US Ambassador welcomes American Fulbright grantees to the UK

The US-UK Fulbright Commission is proud to announce the American scholars from its 2015-16 cohort. During this academic cycle, 70 American scholars will be coming to the UK on exchange to study, lecture and/or research.

The US-UK Fulbright Commission is proud to announce the American scholars from its 2015-16 cohort. During this academic cycle, 70 American scholars will be coming to the UK on exchange to study, lecture and/or research.

The scholars celebrated their success with a private question and answer session with US Ambassador Matthew Barzun in London, on Tuesday, 8 September. This session 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 also took part in a day of volunteering for the Peabody Trust. The activities included reading to children as part of an early years literacy project, tutoring first-time computer users in King’s Cross, and thinking of new ways to break down cultural and linguistic barriers in a community café.

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:

  • Isayas Theodros, a California native, former Student Body President and economics major from Claremont McKenna College, will be the first Fulbright-John Wood LAMDA Award winner. He will work towards a degree in classical acting and would like to pursue a career in film and theatre.
  • Florence Chen, a Harvard graduate who previously studied earth and planetary sciences, will be conducting research at the University of Cambridge on climate change and the carbon cycle.
  • Nory Kaplan-Kelly, will be completing a master’s in legislative studies and practice at Queen’s University Belfast, and taking part in a year-long internship at the Northern Ireland Assembly. He has previously worked with the University of Chicago’s Pozen Family Center for Human Rights.
  • Jason Rodencal, a cancer specialist and recipient of the University of South Florida’s prestigious King-O’Neal Award granted to a select number of graduates this year. Jason plans to further his research at the University of Leicester while obtaining an MSc in cancercell and molecular biology.
  • Heather Zajdel, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, brings with her previous teaching experience from a secondary school in inner-city Philadelphia. While on a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching, she will be based at University of Glasgow researching anti-social behaviour and attitudes to learning in order to shape schools in her local area.

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.

Penny Egan CBE, Executive Director, US-UK Fulbright Commission said: “I know our 2015 cohort will do us great credit during their time in the UK and beyond. They will make wonderful ambassadors for the programme, fulfilling Senator Fulbright’s vision of a world brought closer together through academic exchange.”