US Ambassador welcomes Fulbright grantees to the UK

The US-UK Fulbright Commission is proud to announce the American scholars of its 2016-17 cohort.

During this academic cycle, 91 American scholars will be coming to the UK on exchange to study, lecture and/or research. Their expertise covers a diverse range, including immigration, cyber security, race relations, political journalism, human rights and radicalisation.

The scholars celebrated their success during a meeting with US Ambassador Matthew Barzun in London. 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 were welcomed at the Palace of Westminster by Baroness Andrews and Fulbright Commissioner Lord Adebowale for an overview of the British parliamentary system.

The American scholars also attended a lecture on international politics hosted by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library. Gabrielle Rifkind and the newly appointed Fulbright Chairman and former British Ambassador to the USA, Sir Nigel Sheinwald, talked to the scholars on the use of hard and soft power in contemporary international politics.

Penny Egan CBE, Executive Director, US-UK Fulbright Commission said: “As our British Fulbright scholars head across the Atlantic, we welcome our latest American cohort to what will be a transformative cultural and academic experience. Our incoming American scholars will contribute greatly to British academia, as ambassadors for Senator Fulbright’s vision of a world brought closer together through educational exchange.”

Among the 2016-17 Fulbright scholars are:

  • Charles A Gallagher, currently professor and chair of the Sociology and Criminal Justice Department at La Salle University and a Senior Fellow at Yale University’s Urban Ethnography Project. His research focuses on social inequality, race relations and immigration. As a nationally recognised expert on race, immigration and social inequality Professor Gallagher is a frequent media source on these issues. Whilst a Fulbright scholar at the University of Birmingham, he will be conducting interviews on UK residents’ views on immigration.
  • Reporter Rae Hodge, who completed her Bachelor of Arts cum laude at the University of Louisville, with an inter-disciplinary major in political journalism. Among other outlets, Rae reported government news for National Public Radio stations and the Associated Press. She was inducted into the Honourable Order of Kentucky Colonels in 2012. Rae will be studying for a Master of Science in Computational and Data Journalism at Cardiff University, aiming to find sustainable financial models for news organizations.
  • Dr Andrea M Matwyshyn, a legal academic studying technology innovation and its policy implications. She is currently a professor of law and professor of computer science at Northeastern University, and holds positions at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, and the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University. As a US-UK Fulbright Cyber Security scholar, she will be working with the University of Oxford on issues of information security.
  • Kenther Ramos, a 2014 Rollins College graduate undertaking a master’s degree in human rights at the University of York. Ramos graduated early from high school in Venezuela and was admitted to study law at Universidad Católica. He was once held captive by the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service for organising protests against the government of Hugo Chavez. Kenther was granted political asylum in the USA and is now an American citizen fighting for social justice and the rights of others.
  • Shani Small, who has worked with The Legal Aid Society, the USA’s oldest and largest not-for-profit legal services organisation, which provides legal representation to low-income New Yorkers. During her MA in Global Justice at the University of Sheffield, she will research policies that work to undermine the threat of radicalisation and gang affiliation among at-risk minority youths. Shani graduated summa cum laude from Queens College, receiving the Elayne Bernstein Award and the Chaney Goodman Schwerner Award, named in honour of three civil rights activists slain in Mississippi in 1964.


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.

The programme’s aim is to ‘bring a little more knowledge, a little more reason, and a little more compassion into world affairs and thereby to increase the chance that nations will learn at last to live in peace and friendship,’ as described by 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.