Rachel Ball-Phillips joined the Fulbright Association in 2017.
When and where did your Fulbright take place? What did you do during your grant year?
I received a Fulbright Study/Research Award to complete my dissertation research in India from 2011-2012. My research was on the Marathi film industry, and I conducted research at the National Film Archive of India (Pune), the Maharashtra State Archives (Mumbai), the Government Divisional Library Pune, and the Mumbai Marathi Grantha Sangrahalaya (Mumbai). While I spent a good amount of time in archives, I also had the opportunity to connect with other scholars and community members through social activities and shared interests.
How has your Fulbright experience impacted your life and career?
I built networks during my Fulbright year that still impact my career today. Not only did I meet some extraordinary scholars and friends in India, but I also connected with other Fulbrighters in India who shared common interests. Those connections have led to various scholarly collaborations that would not have been possible without Fulbright.
What is your most memorable experience as a Fulbright Association member?
One of my favorite Fulbright Association events in Dallas was a holiday celebration catered by Break Bread, Break Borders, an organization where women from war-torn countries are economically empowered by cooking for a living. The values of connecting over food, culture and storytelling really resonated with our Fulbright alumni.
Have you met any Fulbright alumni as a Fulbright Association member?
As a leader in our chapter, I’m fortunate to connect with all kinds of Fulbright alumni – from recent Fulbright awardees to those who have a decades-long history with Fulbright. I find my fellow Fulbright alumni an exciting group to collaborate with on various things to make our Dallas community more internationally focused. From Fulbright alumni panels for Fulbright applicants to send-off events for recent awardees, our connections in Dallas serve to create a community that continues to think about ways to engage across cultural differences.