The University of Manitoba – An Absolutely Amazing Experience

By Dr. Eileen Angelini, Professor of French at Canisus College, Fulbright Canada Specialist 2016

I had the incredible honor to accept the award for a Fulbright Specialist project in Canada at the University of Manitoba from January 3-16, 2016. I worked with faculty and graduate students in the Department of French, Spanish, and Italian in the Faculty of Arts, and education students and faculty in the Faculty of Education from the University of Manitoba and the Université de St. Boniface, on the project “Francophone Culture: Literature, Pedagogy, and Additional Language Acquisition.” I also gave public lectures and participated in community outreach at l’École St. Avilia, a French-immersion school. Moreover, I was able to meet with faculty in the Department of History, the Department of English, Film and Theatre, and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.IMAG0775

It was the people with whom I met and worked that truly made this experience absolutely amazing. Even before I arrived in Winnipeg, Greg Smith, Associate Dean in the University of Manitoba Faculty of the Arts, made sure that everything was in place to ensure that I had a successful visit. He even met me at the airport upon arrival and after making sure I was properly settled in my B&B apartment, took me to the grocery store and bought me my first week’s bus pass.

When I went to l’École St. Avilia on Wednesday, January 6th, I was accompanied by David Watt, Director of the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Manitoba. As David’s two children attend St. Avilia, he was the perfect person to accompany me. He and I enjoyed seeing the children in action in an immersion environment.  I also liked hearing directly from the children how they like attending an immersion school (Grades 5 and 6) and learned that the hardest thing for them in attending an immersion school is that their Anglophone parents could not help them with their homework.  For the group activity on Maurice Richard/Roch Carrier’s Le Chandail, approximately 45 minutes was the perfect amount of time to work with the younger children (Grades 3 and 4). This group surprised me when they said that Bobby Orr was their favorite hockey player (although a few admitted to liking Wayne Gretzky, not a single one mentioned Sidney Crosby).  CKSB interview Genevieve Murchison

I had another highly meaningful encounter with graduate student Patti Germann on Friday, January 8th. We met to discuss her research on Marguerite Duras and Alain Resnais and how my background with the French New Novel and film, specifically how Duras’ work is representative of autofiction, could be of assistance to her. What was supposed to be a one-hour meeting turned into three hours that included lunch at Degrees, the entirely student-run restaurant at the University of Manitoba. Patti’s stories of her native Saskatchewan provided an unexpected bonus to my day. She and I also attempted to go to the Museum of Human Rights on Sunday, January 10th. We braved the cold weather (Patti has been quoted as saying that I am “fearless” with the cold but as a native New Englander, I grew up layering myself against it) with frozen eyelashes along the Assiniboine River only to learn when we arrived at the museum that it was closed until January 12th. Not to be deterred from having fun, we warmed up at the Forks and then connected with Constance Cartmill, Head of the Department of French, Spanish, and Italian at the University of Manitoba, along the river and proceeded to the Manitoba Legislative Building and then to Stella’s, a restaurant known for their omelets and jams.

EDUB 3426 Classe et Dr. Eileen Angelini 002On Tuesday, January 12th, I visited Krystyna Baranowski’s EDUB 3426 L’enseignement du Français aux niveaux intermédiaire et de la jeune enfance. These graduate students in education shared with me their goals of becoming teachers in immersion programs and how their student-teaching placements were going. Each semester over the course of four semesters, each student has to do afive-week placement. After having just visited l’École St. Avilia, which some of these graduate students had attended as children, it was highly informative for me to hear their reasons why they wanted to teach in immersion programs. Their fields ranged from physical education to biology to art. It was fun to share with them some of my research on Pawpaw French and Cajun French.

On Thursday, January 14th, I was extremely fortunate to meet with Brenda Austin-Smith, Associate Professor and Head of Department of English, Film, and Theatre. Our lively discussion centered on potential collaborations with Andrew Woolford, Adam Muller, and Struan Sinclair who share a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Partnership Development Grant. Their grant research on genocide, genocide writing, and the impact of images parallels my research on the WWII Occupation of France and the KKK in New England. Suffice it to say that I left Brenda’s office with an extra bounce in my step.

Friday, January 15th was filled with more class visits: Dominiuqe Laporte’s FREN 1190 (Flaubert’s Madame Bovary and Maupassant’s La Parure); Drominique Laporte’s FREN 3850 (a special request after my successful Public Research Talk at the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Manitoba, “A Little Known History of Discrimination in New England:  The Ku Klux Klan Attacks on Franco-Americans in the first half of the 20th century,” on Thursday, January 7th); and, Louise Renée’s FREN 2680 where we had a highly insightful discussion of Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. Accompanied by Greg Smith, my Fulbright Specialist experience finished with a tour of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba with Ry Moran, Director. I highly recommend visiting At this site, one will find a vast collection of documents, oral history and other records that detail the systematic and intentional attempt to assimilate the Aboriginal peoples of Canada. The site is a clear demonstration of all the hard work and dedication that is taking place at the centre.

Greg Smith and his colleagues were fabulous hosts and I cannot thank them enough for all that they did for me.


To learn more about the Fulbright Specialist program, visit


You can contact Dr. Angelini at [email protected]

Norwich University Welcomes Dr. David Last

Originally posted on Norwich University’s Peace & War Center

Last, DavidNORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University welcomes David Last, PhD, as a Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in the Peace and War Center this semester.

The program between Norwich Universityand the Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the US establishes a Fulbright Visiting Research Chair at Norwich University to focus on research pertaining to military and diplomatic affairs.

Last brings vast experience from having served in the Canadian army for 30 years, and teaching political science and war studies at the Royal Military College of Canada since 1999. He is an accomplished scholar with a focus on understanding what our future officers and security professionals will need if they are to be successful in an uncertain future.
While at Norwich, Last plans to support two international initiatives that will involve bothNorwich students and cadets from Canada’s Royal Military College: an international seminar on non-violent conflict in Toronto, February 27-28, and an international field study of conflict perspectives in the Middle East in May. He will also be finishing a book for mid-career security professionals.

Claire Gjertsen’s Killam Cultural Awareness Trip

By Claire Gjertsen, 2015-2016 Killam Fellow from University of Calgary to American University

Over my trip, I visited the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. I visited Duke University and met with one of my favourite historians, Laura Edwards. I explored the cities of Durham, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh, meeting locals, visiting the universities, and meeting up with fellow Killam Fellow Andrew Royce Bauer.
Charleston-1In South Carolina, I spent time in Charleston where I befriended locals and visited plantations, ate barbecue, and visited more university campuses. I ended up skipping Savannah because I loved Charleston so much.

In Atlanta, I spent Thanksgiving with locals and enjoyed a hearty Thanksgiving feast.

In Nashville, I enjoyed the local culture, ate amazing food, and visited museums and local classic shops. I sang karaoke and made friends at the hostel from all over the world.

Throughout the trip, I unfortunately had to work on assignments and papers and didn’t have the energy to do as many activities as I planned. However, that means that I have lots of things to see when I go back!

As a future historian of the American South, I learned much more about the culture of the South than I would have ever learned in a book. I learned about the real people, who are living in the States now, and what they think about their country’s history and how they interact with it, some on a daily basis.

Charleston-2This trip was possibly the pinnacle of my Killam experience. Since I was so focused academically during my semester, I did not spend a lot of time with the locals or traveling. I didn’t make many friends. Over this trip, I made more friends and met more people than I did during my entire exchange. I was able to separate myself (most of the time) from my academic pursuits and just submerse myself in American culture.

I recommend future Killams travel somewhere on their own. While traveling with friends can be great, taking a solo trip is when you really are able to venture out of your comfort zone and interact with your surroundings.

Fulbright Canada: The Next 25 Years

By Michael Hawes, CEO Fulbright Canada, 1999-2000 Fulbright Scholar from Queen’s University to UC Berkeley

MKHBy any measure, 2015 was an incredible year for Fulbright Canada. We celebrated our 25th anniversary, launched the new Fulbright Arctic Initiative with a highly successful series of meetings in Iqaluit, developed exciting new partnerships with universities in both countries, and welcomed our first cohort of Fulbright Canada – Palix Visiting Research Chairs in Brain Science and Family Wellness. At the same time, we co-sponsored a symposium on Arctic Governance at the University of California at Irvine, hosted a series of events for Earth Day, sponsored two art shows – one in Ottawa and one in Washington – featuring the work of Fulbright alumna and Arctic photographer Acacia Johnson, dramatically increased the activities of EducationUSA in Canada, co-hosted another successful round of the Youth Ambassadors Program, and renewed key partnerships with public and private sector partners. In the process, we managed to grow both the reputation and the size of our Killam Fellowships program and the Fulbright program in Canada.

Fulbright Arctic
Fulbright Arctic Initiative meeting in Iqaluit, Nunavut, May 2015

On a slightly more personal note, it was a very exciting year for me … and, come to think of it, an exciting year for all Canadians. I was privileged to be asked to speak on pubic diplomacy, indigenous education, Canadian foreign policy, Canadian politics, and a number of other subjects at various conferences and invited lectures. These included speaking engagements at the University of Arizona, Queen’s University, University College London, and St. Anthony’s College Oxford, to name a few. And, in addition to my role as Chair of the Board at the Institute for Studies in International Development at McGill University, I joined the board of Canada World Youth.

Earth Day panel, “Challenges of Conducting Research in the Arctic,” at Ottawa City Hall, April 22, 2015  (left to right) Dr. Michael Hawes (Fulbright Canada), Dr. Ross A. Virginia (co-lead scholar of the Fulbright Arctic Initiative),  Dr. Greg Poelzer (Fulbright Arctic Initiative scholar), Tracy Coates (University of Ottawa, Institute of Aboriginal Studies)
Earth Day panel, “Challenges of Conducting Research in the Arctic,” at Ottawa City Hall, April 22, 2015
(left to right) Dr. Michael Hawes (Fulbright Canada), Dr. Ross A. Virginia (co-lead scholar of the Fulbright Arctic Initiative),
Dr. Greg Poelzer (Fulbright Arctic Initiative scholar), Tracy Coates (University of Ottawa, Institute of Aboriginal Studies)

The really good news is that 2016 promises to just as exciting – if not more so! We are looking forward to a banner year for our visiting research chairs program, another exceptional cohort of Fulbright students, and another excellent group of Killam Fellows. New Fulbright scholar chair opportunities include a chair in indigenous studies at Vancouver Island University, one at the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, one in Native American Studies at the University of Arizona, one in public policy at Yale University, and another in Arctic Studies at Dartmouth College.

On the outreach front, we plan to grow our already active alumni-based community action programs and academic partnerships. Here are a couple of key examples for 2016. We will be co-hosting an international conference at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, which addresses the issue of combatting violent extremism and features a large number of Fulbright Canada alumni. Our Arctic Initiative scholars will be holding their mid-term meeting in Oulu Finland in February. We will be co-hosting, with the Center for Public Diplomacy in the Annenberg School at University of Southern California, a conference that will celebrate the 10th anniversary of our partnership with the Center and the 70th anniversary of the Fulbright program. At the same time, it is our intention to redouble our efforts on issues that our board has identified as critical to our mission and increasingly important to the citizens of our two countries … and beyond. These include, but are not limited to health and human wellness, the Arctic, indigenous and aboriginal issues, environmental security and sustainability, and innovation and economic development.

Alumni building a Lodge in Shingwauk  funded by the Fulbright Canada Community Leadership Program
Alumni building a Lodge in Shingwauk
funded by the Fulbright Canada Community Leadership Program

An important part of our growth plan revolves around an increased commitment to social media, a focus on technology (spoiler alert: look for our newly updated and repurposed web site in 2016), new staff resources, a robust internship program, and more community awareness programs.

Killam fellows at Spring Seminar in Washington, D.C.  (from left to right) Christian Norton, Maggie Lapoint, Stefanie Broos, and Christina Joynt
Killam fellows at Spring Seminar in Washington, D.C.
(from left to right) Christian Norton, Maggie Lapoint, Stefanie Broos, and Christina Joynt

There are a great many serious challenges that we will collectively need to address in 2016. Having said that, I base my optimism on the simple fact that we are incredibly rich in human resources. Our job is to identify and support the very best and brightest, engage them on issues of national and international importance, encourage and support their research and their role in important public discourse, and nurture their spirit of volunteerism and public service. These incredibly talented and dedicated people are our future, and they are indefatigable. We are also blessed with a dedicated, hard working and focused staff, a selfless, talented, and inspiring board of directors, government partners who see the value of investing in our collective future, university partners who know and understand what it means to live and work in a global village, and private sector donors who demonstrate both vision and conviction.

Please reach out to us, and ask us how you can be part of the excitement.

2015-16 Orientation for Fulbright and Killam, September 2015 National Art Gallery, Ottawa
2015-16 Orientation for Fulbright and Killam, September 2015
National Art Gallery, Ottawa



Firefly Foundation’s Bright Lights in the Lab – Community Leadership Project

How do we inspire the next generation of neuroscientists who will find cures for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease? This is the mission of the Firefly Foundation in Toronto, and my community partner for Canada’s first hands-on Neuroscience summer research camp that runs every July at the University of Toronto Schools.

Hello! My name is Anand Mahadevan and I am one of the recipients of the 2015 Fulbright Community Leadership Program grants. Over the last three years, I have run Bright Lights in the Lab, a research based summer camp for kids in grades 6-12 in the greater Toronto area. This camp allows students to learn about neuroscience through hands-on inquiry activities and designing labs to measure action potential speeds in earthworms, rate coding in crickets, classical condition in fruit flies and nematodes as well as learning and behavior experiments using snails. Through our partners at the Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, we allow teenagers to meet and learn from graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and scientists at the forefront of innovative neuroscience in Canada.

Prior to attending this camp, I didn’t have much of a background in terms of Neuroscience. After attending the camp, I have gained a whole new perspective on Neuroscience… Based on the experience I have acquired during the Bright Lights summer camp, I will definitely consider Neurosciecne as a career.

Adiba Rahman,

Grade 11 Student

The Fulbright CLP program allowed us to offer our first set of full scholarships to students from areas of the City of Toronto that are designated as priority neighborhoods. Children from these neighborhoods are less likely to be able to afford summer camp tuition or take the time to study science when they may be expected to contribute to their family income for example. By providing them with TTC tickets, lunches and a full scholarship, we hoped that these students would be able to envision themselves as future scientists and see that a university degree in biomedical sciences and a career in research are possible for them.

I didn’t think I’d even be able to attend the camp because of the high enrolment price, and if it weren’t for the scholarship I probably wouldn’t have had the chance to have such a great experience.

Riddhi Jani,

Grade 10 Student

In cooperation with the Firefly Foundation and my employer, University of Toronto Schools, I was able to promote these scholarships in over fifty Community Centres, Toronto Public Library branches and TDSB schools. I met with engaged youth workers, librarians, and teachers who cared deeply about their students and wanted to see them succeed.

In July 2015, we were able to offer nine students from around Toronto the opportunity to attend the summer camp on full scholarships because of the Fulbright Community Leadership Program. These students participated in all the research activities of the camp with gusto and interest, and their hard work and dedication to making the most of the two weeks deeply impressed me and the other researchers teaching the camp.

As Maria Mehmood, one of the scholarship recipients notes, “I especially enjoyed how we got to bring forth a research question of our own choice and then, design an experiment to answer that question…it was a mind blowing experience that I cherish very deeply.”

I have been teaching for the last ten years, and every time that flash of insight and spark of joy at learning a new idea flies across the face of one of my students, I feel a renewed sense of purpose. Learning is a joy that all kids deserve to experience. Thanks to the Fulbright CLP scholarships, we are now determined to raise funds so that every year students can come to Bright Lights in the lab on full scholarships. Thank you Fulbright Canada and US Embassy Ottawa for giving us the seed funding!

My Culture Awareness Program Experience: Coastal Nova Scotia & Halifax

By Macey Shay, 2015-2016 Killam Fellow from University of Texas-Austin to l’Université de Montreal

I had the privilege of receiving a Killam Fellowship cultural awareness program grant to travel to Nova Scotia.  It was my first time visiting the province, and I was blown away by its natural beauty and the friendliness of its people.  The history and culture of the Maritimes is very rich, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to experience it firsthand.

Shay_Sea B&B

During my four-night trip  I was able to experience more of Nova Scotia than I ever thought I would!  This was thanks to the very kind owners of the bed and breakfast I stayed at in Ferguson’s Cove, just twenty minutes from downtown Halifax.  Eva and Tom’s place is called Star of the Sea, and it was in fact the very first of many historical properties that I saw in Nova Scotia.  Beautifully situated next to the famous fort York Redoubt and graced with spectacular ocean views, the bed and breakfast used to be a Catholic church, built in 1846, for the Irish soldiers who were sent to protect the city and its harbor during wartime.  This registered historical property that has been masterfully conserved has a bell tower that still has its original bell that came from a ship and even World War II bunkers to explore on the property!  I loved staying with Eva and Tom because, as locals, they had a lot of knowledge about the region to pass on to me. 

Less than two minutes away were the grounds of York Redoubt, a National Historic Sight of Canada. The park is beautiful to explore, and many cannons and bunkers still stand so visitors are able to experience what it was like for the soldiers stationed at the fort throughout the ages.  

Peggy's Cove lighthouse-1My first day in Halifax, Eva drove me along to coast to various coves and villages that represent the true Nova Scotia heritage like Sambro, a small, rural fishing village that houses the oldest operational lighthouse in the Americas.  I also visited the original lens from the lighthouse at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax.  Sambro actually has some interesting links with United States history, such as playing a major role in the Chesapeake Affair during the American Revolution. Peggy’s Cove, a beautiful fishing village located in St. Margaret’s Bay, is known for its iconic lighthouse and interesting boulder formations I even had the pleasure of eating local-catch fish and chips in an eatery overlooking the lighthouse and village.  

On Friday, I explored York Redoubt in the morning and took a hike to experience Nova Scotia’s beautiful nature. When I visited the city of Halifax I walked along the Waterfront Boardwalk and through the streets downtown, seeing many well-preserved historical properties, as well as some beautiful new ones such as the Central Public Library.  I went to The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, where I discovered the work of Nova Scotia’s beloved folk artist Maud Lewis.  I particularly liked seeing her brightly painted house, which is being preserved in the art museum.  I also explored the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, which houses the best Titanic exhibit in the world.  It was great to learn more about Maritime history and the important role the Maritimes have played, both economically and militarily, in Canadian history. 

One of the highlights of my time in downtown Halifax was exploring the Pier 21 Museum of Canadian Immigration.  I learned so much about the social history of Canada through this museum.  I have always thought that both the US and Canada are similar in that so many diverse cultures and peoples have combined to make the countries into what they are today.  It was interesting to compare Canadian immigration history and policies with what I know about American immigration.   There was also a temporary exhibit on the tragic Empress of Ireland shipwreck, which I had known nothing about previously.  While downtown, I was also able to visit various landmarks such as St. Paul’s Church, the oldest surviving building in Halifax, and Citadel Hill, also known as Fort George, which are both National Historic Sights of Canada.  I enjoyed learning how the design of Fort George made it virtually impossible for an enemy to breech its walls.

Nova Scotia coastOn Saturday, Eva kindly drove me to visit many other parts of the Nova Scotia coast. I got to see the town of Lunenburg, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Sight.  Besides being a historically important town for Canadian history, Lunenburg also had an impact on the American Revolution and the War of 1812.  Today it is still so well preserved that you feel like you are stepping back in history when walking through its quaint streets.  The architecture is so interesting, and I had never seen a town quite like it!  I especially liked seeing the Bluenose schooner and the Lunenburg Academy.  One neat thing I learned was that the homes in Lunenburg all have a special architectural feature called the Widow Watch. Widow Watches are small window jut-outs facing the ocean from which fishermen’s wives would await their husbands’ return.  Seeing Lunenburg was indeed a highlight of the trip!  I also enjoyed exploring the lovely town of Mahone Bay, which dates back to Father Le Loutre’s War (1749).  In addition, Eva took me to lesser-known sights along the coast like Marvin’s Island – a small, forested island that captures the stunning natural beauty of the province.  I was continually enchanted by all the sights we saw along our drive.  I had never before seen thousands of evergreens and birch trees towering above the ocean, but in Nova Scotia this is a common scene.

Shay_In Dartmouth w host EvaOn Sunday, Eva and Tom took me across the bridge into Dartmouth, known as the ‘City of Lakes.’  Dartmouth has historically been very important for the industry in the region.  It was interesting to see some of Dartmouth’s downtown, such as the Jackson Quaker House (associated with the period of the Nantucket whalers).  After, we went to Lawrencetown Beach, which is known for being a famous surfing spot in Nova Scotia.  We also saw historic Africville and visited Melville Island which has served many purposes in history. First, it was a prisoner of war camp during the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812.  I got to go inside the prison, which still stands. Melville Island subsequently served as a receiving depot for slaves escaping the United States (many of whom moved to Africville) and then as a quarantine center for immigrants escaping the Potato Famine in Ireland.  Today, it is a yacht club!

I fell in love with Nova Scotia during my trip and was thrilled to be able to see a unique and beautiful part of Canada.  I am incredibly grateful to Fulbright Canada for this amazing opportunity, and I am so thankful to my hosts in Nova Scotia, Eva and Tom, who made the whole experience enriching and entirely unforgettable.  This trip was indeed a meaningful and important part of my academic exchange in Canada, and I would strongly encourage all Killam Fellows to apply to the cultural awareness program. I certainly will cherish these memories all my life.  Thank you again for the wonderful opportunity.