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 13th year, the Fulbright Distinguished 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 2023 Distinguished Lecture took place on November in a hybrid format – before an in-person audience at University of Edinburgh and simultaneously livestreamed.
On November 30, 2023, Professor Earl Lewis spoke on “The Grace of Repair.” A video of the lecture is available on the US-UK Fulbright Commission’s website.
Professor Earl Lewis’s lecture explored the legacies of slavery and systemic racism on both side of the Atlantic and pathways toward racial justice in the present and future. By examining pivotal moments in the histories of the United States and Scotland, he delved into the ways individuals and institutions have grappled with repairing the enduring impacts of these deeply entrenched issues. Lastly, Professor Lewis raised a fundamental yet profoundly significant question: How can we construct communities characterized by grace, ones that not only acknowledge and embrace differences but also champion inclusivity?
Noted social historian, award-winning author, and educational leader, Professor Earl Lewis, is the founding director of the University of Michigan Center for Social Solutions. Also the Thomas C. Holt Distinguished University Professor of History, Afroamerican and African Studies, and public policy, Lewis is president emeritus of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2013-18), one of the premier philanthropies supporting the arts, humanities, and higher education. At Michigan, Lewis and colleagues in the center are addressing four core areas of social concern: diversity and race, slavery and its aftermath, water and security, and the dignity of labor in an automated world.
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 2024 award went to Sydney Erlikh .
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.
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 2023 Morocco Project Support Award went to
Viviana Prado-Núñez. Viviana, a recent graduate of Columbia University, is developing an audio series “How to Kill Tigers” to explore Latino-Moroccan cultural connections and musician migration to Morocco. The Project Support Award will enhance the podcast by funding Spanish translation, marketing, distribution, the creation and recording of Latino-Moroccan-fused theme music.
After Fulbright, she plans to pursue several projects, including the publication of a docufiction bilingual novel about Vieques, Puerto Rico and the production of her play about Hurricane Maria. She is also considering a graduate degree in theater or Puerto Rican studies. Her ultimate goal is to return to Puerto Rico to live as an artist and perhaps teach at the university level one day.
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 2024 award went to Leah Balter.
Leah Balter will use this award to support her case study on Norway’s overlapping Covid-19 pandemic and
Ukrainian refugee crisis responses. Leah earned her BA in Biology from Sanford University. After completing her Fulbright, she plans to attend medical school and envisions a career as a physician-activist specializing in refugee health.
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 2024 Roth-Thomson Awards were presented to Jen Shaneberger and Cassandra Alvariño.
Jen Shaneberger is conducting research for her PhD in International Relations/Comparative Politics with the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. This award will support her research on how political rhetoric impacts migrants’ ability to find and maintain employment in association with Linköping University. She plans to defend her dissertation in November 2024 and submit a chapter for publication in the Journal of International Migration and Integration. Her ultimate career goal is to become a Foreign Service Officer.
Cassandra Alvariño will use this award to support her research on Sweden’s bid to join NATO in association with the Department of Political Science at the University of Gothenburg as part of her dual Master’s degree in European Studies and Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also planning to pursue a career in diplomacy as a Foreign Service Officer.
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.