Kristina Nielsen was selected as a recipient for the 2023 Denmark Project Support 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 – such as how children’s music embraces a globalized sound while emphasizing monoculturalism and integration. Dr. Nielsen’s 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, and she is currently Assistant Professor of Musicology at Southern Methodist University.
Emily Kuhn will use this award to 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On December 9, 2022, John Kerry, the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, spoke on “The Urgency of Global Climate Action.” 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.
As Deputy Director of the Office of Citizen Exchanges, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Matthew McMahon uses his skills, experience, cross-cultural understanding and creativity, combined with his patience and wisdom, to lead teams to success. Throughout his career, Matt has worked extremely well with Posts and regional bureaus, modeling how ECA civil service managers contribute subject matter expertise, management experience, and broad regional awareness as well as knowledge of relevant domestic issues and constituencies, to support and collaborate with colleagues at Posts to achieve the Department’s foreign policy goals.
For over 36 years, Cultural Specialist Dorothy Ngalombi has guided the U.S. Embassy in Kampala, Uganda through film festivals, concerts, women’s writing retreats and much more. Her upcoming event to commemorate the Fulbright program has a team of Fulbright alumni supporting her because of her dedication to these scholars over the years. The annual Fulbright Kajubi Lecture Series will be another lasting result of the connections Dorothy has fostered. To honor her, the Public Affairs Section in Kampala is creating a Lifetime Achievement Award for its alumni community in the name of Dorothy Ngalombi.
Alaa Mufleh, of the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan, received an Honorable Mention for her work as a dual-hatted Emerging Voices Specialist and Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism Specialist. Alaa’s programs engaged Jordan’s rising influencers, and empowered women and youth through experiential learning activities, designed not just to mitigate vulnerability to radicalization but ensure they are thriving across Jordan’s 12 governorates. A highlight was her programming of Jazz legend Herbie Hancock, culminating in a concert in a 2,000-year-old auditorium resulting in video products and prime-time news coverage that brought jazz into the homes of every Jordanian.
Jane Susi, Public Engagement Specialist, at the U.S. Embassy Tallinn, Estonia oversees the range of programs that engage universities, think tanks, and other policy-oriented non-governmental organizations. Over her 15 years of service, Jane increased Estonian financial support of the Fulbright Program, greatly expanded the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program, fostered diversity and inclusion in programs and grants, and solidified the Embassy’s cultural outreach to communities outside of the capital city, all the while training and mentoring staff throughout the region. Her work has not only been instrumental to shaping Embassy outreach, but also in helping participants thrive in their programs.
Jennifer Uhler, the Regional English Language Officer in Tallinn, Estonia covers Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Russia, but she has also served in Central Asia, East Asia and South America. In all her assignments, Jen has brought an understanding of how English language skills promote cross-cultural communication, open doors to educational and job opportunities, and provide a way to share U.S. culture and values. The impact of her teacher-training programs has lasted long beyond her assignments and have been continued and expanded by her successors. Jennifer is the first Foreign Service Specialist to win the Lois Roth Award.
Richard Pinkham, the Cultural Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan was awarded an Honorable Mention for his use of the spectrum of cultural and educational exchange programs to foster greater stability and cohesion in the South Caucasus. Through in-person and virtual exchanges for think-tank analysts, academics, students, English language teacher training and new American cultural programming spaces, Richard significantly improved the lives of millions of Azerbaijanis, Armenians, and Georgians.
Ryan plans to use the award to support filming traditional Moroccan storytellers known as Hakawatiin. After Fulbright program, he plans to explore postdocs and assistant professorships at American and Moroccan universities to develop his research into a first book.
Patricia J. Higgins
Patricia J. Higgins is a University Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Emerita, at SUNY Plattsburgh. Her UC Berkeley Ph.D. was based, in part, on research she conducted on education and socialization in elementary schools Tehran, Iran, from 1969 to 1971; she carried out further research on Iranian education as a Fulbright Lecturer at Tehran University in 1977-78. Higgins has held leadership positions with the Council on Anthropology and Education, the Society for Applied Anthropology and the Center for Iranian Research and Analysis; she is currently on the Board of Directors of SUNY Plattburgh’s DANESH Institute. She has authored and edited numerous books and articles on education and anthropology. In addition to Hafez in Love, she has co-translated several works from Persian to English with fellow prize-winner Shabani-Jadidi.
Pouneh Shabani-Jadid won the 2021 Persian Translation Prize for her translation of Iraj Pezeshkzad’s Hafez in Love. Formerly a Senior Faculty Lecturer of Persian Language and Linguistics at McGill University’s Institute of Islamic Studies, Pouneh Shabani-Jadidi is currently an Instructional Professor of Persian in the University of Chicago’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. With a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Ottawa and a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from Tehran’s Azad University, she has taught Persian language, linguistics, literature and translation since 1997and published on a variety of topics. From 2018-20, she served as President of the American Association of Teachers of Persian. Shabini-Jadidi has co-translated several books from Persian, partnering several times with fellow prize-winner Patricia Higgins. Of her approach she writes: “I have a passion for languages and how they work. Being a multilingual myself, I always find it intriguing to compare and contrast the structure and the lexicon of two or more languages…. When it comes to translating a book, I believe in collaborative translation where a source-language native speaker works closely with a target-language native speaker.”
Grace recently graduated from Colorado College with a degree in sociology and is conducting research on Exposing (Dis)connects Between Trans Life & Legislative Goals in Uruguay as she prepares to undertake a Master’s degree devoted to community-engaged research and activist scholarship. This project support award will support her need for transcription and translation services for her interviews with trans youth and community members.
Brandon is a PhD candidate with the Department of Spanish &Portuguese at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. He will use this award to support his Fulbright research on Variation in Intonation of Uruguay Spanish, and this award will allow him to visit previously unreachable departments and populations.
Bronte intends to use this award to supplement her Fulbright Graduate Award for the pursuit of Master’s of Art degree in Creative Writing, specializing in Poetry, at the New School in New York City. She will expand her technical and imaginative skills as a writer and connect with other creatives in the United States. Upon completion, she wishes to publish her first poetry collection. Further on in her career, she plans to teach poetry.
Dr. David Norman
Dr. David Norman received our 2022 Denmark Project Award to conduct research on post-colonial Inuit arts and their critical relevance to global art movements. Dr. Norman’s work historicizes the continuity between Greenlandic artists who used art as a way of political activism before 1979 and the contemporary artists who challenged stereotypical views of Greenlandic arts in the 1980s and 1990s. On his return to the United States, David will work on his current book-in-progress, Home Rule Contemporary: Experimental Art and Self-Determination in Kalaallit Nunaat, which seeks to position Greenlandic art in the center of contemporary art history.
Kathleen Maris Paltriner
The 2022 award went to Kathleen Maris Paltriner. Kathleen is translating an anthology of ecopoetry to be published in the US where there is a lack of Norwegian poetry in translation. She will translate a total of nine poets writing in Bokmål, Nynorsk, and Sámi languages, carrying out her own translations from Bokmål and Nynorsk—the two written standards of Norwegian—and collaboratively translating with experts in the indigenous Sámi language group. On her return to the United States, Kathleen will publish the anthology to provide US audiences access to critical voices in the field of ecopoetry.
Elizabeth Schmidt, a graduate of Western Sydney University, received our 2022 Project Support award to conduct a policy and media analysis of Australian policy on the rights and safety of LGBTQ refugees in detention. Her research aims to address the experiences and needs of these refugees during displacement. Upon her return to the U.S., Elizabeth plans to work with non-profit organizations that advocate for the rights of vulnerable displaced population. She also plans to pursue a law degree focusing on human rights and migration to promote comprehensive US refugee resettlement policy, reforms to US asylum procedures, and humane conditions for asylum seekers who are detained in the US.
*The Prix Coindreau Prize, The Jeanne Varnay Pleasants Prize for Language Teaching, and the CASVA-Henry & Judith Millon Award are currently inactive.