zealander wife, Avril. The award goes to a Fulbright scholar from New Zealand/Aotearoa who is coming to the U.S. to pursue graduate study. Rebecca Hawkes won the Winks Award for 2023.
Rebecca, a published poet, is currently pursuing her Master’s of Fine Art in Poetry at the University of Michigan. She intends to turn her book-length creative thesis into her second full-length book of poetry to be published both in New Zealand and the US.
Her first book, Meat Lovers, was a collection of poems on food, farming, and queer romantic folly. The new collection will most likely focus on climate change, food systems, environmentalism, as well as expressions of love and care in times of crisis – what she calls queerness and ecology.
After completing the MFA, Rebecca plans to return to New Zealand with newfound teaching skills that will not be limited to academic classrooms, but enable her to better connect with non-poets. She wants to run workshops that bring together poets and environmentalists, and introduce more scientists and laypeople to poetry as a way to express themselves and strengthen communities.
In collaboration with Fulbright Norway, the Roth Foundation grants an award to an American Fulbrighter in Norway every year.
The 2023 award went to Eric Benninghoff. Eric is working on his multicultural video project on the transition from school to employment for people with developmental disabilities such as autism. Eric graduated from Yale with a BA in Political Science in 2020. Upon return to the United States, he plans to continue in video journalism, with a focus on telling the stories of individuals with disabilities, and other often overlooked populations.
A generous gift from Ann O. Thomson, whom Lois referred to as her Swedish adoptive mother, provides supplementary project support for American Fulbrighters in Sweden every year. The 2023 Roth-Thomson Awards were presented to Michael Monzon and Max Frankel.
Michael Monzon is currently working on his PhD in Entomology at Rutgers. His Fulbright research is focused on the application of Insect Science to Archaeology. The Sweden Project Support Award will support expanding the scope of his original Fulbright project beyond archaeological entomology to incorporate lithic analysis of stone tools produced in northern Sweden, an underserved area of Swedish archaeology. He plans for his research to be published as an article in the peer-reviewed Journal of Open Archaeology Data.
Although his Fulbright research is focused on Capturing Neuroscience on the Nanoscale, Max will use the Sweden Project Support Award to support an exchange between artists at the Royal Institute of Art and scientists at SciLifeLab that will result in an exhibition “Scientific Research through an Artist’s Lens”. After completing his Fulbright research, he plans to pursue a PhD in Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, focused on the interactions between atoms and light and the practical application to new technology. He is particularly interested in studying Bose-Einstein Condensate, a state of matter where atoms behave more like waves than particles. He hopes one day to run his own experimental physics lab.
The Roth Foundation seeks to reinforce the service rendered by Comisión Fulbright Uruguay by offering supplementary support for projects in the social sciences and humanities, including the visual and performing arts. The 2023 award went to Carina Isbell.
Carina is conducting research on the agroecology movement and its impact on policy in Uruguay. This award will support her transcription and translation needs as she travels to conduct interviews with community members. Having recently completed her Master’s degree in Community Development and Applied Economics from the University of Vermont, Carina intends to pursue a PhD and conduct further research across the Americas in climate resiliency and food chain sustainability.
The Henry And Judith Millon Award
The Henry and Judith Millon Award helps support the residency of a foreign architectural historian at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), part of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. The award is named after Henry Millon—Roth Foundation founding Roth Foundation Board member and CASVA founder‐director—and his wife, Judy.
We are grieved at the passing of Henry A. Millon in 2018. The program was on hiatus last year, but we look forward to starting up again, with renewed purpose, in 2019.