Fulbright New Zealand celebrated another record annual cohort of exchange grantees at its annual awards ceremony at parliament last night, the second in successive years. 88 New Zealand and US graduate students, academics, artists and professionals were honoured as Fulbright grantees, 52 of whom attended in person at the prestigious ceremony. This year’s increase is due largely to the commencement of Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching, which will fund two New Zealand and ten American teachers to undergo professional development in each other’s countries.
Speaking as host of last night’s awards ceremony, Hon Hekia Parata, Minister of Education, noted that the Fulbright programme makes a valuable contribution to the professional and academic advancement of all its participants. “I was thrilled to launch the new Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching programme in March with US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The programme offers life-changing opportunities to some of our best and brightest teachers, allowing them to share their successes, their challenges, and learnings with their US counterparts.”
Marie Damour, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim at the US Embassy in Wellington, said that for many decades the Fulbright exchange programme has contributed to what we now know as ‘citizen diplomacy’. “People-to-people exchanges are by far the most effective forms of diplomacy. The best way of building mutual respect and understanding is to send not just one Ambassador, but dozens, hundreds, thousands abroad and have them make their own impressions and form their own conclusions.”
26 recipients of various Fulbright New Zealand graduate student awards were announced at last night’s ceremony. They will study or research in a wide range of fields at the US university of their choice in the coming academic year. Also recognised at the awards ceremony were 11 Fulbright US graduate students who are mid-way through their exchange year in New Zealand, 51 recipients of New Zealand and American scholar awards (for academics, artists and professionals), and three participants in the Ian Axford Fellowships programme which Fulbright New Zealand administers.
Fulbright New Zealand’s chairperson Helen Anderson announced at the ceremony that the organisation’s executive director, Mele Wendt, will be stepping down later this year after having served 10 years in the role. She commended Mele for serving as the face of the Fulbright programme in New Zealand for the past decade, a period in which award numbers had doubled. The recruitment process for her replacement will begin shortly.
For an emerging New Zealand business leader to complete a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree at a US institution and gain professional work experience in the US and New Zealand.
Anton Venter from Wellington will complete a Master of Business Administration degree specialising in global entrepreneurship and finance, at Columbia University in New York.
For promising New Zealand graduate students to undertake postgraduate study or research at US institutions in fields targeted to support growth and innovation in New Zealand.
Clare Burn from Dunedin will complete a PhD in Biomedical Sciences, specialising in infectious disease research, at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York.
Thomas Burn from Palmerston North will complete a PhD in Immunology, specialising in cancer immunotherapy, at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Ben Cameron from Waikanae will complete a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering, specialising in fluid mechanics of human-human pathogen transport, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Lucy Carter from Christchurch will complete a Master of Arts degree in Environmental Sociology, specialising in social recovery and hazard mitigation in the event of a natural disaster, at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
Elizabeth Chan from Auckland/Hong Kong will complete a Master of Laws degree, specialising in international commercial arbitration and investment arbitration, at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
George Donald from Auckland will complete a Master of Science degree in Applied Physics, at Columbia University in New York.
Braeden Donaldson from Dunedin will research development of an immunotherapeutic vaccine for colorectal cancer at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, towards a PhD in Pathology from the University of Otago.
Jamee Elder from Christchurch will complete a PhD in the History and Philosophy of Science, specialising in the philosophy of physics, at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana.
James Graham from Christchurch will complete a PhD in Economics, specialising in causes of exchange rate fluctuations and their macroeconomic consequences for small open economies, at New York University.
Rebecca Gray from Auckland will complete a PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, specialising in dynamic systems and control engineering, at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey.
Ashiq Hamid from Auckland will complete a Master of Laws degree in Corporate Law, specialising in financial and economic regulation, at Columbia University in New York.
Vignesh Kumar from Auckland will complete a Master of Business Administration degree in Entrepreneurship, Health Care Management and Strategy, at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Tom Logan from Napier will complete a PhD in Environmental Engineering, specialising in urban and infrastructure sustainability, reliability, and resilience, at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Mahendra Naidoo from Auckland will complete a Master of Public Health degree in Health Policy and Global Health, specialising in innovative models of care in the management of non-communicable disease, at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Emma Sherman from Tauranga will research mouth feel properties of red wine using sensory and metabolomic techniques, at the University of California, Davis, towards a PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Auckland.
Gye Simkin from New Plymouth will research the performance and structural health of civil infrastructure during earthquakes, at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, towards a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Auckland.
David Wright from Rangiora will complete a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, specialising in control and actuation systems, at Stanford University in Stanford, California.
For a promising New Zealand graduate student to undertake postgraduate study or research at a US institution in the field of natural disaster research.
Max Ferguson from Christchurch will complete a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering, specialising in structural and geotechnical engineering, at Stanford University in Stanford, California.
For a promising New Zealand graduate student to undertake postgraduate study or research at a US institution in the field of indigenous development.
Sharon Toi from Auckland will research the invisibility of indigenous women in tribal governance, at the University of Arizona in Tucson, towards a PhD in Law from the University of Waikato.
For promising New Zealand graduate students to undertake postgraduate study or research at US institutions in any field.
Georgie Archibald from Christchurch will complete a Master of Arts degree in Literature, specialising in digital media and literature, at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Alix Boberg from Auckland will complete a Master of Laws degree in Trial Procedure and Dispute Resolution, at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
George Hampton from Christchurch will complete a Master of Public Administration degree in Economic Policy Management, at Columbia University in New York.
Alix Jansen from Auckland will complete a Master of Arts degree in Political Studies, specialising in the relationship between social outcomes, unemployment and social welfare, at the New School in New York.
Mike Regan from Auckland will complete a Master of Laws degree in Criminal Justice and Advocacy, specialising in the role of community courts in addressing the over-representation of ethnic minorities in the criminal justice system, at Columbia University in New York.
Ara Tai Rākena from Christchurch will complete a Master of Science in Foreign Service degree in International Relations, specialising in politics and security, at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
For information about this year’s other Fulbright grantees see our 2014 Fulbright New Zealand Grantees Booklet.