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.
Radhika will use the Roth-Thomson Award for conducting research on maternal health among immigrant populations in Sweden. Her goal is to apply the research that she does in Sweden and intervention strategies that have been effective there to help women in the United States. Upon her return to the United States, she plans to enroll in a Master of Public Health and Juris Doctor joint degree program. After graduate school, she hopes to research and advocate for federal policies that will help immigrant women access quality, culturally competent perinatal care.
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.
Dr. Devi Sridhar
Dr. Devi Sridhar spoke on the topic, “Preventing the Next Pandemic: What have we learned about international health collaboration and what needs to change?” In this lecture, Dr. Sridhar examined the historical roots of international collaboration in health and the subsequent creation of the World Health Organization in the aftermath of World War II. Yet, during the COVID crisis, Dr. Sridar described how world health cooperation broke down illustrated by divergent and nationally-driven strategies on COVID-response, vaccine nationalism and hoarding by rich countries, and tense political frictions over the origins of COVID-19. Dr. Sridhar offered insightful thoughts on how the world can learn from the past and better manage the next pandemic.
A video of the lecture is available on the US-UK Fulbright Commission’s website.
Clint Bruce holds the Canada Research Chair in Acadian and Transnational Studies (CRÉAcT), is Director of the Observatoire Nord/Sud and assistant professor in the Department of Humanities at Université Sainte-Anne in Nova Scotia. He is also a research associate at the Center for Louisiana Studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and at the L.R. Wilson Institute of Canadian History at McMaster University. A native of Shreveport, Professor Bruce holds a doctorate from Brown University, a master’s degree from CUNY—Lehman College, and two bachelor’s degrees from Centenary College of Louisiana. Readings of poems from the book and background on overlooked events from Reconstruction era Louisiana, including the New Orleans massacre of 1866 are available in his interview on SoundCloud: Poetry Spoken Here.
The 2021 Lois Roth Award went to Public Affairs Officer William Couch from the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki, Finland. Bill skillfully used a range of cultural diplomacy tools, over two years, to reverse Finnish opposition to repatriating the remains of 20 Indigenous People and their funerary objects for reburial in Mesa Verde National Park. Bill coordinated U.S. and Finnish officials, the National Museum of Finland, American Airlines, tribal governments, and the National Park Service, an effort resulting in global guidance from Washington tasking all Missions to seek out and assist in repatriation of remains and artifacts.
An Honorable Mention was also awarded to Cultural Affairs Officer Raisa Dukas from the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. Raisa’s incredible support to her peers, subordinates, and interlocutors, her mentoring and creation of a new, but now permanent, regional Community of Practice for PD practitioners, and her creative programming and broad strategic outreach plan that attracted new partners and beneficiaries for USG programs will have a lasting influence on regional cultural diplomacy efforts and richly exemplify the legacy of Lois Roth.
The 2021 Ilchman-Richardson Award went to Ms. Antoinette (Toni) Bowser, Director of Information Technology (IT) at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).Toni’s vision and tenacity have made ECA’s mission possible, especially during the pandemic shift to telework and virtual-programming, supporting posts, partners and participants. Her principled leadership resulted in Vision21, a multi-year project that enhanced the Bureau’s strategic and budget planning, outcomes assessment, and capability for reporting to Congress, the Executive branch leadership, regional bureau colleagues, and other stakeholders. Toni’s success exemplifies the legacy behind the Ilchman-Richardson award.
An Honorable Mention was also awarded to the Branch Chief of Europe/Eurasia Branch (IVLP Division) at the Office of International Visitors, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Charlotte Titus. Over 30 years Charlotte improved program efficiency and the work environment for her colleagues. She led a steering committee of international security professionals and their U.S. counterparts, a working group that updates a SharePoint site with real-time guidance for exchanges stakeholders and advocated for telework to strengthen operations and work-life balance, among many other initiatives. Through her compassionate leadership Charlotte heads a team that is grateful for her leadership.
Elina excels in shaping 12+ exchange programs from inception to program and into ongoing relationships to the benefit of Kazakhstan and the U.S. When COVID canceled the in-person event for the International Visitor Leadership Program’s 80th anniversary, Elina conceptualized, implemented, and moderated a Facebook Live program with Washington and Embassy officials and over 120 guests that has garnered close to 3,000 views, significantly increasing the embassy’s influence and reach.
For a dozen years, Elena Broszkowski, Cultural Affairs Specialist at U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, managed the Performing and Visual Arts Portfolio, comprising ECA cultural arts programs and nominations, and post-funded social transformation-through-the-arts programs incorporating exchanges alumni, Binational Centers, public and private universities, municipalities led by opposition party members, and many other Post allies. Using theater, music and practical training, Elena leaves a lasting legacy of young leaders able to bring the changes that Venezuelan society needs.
Dr. Gözde Doğan Yalçıner
Gözde’s Honorable Mention is for the bilateral Cultural Property Agreement (CPA) signed this year. Gözde created partnerships linking the Turkish government, NGOs, and arts institutions, resulting in a CPA that curbs smuggling, denies revenue to terrorist organizations, and protects cultural heritage. Gödze’s work is on the leading edge of a renewed emphasis on protecting cultural property and combating the smuggling of cultural artifacts.
*The Prix Coindreau Prize, The Jeanne Varnay Pleasants Prize for Language Teaching, and the CASVA-Henry & Judith Millon Award are currently inactive.