Fulbright Association 42nd Annual Conference & Advocacy Day

Fulbright Association 42nd Annual Conference & Advocacy Day

From October 24 to 26, 2019 in Washington D.C., the Fulbright Association held its 42nd Annual Conference & Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill.

Senator Fulbright, who during the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Fulbright Program, called for alumni to create an active body to advocate for the program. Today, the main responsibility of the Fulbright Association, which is known for its multidimensional activity supporting programs such as Fulbright Alumni chapters in the U.S., spreading advocacy and organizing an annual conference that gathers hundreds of Fulbrighters to connect mind and hearts for global change.

Cultural diplomacy, including international education exchanges, have become one of the biggest tools of U.S. diplomacy and national power after World War II that provide vitality and substance to international relations built on friendly relations and mutual understanding. This is the main reason why on Thursday, October 24, the Fulbright Association visited Capitol Hill. During more than 100 meetings, Fulbright Alumni shared their stories of the impact of the Fulbright Program at home and abroad.

After a very productive day on the Capitol Hill, participants enjoyed an opening reception at Marymount University’s Ballston Campus, organized in cooperation with the Fulbright Hungary and the American Hungarian Heritage House. During the evening, the Emmy Award-winning Fulbright documentary “Armed with Faith” introduced by producer Haya Fatima Iqbal and shown to attendees.

Friday began with a plenary on “Cultural Exchanges: impact & innovation” with guests speakers Jay Wang, Erik Nibest, Katherine Brown and Kathy Fitzpartick. After this engaging talk, Fulbright alumni had the opportunity to join multiple concurrent sessions that corresponded with this year motto, “connect hearts & minds for global change,” as well as a career counseling panel and discussed current updates for the Fulbright Program.

On Friday evening, in conjunction with the 2019 Fulbright Association’s 42 Annual Conference, we were celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Polish-US Fulbright Program. The event, hosted by Ambassador of the Republic of Poland Piotr Wilczek at his residence, in cooperation with the Fulbright Association and the Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission, was an amazing opportunity for building on the strong cultural relations between both countries and a great chance to celebrate bilateral educational cooperation.

On Saturday, over 350 registrants had the opportunity to take part in the morning plenary, “Fulbright Talks,” moderated by Ashley Conard, and enjoy a variety of concurrent sessions, research roundtables and an afternoon plenary with Selma Jeanne Cohen Dance Lecture with Roman Baca.

Every year, the Fulbright association brings international attention to the program during the Lifetime Achievement Awards Ceremony, established in 1993, that recognizes individuals or organizations which have made extraordinary contributions toward bringing peoples, cultures and nations to greater understanding of each other. This year, the Fulbright Association honored three distinguished figures: the President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, in recognition for her remarkable, contributions as a leader, diplomat, and public servant, Mr. James S. Polshek, in recognition of his accomplishments in architecture and Melissa Block, in recognition of her accomplishments in journalism.

The President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović

After the ceremony, Fulbright alumni and distinguish guests had the opportunity to enjoy the closing reception at Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel with food, drinks and live music.

In addition to 42 Annual Conference on Sunday, members of the 54 nationwide chapters discussed the future of community engagement in Fulbright Association and visited National Museum of African-American History & Culture.







Marek Siek, Fulbright Association

November 7, 2019 0

The 60th Anniversary of the Polish- US Fulbright Program

The 60th Anniversary of the Polish- US Fulbright Program

In conjunction with the 2019 Fulbright Association’s 42 Annual Conference and Advocacy Day, we were celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Polish-US Fulbright Program. The event, which was hosted by Ambassador of the Republic of Poland Piotr Wilczek at his residence, in cooperation with the Fulbright Association and the Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission, was an amazing opportunity for building on the strong cultural relations between both countries and a great chance to celebrate the bilateral educational cooperation.

H.E. Piotr Wilczek, Ambassador of Republic of Poland to the US

As H.E. Ambassador Wilczek stated in his opening remarks, “The inauguration of the Fulbright Program in Poland in 1959 in the midst of the Cold War was a courageous and visionary decision.” Indeed, in the past 60 years of Polish-US cooperation with the Fulbright Program, almost 5000 grantees from both countries have been awarded the chance to receive an international education and develop their knowledge about the host country. During this period of time, links between both countries were strengthened and mutual understanding based on the cultural, economic and scientific cooperation has flourished.

Friday’s event gathered Fulbright alumni, members of the Fulbright Association, Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission, staff of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington, D.C and representatives of the U.S. Department of State. Guests heard keynote speeches from Ambassador Piotr Wilczek, Anita McBride, Vice Chair of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, Matthew Lussenhop, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs and Mary Ellen Schmider, President of the Board of Directors, representing the Fulbright Association.

Dr. Schmider spoke about two important historical figures for bilateral relations of Poland and the US, Generals Pulaski and Kosciuszko, as well as the impressive period of educational cooperation between the countries that followed the fall of the Iron Curtain.

During the official part of the reception, guests had a chance to listen to a piano concert given by Fulbrighter Michael Pecak, who performed one of the most famous piano pieces composed by Frederick Chopin, Polonaise in A-flat minor Op. 53 known as “Heroic.”




Marek Siek, Fulbright Association


October 26, 2019 0

2019 Conference Logo Announced

2019 Conference Logo Announced

The Fulbright Association is pleased to announce the winning logo of our 2019 Conference Logo Competition is Mexican designer Alberto Cervantes. His submission incorporated the conference theme of “Connecting Hearts and Minds for Global Change” by demonstrating a colorful overlap of diverse people around a globe with hands clasped in friendship. The logo selection committee was moved by its artistic portrayal of unique backgrounds and perspectives sharing space and camaraderie, which incorporates the founding values of the Association and the mission of the annual conference.

Alberto Cervantes, designer of the 2019 Conference Logo

Alberto Cervantes earned his bachelor’s degree from the School of Design at the National Institute of Arts in Mexico. Through a Fulbright grant awarded by the Fulbright-García Robles Program from 2005-2007, he completed his master’s degree in Communications Design at the Pratt Institute in New York. He worked for five years at the Wall Street Journal, and currently is the Infographic Director at Viacom.

“Fulbright has exposed me to a global community of bright and curious people that see the world as a place where ideas should be shared and discussed to everyone’s benefit,” says Alberto. “In times of divisiveness and intolerance, particularly at high levels of power, we need more organizations like Fulbright that believe in, encourage and foster the exchange of ideas, diversity, and progress through education.

Alberto stresses that Fulbright is more than just a means to obtaining an education. Not only did it enable him to earn his master’s degree, it also gave him the opportunity to live in one of the most diverse cities in the United States. He cites drawing upon the multicultural metropolis of New York as he conceived the design of his logo submission. “I’ve been living and working in New York for over a decade, and I’ve come to meet and interact with people from different nationalities, races, and faiths on a daily basis. I found inspiration for my logo in the multiculturalism I’m constantly exposed to in the streets of New York, which I don’t take for granted, and in Fulbright’s mission to bring people together despite —or because of— their differences.”

This design will be featured at the Fulbright Association’s annual conference, October 24-26 in the greater Washington, DC area. For more information about attending the conference, please click here.

To learn more about Alberto Cervantes and his work, please visit his website at http://www.albertocervantes.com/.

–Alison Aadland

June 25, 2019 0

2019 Call for Proposals: Selma Jeanne Cohen Dance Lecture

2019 Call for Proposals: Selma Jeanne Cohen Dance Lecture

Are you a pioneering dance researcher or practitioner with a focus on international exchange and impact? Share your talent and research with the Fulbright community at our 42nd Annual Conference, “Connecting Minds and Hearts for Global Change” from October 24-26, 2019 in the Washington, DC area. Applications for the 2019 Selma Jeanne Cohen Fund Lecture will be accepted through June 30, and the awardee will be notified by August 1.

The Selma Jeanne Cohen Fund for International Scholarship on Dance provides a dance researcher or practitioner the opportunity to present a major paper or interdisciplinary presentation, based on research or a body of accomplished work, at the Fulbright Association’s annual conference. The 2019 Cohen Lecturer will be selected based on guidelines developed by the late Dr. Selma Jeanne Cohen, dance historian and founding editor of the International Encyclopedia of Dance, whose generous endowment gift supports this lecture program. We encourage interdisciplinary dance scholars to apply.

About the Selma Jean Cohen Fund Scholarship

  • The competition is open to all dance researchers or practitioners in any field of dance.
  • Applicants may be residents of any country.
  • Lectures can be based on previously unpublished or published research, or on a body of accomplished work, though ideally this research or work would not have been presented at other conferences.
  • Selection will be based on the quality of your narrative, originality, the impact of your research/work on other disciplines and international perspectives, interaction with audience during demonstration, appeal to a wider audience, and references.
  • The Selma Jeanne Cohen Fund provides an honorarium, round-trip travel, and per diem to the selected dance scholar.
  • The awardee must be able to attend the Fulbright Association’s annual conference (October 24-26, 2019) and give his or her presentation on the date requested by the Association. The recipient will be expected to have his or her own health, travel, and other necessary insurance and documents in order.

Application Guidelines

For consideration, all applications must include:

  • A cover letter, not to exceed one page in length, that briefly details your proposal.
  • A resume or C.V.
  • A narrative of no longer than ten double-spaced pages (3,750 word maximum) describing the research, scholarly work, or multi-dimensional presentation to be presented and its significance in advancing dance scholarship. The research or project must show a clear commitment to furthering international understanding through dance and must have already been completed by the time of application.
  • The narrative should include an assessment of the impact of your own Fulbright or other international exchange experience on your work in the field of dance, as well as how your dance research relates to international perspectives and the impact it has on other fields, cultures, and the world.
  • A presentation outline for a conference presentation of no longer than one hour’s length. The presentation plan must include a lecture of no longer than 20 minutes, a dance demonstration of 15- 20 minutes, and a question and answer session of 15-20 minutes. Please note that engaging the audience through interactive presentation is highly valued, and demonstrations that involve audience participation will be given higher consideration.
  • Two letters of reference from individuals well-acquainted with your work as a dance scholar/practitioner and presenter.

Submission Instructions

All applications for the 2019 Cohen Lecture must be received electronically by 5:00pm EST on June 30, 2019. Submissions can be e-mailed to conference@fulbright.org, with the subject line “Cohen Lecture Submission.” Only complete applications will be considered.

March 11, 2019 0