Kathlyn Elliott is pursuing a Ph.D. in Education at Drexel University. She plans to use the Roth-Thomson Award to support her research on the pedagogical tools used in the Finnish education system to prevent violent extremism and dismantle already existing violent extremism. Upon her return to the U.S., Kathlyn plans to finish her education, in hopes of working for the United States government or non-profit organizations on preventing violent extremism.
Lexi is pursuing a Master’s of Science degree in International Business and Entrepreneurship at the University of Lappeenranta. She plans to use the Roth-Thomson Award to support her sociological research on the ways in which globalization of the pharmaceutical business could optimize the innovation of drugs and reduce cost for the consumer. Upon her return to the U.S., Lexi plans to pursue a career in international pharmaceutical pricing, in hopes of making life-saving drugs more accessible to consumers worldwide.
Kayleigh Anderson is researching the experiences of indigenous Sami women through a feminist lens as part of her graduate program in gender studies at the University of Turku. With the Roth-Thomson Award, she will extend her stay in Finland and expand her research to include questions of cultural appropriation and the Sami people. Upon her return to the U.S., Kayleigh plans to continue her studies through graduate programs in Women and Gender Studies and Indigenous Studies.
Anna Bodgan is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Global Politics and Communication at the University of Helsinki. She plans to use the Roth-Thomson Award to support her research project on the spread of misinformation in the discussion of politics online. Upon her return to the U.S., Anna plans to apply her studies to a position in international affairs.
Sarah Holdren, of Elon University, is researching the cross-cultural similarities and differences between U.S. and Finnish neonatal care. With the help of her Roth-Thompson Award, she will be able to expand her project by observing the full implementation of Finland’s Close Collaboration with Parents plan, a program designed to promote parent-infant closeness in NICUs. Upon her return to the U.S., Sarah plans to pursue an MD-PhD in medical anthropology in order to advocate for policy change surrounding U.S. NICU practices.
Carolyn Kehn, of the United States Military Academy at West Point, is studying the cross-cultural differences in gender equality in the U.S. and Finnish militaries. Her Roth-Thompson Award will allow her to create a more in-depth study, as she will be able to interview military officials and female soldiers in both the U.S. and Finland about their experiences. Upon her return to the U.S., Carolyn plans to incorporate the results of her studies into the culture of her own unit in the U.S. Army and advocate for cultural and policy change concerning gender equality in the military.
Emily Olsen, of the Center for Disease Control, conducted timely research into anti-bullying programs with renown experts. She plans to earn her PhD from Finland’s University of Tampere.
Tiffany Viggiano (University of California at Riverside) used her grant to focus on disseminating her dissertation research on internationalization policies and global responsibility in higher education to colleagues, practitioners and policy-makers in Finland.
Hannah Duncan, of Brown University, received support to attend a master’s programin education and social justice at the University of Helsinki. She hopes that learning from Finland’s equity-based approach to early childhood education will prepare her to advocate for more effective multicultural education policies after completing law school in the U.S. Funds from the Roth Foundation helped Hannah organize a conference on racism, nationalism and xenophobia in Europe in cooperation with a Fulbright-Schuman grantee based in Brussels, who contributed governmental and private-sector perspectives on refugees in the labor market. In this photo, Duncan (left) is at an event she organized, with Amiirah Salleh-Hoddin (center), of the Anti-Racist Forum Finland, and Dr. Marcia Chatelain (right).
The second grant was awarded to Natalia Magnani who is conducting independent research on the revitalization of Skolt Sami culture through the revival of plant-based skills and knowledge. She is engaging with both young, urban indigenous populations, as well as more traditional groups to rediscover and share traditional identities and customs. Our project support grant made it possible for Natalia to travel between Lapland and Helsinki in order to investigate the role of Sami women in the ongoing political debate about Sami cultural and political autonomy.
Rebekah Zimmerer, of University of Massachusetts, Amherst, received an honorable mention in support of her comparison of private landowners’ forestry practices in Finland and the U.S. Support from the Roth Foundation has enabled Rebekah to extend her stay in Finland and helped her explore, more specifically, the role of gender in forestry practices.
Heidi Katz received support for a Masters degree in Learning, Learning Environments and Educational Systems from the University of Turku in southwestern Finland. She is used this opportunity to research school support of student autonomy and to compare teaching methods in Finland, Spain and Cameroon. Heidi hoped to apply the educational practices she learned in Finland as a teacher in an inner-city school, specifically working with underprivileged and special needs children in the United States.
Stephanie Jazmines of Yale University used her time in Finland to observe and learn first-hand Scandinavian design and craft through the Alvar Aalto Wood Program. Our project support enabled her to visit historic wooden structures around Finland after completing these studies. After her Fulbright Fellowship, Stephanie planned on further honing her wood-oriented architectural skills and eventually applying them through philanthropic organizations such as Habitat for Humanity.
Taylor Tyger (Georgia Institute of Technology) conducted research on the health benefits of urban aquatic environments. She was based at the Finnish Environment Institute, at Aalto University, and worked as part of an ongoing national project focusing on “Environmental Justice and Ecosystem Services” in the Helsinki region. She presented her findings on the little-studied “blue infrastructure” of lakes, oceans and rivers in a report on Waterfront Uses in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Her Roth-Thomson Award allowed her to present this work at conferences in Belgium and Denmark in May 2015.
Based at the Arctic Center in Rovaniemi, Michael Brown (University of Washington) sought to evaluate Finland’s new arctic policy in order to construct a comparative assessment of Finnish and US approaches to environmental issues in the arctic. This project is timely, as the U.S. is currently chairing the Arctic Council (2015-17), after which Finland will take up the reins. Brown’s Roth-Thomson Award allowed him to join the University of the Arctic’s Calotte Academy, a travelling symposium that in 2015 met at research centers in Finland, Norway and Russia.
Project on how teachers’ unions participate in and impact the education policy-making process in Finland. Whorton focused on the involvement of teachers’ unions in reforming compensation packages, in part as the role of labor relations in K-12 education reform is an area of growing controversy in the U.S. Her Roth-Thomson Award helped fund the translation into English of documents bearing upon relationships between policy-makers and teachers’ unions in Finland.
Project on the elements of Finnish culture and education contributing to high rates of student success in mathematics. As a mathematics teacher in Brooklyn, Knowles is acutely aware of the obstacles her students face, including: a social disconnect from school in general, and mathematics in particular; lack of self confidence, nutrition and exercise; low levels of literacy; and a series of responsibilities outside of school that make academic achievement difficult. Her Roth-Thomson Award helped Knowles complete her research on Finnish institutional policies, governmental and non-profit mathematics programs.
Christin Boggs (Rochester Institute of Technology) was in Finland to document traditional and urban food practices in Finnish gastronomic culture. With her Roth-Thomson award, she produced an exhibit entitled “Viljellä, a photographic exploration of Helsinki garden, farm and foraging practices.”
Karli Storm (Indiana University Bloomington) was in Finland undertaking doctoral research in a unique new program on “Russia in Europe” at the University of Eastern Finland. Her Roth-Thomson award allowed her to present her research on national language policies and political stability at international conferences in Finland and Russia.
Project on architectural means to improve concert hall design, conducted at Aalto University. Robinson’s Roth Ednowment award enabled him to travel to undertake research into the acoustical properties of historic Finnish churches. He is at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Project in neuro-cinematics, the study of perceptual processes in response to cinema. Tasse’s Roth Foundation award enabled her to travel to the University of Lapland and the Midnight Sun Film Festival for her research. She is at the University of Southern California.
Project on the government infrastructure that has supported the export of Finnish music since World War II. While in Finland, Holmes conducted interviews with leading Finnish composers and musical organizations for her doctoral work on Music and the Nation- State: Finnish Music from Nationalism to Post-nationalism at Yale University.
Project on sustainable practices for artists at foundries. With an MFA in sculpture from the University of Maryland at College Park, where a large-scale foundry enabled him to develop expertise in metal-casting processes, Benefiel developed the world’s first foundry powered by methane gas from a landfill in North Carolina. He notes that “toxic and dangerous processes remain common for artists.” While teaching at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Benefiel also built a small sustainable foundry there.
*The Prix Coindreau Prize, The Jeanne Varnay Pleasants Prize for Language Teaching, and the CASVA-Henry & Judith Millon Award are currently inactive.