Our Programs

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).

Our Awards

Fulbright Distinguished Lecture

Now in its 14th 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. The 2024 Distinguished Lecture took place on June in a hybrid format – before an in-person audience at University of  Oxford Pembroke College and simultaneously livestreamed.

On June 14, 2024, CNN host and best-selling author Dr. Fareed Zakaria spoke on “Towards a Post-American International Order.” A video of the lecture is available on the US-UK Fulbright Commission’s website.

Dr. Zakaria’s lecture delves into the dramatic shifts in the geopolitics we are currently witnessing. Almost 80 years on from the end of World War II, the international liberal order is under acute stress around the world while its main supporter, the United States, turns increasingly inward. He proposes the question to the audience: What is going to come next?

Dr. Fareed Zakaria is the host of Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN, a columnist for The Washington Post, and a bestselling author. He has been nominated for several Emmys for his television work and has won one, along with the prestigious Peabody Award for his weekly CNN show. Since the debut of his show in 2008, it has featured interviews with several prominent figures including Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and Emmanuel Macron. Zakaria has authored five highly-regarded New York Times bestselling books: Age of Revolutions (2024), The Post-American World (2008), The Future of Freedom (2003), Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World (2020), and In Defense of a Liberal Education (2015). Before his tenure at CNN, Zakaria served as an editor of Newsweek International, a managing editor of Foreign Affairs, a columnist for Time, an analyst for ABC News, and the host of Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria on PBS. Zakaria holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University, a doctorate in political science from Harvard University, and many numerous honorary degrees.

Project Grants

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 AustraliaDenmark, Ecuador, Finland, Morocco, New Zealand/AotearoaNorway, Sweden, and Uruguay.

Australia

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.

Denmark

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, Samantha Ruth Brown was selected as a recipient for the Award.

Samantha Brown is currently a PhD candidate in Geography at the University of Oregon. She will use the award to support her dissertation research project on “Fermented Foods, Fresh Perspectives: Prioritizing Inuit Food Sovereignty in a Changing Arctic”. Samantha’s project will explore how Greenlandic Inuit perceive the potential export of iginneq, fermented seal blubber, and other traditional foods in fine dining restaurants. She aims to unravel how the use (or rejection of the use) of iginneq resists, disrupts, or replicates colonial logics. She will collaborate with Greenlandic Inuit scholars and communities to generate an interactive story map of traditional Inuit fermentation practices and write a series of academic and popular media articles focused on traditional Inuit foodways in her exploration of what has made Inuit communities more food insecure than other Indigenous Peoples.

Ecuador

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 Laura Chang.

Laura will use the Award to support her project on the Integration of Kichwa and Western Medicines. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Biology with a minor in Latin American Studies and Spanish from Cornell University. Her career goal is to become a medical anthropologist. In Fall 2024, she will undertake a joint MD/PhD program in Anthropology.

Finland

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

Sydney Erlikh is a PhD candidate in disability studies at the University of Illinois, Chicago. She will use the 2024 Finland Roth-Thomas Award to support her project on the culture and artistic process of dancers with intellectual disability in collaboration with the University of the Arts’ Theatre Academy and the Kaaos Dance Company in Helsinki. Upon her return to the United States, she will directly apply the pedagogical and performance tools she learn to her dissertation and to the inclusive dance group she co-founded out of Access Living in Chicago.

Morocco

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.

New Zealand/Aotearoa

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.

Norway

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 at the University of Bergen. Leah earned her BA in Human Biology from Stanford University with Honors. After completing her Fulbright, she plans to attend medical school and envisions a career as a physician-activist specializing in refugee health.

Sweden

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.

Uruguay

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.