Without my Fulbright Scholarship, I would have struggled to finish my doctorate.  With it, I was able to take a sabbatical from my fulltime job as a journalist, travel extensively to conduct research, benefit from the support of renowned academics and, best of all, come away from it with new ideas — some of which have come to slow fruition nearly a decade after I was a Fulbright Scholar at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

While studying at William & Mary, a professor invited me to be a judge for the Virginia state championship of National History Day. I was honoured to take part and captivated by what I saw at the contest. High school history students entered projects in five categories: essay, exhibit, documentary, website or dramatic performance. The projects were outstanding, but even more rewarding was to see the support the students had from their community — teachers, parents and community leaders were brought together for one day to celebrate the accomplishments of these young historians, who were piped into an award ceremony with a fife and drum band (this was Williamsburg, after all) and awarded trophies and medals for their contributions to the study of the social sciences. read more

Team Human Rights

I enjoyed watching the Olympics, and seeing the solidarity and spirit of “Team Canada”, “Team USA” and other countries.  One Olympic commercial noted the number of people behind every athlete: family members, coaches, sponsors, teachers, friends, and their home town.  It seems many things that are worth doing require a dedicated team.  My Fulbright project is the same.   I am working on transcribing 100+ hours of oral history interviews, building a database of these interviews and turning this oral history into a book about one of Egypt’s leading human rights organizations.  I am very fortunate to have 52 interns (some from last fall and many more this semester) helping with this project.  It is our own “Team Human Rights”. read more

Fulbright Canada and the US Embassy in Canada are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2013-14 Community Leadership Program (CLP). The CLP supports Canadian alumni of US government exchange programs who would like to make a contribution in their community. The CLP provides up to $8,000 on a competitive basis to groups of three or more alumni who identify a need in their community and a strategy for addressing that need. The recipients of this year’s CLP grants are:

Marcia Ostashewski (Canadian Fulbright Visiting Chair, 2010-2011)
Project Location: Vancouver, B.C. and Sydney N.S.
Project Title: Music is My Life: An Exhibit of Art by Homeless Young People
Fulbright Alumni Partners:
Jill Palzkill Woelfer (Fulbright Student, 2011-2012)
Cheryl Krasnick Warsh (Fulbright Scholar, 1992-1993) read more

Energy and Water Nexus for Arid regions: Sustainable energy development and water linkages were recognised at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, with recognition continuing across a broad variety of UN and international initiatives.

For example, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs is very engaged in exploring the energy and water nexus, particularly in the context to alleviate water scarcity and poverty both globally and in arid regions such as northern Africa and the Middle East. read more

Don’t let the Fulbright program know, but I keep getting sidetracked by research that has nothing to do with my project. Mostly, I’m writing a novel set in the mid-1700’s, following a doctor who travels with a band of Iroquois natives through the Adirondacks and up to Montréal. But with so much rich history in the province of Québec, it’s hard not to get swept away by tangents. read more

(September 2013) A few weeks ago, I arrived in Montréal with nothing but what I could carry. I’ll be living here for a year on a Fulbright Scholarship, working on a novel about the French and Indian War (a book I half-jokingly refer to as a rewrite of The Last of the Mohicans). Given all the time I’ve spent studying the history of British, American, French, and native culture mingling (and fighting) in the area, it was a bit of a shock to actually arrive to Montréal—you know—in the present. In the span of an hour, I was rocketed out of the past: a sudden fast-forward, a look at how the whole messy, brutal, convoluted story turned out. There’s a lot to say about a place as complicated as Montréal (both past and present). But let’s start with first impressions. One thing, in particular, made a deep impression—to put it mildly. read more

Are you ready to start your journey?