Announcing the American Fulbright Scholars for 2018-19

The US-UK Fulbright Commission is proud to announce the American scholars from its 2018-19 cohort. During this academic cycle, 84 American scholars will be coming to the UK on exchange to study, lecture and/or research.

The scholars were warmly welcomed by Fulbright Commissioner, Professor Colin Riordan, and university partners from around the country during a partner reception. The reception was part of a 3-day welcome orientation to the UK where they participated in academic and cultural activities.

As part of their welcome orientation, scholars enjoyed a tour of the Houses of Parliament, followed by an overview of the British parliamentary system. They also attended a lively panel discussion, hosted by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library on “Reporting America in the Digital Age”. The panel included Janine Gibson (Editor-in-Chief, BuzzfeedUK), Mary Hockaday (Controller, BBC World Service), and Philip Stephens (Chief Political Commentator, The Financial Times), and was chaired by Erica Wagner.

Fulbright remains the only organisation offering scholarships for study or research in any field, at any accredited institution in the US and UK. Scholars come from many geographic regions of the US, and their fields of study and their UK host institutions are equally diverse. While on exchange, the cohort puts into practice the Fulbright mission of fostering leadership, learning and understanding between cultures.

Among the recipients are:

  • Tara Catherine Pandeya, a second-generation dancer, cultural activist, choreographer and bridge-building artist who is dedicated to the promotion of dance from Central Asia. As a principal dancer with Cirque du Soleil, she performed 1,500 shows on 5 continents. In 2015, she became the first Westerner to perform in the National Ensemble of Tajikistan. She is eager to conduct research and create new dance productions through the Dance Anthropology Department at Roehampton University this year.
  • Lee Sims, a recent graduate of the University of Louisville, where he attained a Masters of Engineering in Bioengineering. Lee will be pursuing an M.Sc. in Epidemiology at Imperial College London and hopes to study how different social determinants of health - such as LGBTQ identities, inadequate healthcare systems, and community engagement and social integration - impacts the spread of infectious diseases.
  • Dr Enid Montague, who will continue her research into the role of trust between people and technologies in health care work systems. Dr Montague has received numerous awards for her research and has received MS and PhD degrees in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech in 2008, specialising in human factors and ergonomics engineering, the future professoriate, women’s studies and human computer interaction.
  • Michael Patrick MacDonald, the author of the NY Times Bestselling memoir, All Souls: A Family Story From Southie and Easter Rising: A Memoir of Roots & Rebellion. Based on his experience as a survivor of poverty, violence & the drugs trade, and as a memoirist, MacDonald developed a community-based trauma-informed writing curriculum, The Rest of the Story: Transforming Trauma to Voice and Agency, which has been implemented with survivors of loss to homicide, to heroin, and to incarceration. As a 2018-2019 Fulbright U.S. Scholar at Queen’s University’s Seamus Heaney Center, he will teach a course in Storytelling and Global Justice, looking at the role of story in Restorative and Transformative Justice efforts. In addition he will implement his writing curriculum with grassroots groups of survivors, community builders and activists in Belfast.

The programme’s aim is “to generate a deeper understanding of the differing cultures and peoples of the world,” as described by the late Senator J William Fulbright. Recipients will be tomorrow’s leaders and support the next generation to value “the special relationship” between the US and UK.

Meet the US grantees

Penny Egan CBE, Executive Director, US-UK Fulbright Commission said:

We warmly welcome the this year’s cohort of US Fulbrighters as they embark upon an experience that will have a lasting impact not only on the grantees themselves but on the communities they join and those back home when they return. In the US-UK Fulbright Commission’s 70th year, the commitment on both side of the Atlantic to the exchange of knowledge, ideas and innovation is stronger than ever, and I know these scholars will bring us closer to realising Senator Fulbright’s vision of mutual understanding through cultural immersion.”

Notes to Editors:

For information about our 2018-19 US scholars, you can view the biographies of all of the American participants. Full details regarding the awards, including the selection criteria, benefits and awards categories, can be found on our website. For information about our British scholars, who begin their studies in the US from September 2018, you can view the biographies of all of the British participants. For information about past scholars please visit the Meet Our Fulbrighters section of the website.

About the US-UK Fulbright Commission: The US-UK Fulbright Commission was created by treaty on 22 September 1948. The Fulbright Commission offers grants at postgraduate and postdoctoral level for study in any discipline at any accredited institution in the US and UK, as well as a number of special exchanges programmes for shorter projects or for younger scholars. Prominent alumni of the Fulbright Programme include poet Sylvia Plath, Charles Kennedy MP, journalist and the economist and Nobel prize winner Milton Friedman.

About the Fulbright Awards Programme: Each year, the Commission supports UK and US citizens to study, lecture, conduct research or focus on professional development at leading institutions in the US and UK respectively. The Fulbright Commission selects scholars through a rigorous application and interview process. In making these awards, the Commission looks not only for academic excellence but a focused application, a range of extracurricular and community activities, demonstrated ambassadorial skills, a desire to further the Fulbright Programme and a plan to give back to the recipient’s home country upon returning. Exchange schemes vary in terms of level and field of study: from scholar awards for academics and professionals, to postgraduate-level student awards and undergraduate-level UK summer programmes.

About the Fulbright Advisory Service: The US-UK Fulbright Commission also supports US-UK exchange through its Advisory Service. The Fulbright Advising Team provides a wide range of information and hosts events for individuals interested in any level of US study.  The Fulbright Advisory Service is the UK’s only official source of information on educational opportunities in the US and is part of the EducationUSA network of over 450 US advising centres worldwide.