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y Viva Dadwal and Michael O’Shea, two Fulbright Award winners

We met in an elevator. She was wearing a bright orange beanie, and I a black suit. It was the 20th floor of Constitution Square in Ottawa, Canada. It had been a long day and I was looking forward to the walk home. The doors opened, and we stepped on together. I said, “going down, right?” She said, “Yes.”

“Do we work on the same floor?”, I said smiling.

“Yeah, I work at GlaxoSmithKline, what brings you here?” she said, smiling back.

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Fulbright Canada asked five panelists to share their experience at The Nineteenth Annual International Studies Symposium. Here are their comments…

Dr. Sara K. McGuire

Dr. Sara K. McGuire is currently an LLM Candidate in International Public and Comparative Law at the University of Exeter. In August 2014 she will be a Visiting Assistant Professor of Intelligence and National Security Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso.

While Canadians often refer to their “friend and neighbour” to the south, how much do Canadians actually know about the United States? The theme of this year’s International Studies Symposium at York University’s Glendon College Campus, “The United States of America: The Neighbour You Don’t Know” sought to answer this questionBringing together scholars from both sides of the 49th parallel, this event examined a wide range of issues including: the American economy, American institutions, U.S. foreign policy, the environment and energy independence, and the American media.

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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.

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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.

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As we celebrate International Education Week, I recall my days spent as a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Fellow in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in the 2010-11 academic year. My Fellowship paved the way for future professional opportunities within the health policy sphere. During my grant period, I was a student in the M.A. program in Critical Disability Studies at York University which is housed within the York University School of Health Policy & Management. During my graduate studies, I engaged in comparative health policy research, concerning the Province of Ontario (Canada) and the State of New York (United States).

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Over 60 million diabetics, and another 70 million so called “pre-diabetics” – individuals at such an elevated risk for this condition that the odds are stacked against them for converting into full-blown diabetes within a few short years. The country I am describing, India, is not the first that comes to mind to most when thinking about the growing problem of diabetes across the world.

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