Awardee Database

Awardees

Dr. Fareed Zakaria

Dr. Fareed Zakaria is the 2024 speaker for the Distinguished Fulbright Lecture. He 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.

Samantha Ruth Brown

Samantha Ruth Brown, a PhD candidate in Geography at the University of Oregon, won the 2024 Project Support Award for Denmark. 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.

Laura Chang

Laura Chang won the 2024 Project Support Award for Ecuador. She 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.

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.

Leah Balter

Leah Balter won the 2024 Norway Project Support Award. She will use the 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.

Jen Shaneberger

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

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 plans to pursue a career in diplomacy as a Foreign Service Officer.

Viviana Prado-Núñez

Viviana Prado-Núñez, a graduate of Columbia University, won the 2023 Morocco Project Support Award for her audio series “How to Kill Tigers”, aiming 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.

Sassan Tabatabai

Sassan Tabatabai won the 2023 Persian Translation Prize for his translation of Sadeq Hedayat’s Blind Owl. Tabatabai holds a prominent position as the head of the Persian program at Boston University, where he regularly teaches all levels of Persian language and literature. His multifaceted expertise extends beyond academia, encompassing roles as a poet, translator, editor, and scholar specializing in medieval Persian literature. His work has appeared in a number of publications including Essays in Criticism, The Christian Science Monitor, Literary Imagination, The Republic of Letters, Senecca Review, Leviathan Quarterly and Harvard Review Online. He is the author of Father of Persian Verse: Rudaki and his Poetry (Leiden University Press, 2010), Uzunburun: Poems (Pen and Anvil, 2011) and Sufi Haiku (Nemi Books, 2021).

Earl Lewis

Dr. Earl Lewis is the 2023 speaker for the Distinguished Fulbright Lecture. Noted social historian, award-winning author, and educational leader, he 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.

Jody Enders

Jody Enders, Distinguished Professor of French and Theater at the University of California, Santa Barbara, received the 2022 MLA-Roth Award for her translation of Immaculate Deception and Further Ribaldries: Yet Another Dozen Medieval French Farces in Modern English. In this collection of twelve French farces, Enders invites the readers to explore the controversial topics of French culture during the time through a blend of hilarity and satire. Published by the University of Pennsylvania Press, Enders’s translation has received glowing remarks from the MLA Committee, hailing Enders for her “technical translation prowess, scholarly rigor, and guffaw-inducing creative humor.” Enders not only challenges the modern-day perception of the Middle Ages as a grim period but also harnesses the comedic essence of these stories to encourage readers to reconsider contemporary issues through the lens of historical satire.

Marjorie Perloff

Marjorie Perloff received an honorable mention for the 2022 MLA-Roth Translation Award for her translation of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Private Notebooks, 1914–1916. Perloff introduces to the English-speaking world, and even to the German-speaking sphere where these notebooks aren’t widely accessible in their original form, documents that are indispensable for gaining a clearer understanding of both Wittgenstein’s life story and the genesis of his book, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, during the war years. Through her meticulous translation, readers are invited to not only engage with Wittgenstein’s philosophical insights but also to contemplate the sociocultural contexts that influenced his thoughts.

Petra Reid & Jim Dingley

Petra Reid and Jim Dingley received the second honorable mention of the MLA-Roth Translation Award for their translation of Alhierd Bacharevič’s Alindarka’s Children. Originally published in Belarusian, Russian, and a hybrid of the two languages, this darkly satirical fantasy weaves together elements of childhood, forests, family dynamics, and the complexities of language. The translation of this work into English by Petra Reid and Jim Dingley expertly captures the essence of the original text, maintaining its dissonant and multi-layered nature.

Sasha Dugdale

Sasha Dugdale won the MLA- Roth award for her translation of Maria Stepanova’s In Memory of Memory: A Romance. Maria Stepanova’s In Memory of Memory: A Romance is a bold exploration of personal identity and Jewish life during the last years of Soviet Union. The result is a deep reflection on personal memory and the Russian past, revealing the story of how an ordinary Jewish family survive persecutions and repressions of the last century. Published by New Directions Press and highly praised by the MLA committee as “the work of a poet,” Sasha’s translation contributes a unique interpretation and perspective on the power and potential of personal and cultural memory.

Jennifer Grotz and Piotr Sommer

Jennifer Grotz and Piotr Sommer received an honorable mention for the 2021 MLA-Roth Translation Award for their translation of Jerzy Ficowski’s Everything I Don’t Know: Selected Poems. Their translated selections of the poetry published by Jerzy Ficowski from 1957 to 2006, offering an excellent representation of the development of his poetic voice. Ficowski writes about a drop of water, a stove burner, one single louse, or a bird’s flight yet succeeds in evoking immense historical loss, cultural resilience against the odds, and at times also the sheer pleasure of being alive. In a thoughtful afterword, Sommer explains that Ficowski’s inventiveness with language makes him a translator’s nightmare.

Mariana Past and Benjamin Hebblethwaite

Marianna Past and Benjamin Hebblethwaite won an honorable mention for their translation of Michael Rolph Trouillot’s Stirring the Pot of Haitian History. Originally published in 1977 and one of the first nonfiction books to be written in Haitian Kreyòl, the book offers an in-depth analysis of a durably divided society in the wake of the Haitian Revolution. The combination of proverbs, wordplay, and songs from popular culture and Marxist criticism provide the readers a glimpse into Haiti’s rich oral storytelling traditions. Mariana Past and Benjamin Hebblethwaite have rendered this unprecedented verbal performance sharply.

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.

László Vizsy

László Vizsy is an Emerging Voices Specialist in the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, Hungary. During László’s thirty-plus years of service, his innovative leadership in outreach to tens of thousands of students, management of five American Corners, interpretation skills, and supervisory skills have been instrumental in furthering cultural understanding and educational opportunities for both countries. Although the relationship has waxed and waned over the years, the overall positive impression of America in Hungary is largely the result of cultural programming led by László Vizsy.

Sami Saaied

Sami Saaied is a Strategic Public Engagement Specialist in the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia. Over more than twenty years managing PD outreach and speaker programs, Sami has used his expertise in grants management, his broad contact base and deep knowledge of the academic scene in Tunisia to bring U.S. perspectives to thought leaders and decision-makers across a wide spectrum of urgent and long-running issues, including PRC influence, business higher education, security cooperation, anti-trafficking, and DEIA. He is recognized for his lasting contributions throughout Mission Tunisia.

Josita Ekouevi

Josita Ekouevi is a Public Engagement Specialist for Established Opinion Leaders in the U.S. Embassy in Lomé, Togo. For twenty-five years, one thousand exchange alumni have considered “Auntie Josita” part of their family for her skill in guiding them to successful exchange experiences. Membership in the self-run Global Alumni Association of Togo is viewed as prestigious and an advantage in Togo’s difficult job market. Generously sharing her expertise with colleagues in other Bureaus and in DC, Josita’s work with participants and alumni represents the highest ideals of U.S. cultural and educational exchanges.

Irina Colin

Irina Colin is an Established Opinion Leaders Specialist in the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau, Moldova. Over twenty-six years, mentoring dozens of new staff, Irina has built a culture of high achievers by her example. A strategic thinker, skillful implementer and trusted colleague, Irina deciphers complexities from Moldova’s culture to the PDSI process to make her section better. Across every segment of Moldovan society there are former USG exchange participants applying their knowledge to Moldova’s challenges thanks to Irina Colin’s years of dedicated service.

*The Prix Coindreau Prize, The Jeanne Varnay Pleasants Prize for Language Teaching, and the CASVA-Henry & Judith Millon Award are currently inactive.