Blog

By Justin Park, Fulbright 2015-2016 student from University of California-Los Angeles to Concordia University.

What is it about international education that challenges us to see the world in a different way? It is not only about recognizing the difference in language, culture and society, as we can be well conscious of it while being at home. It’s not just about checking off the places we have been wanting to visit. It has much more meaningful and deeper value to us as students.

As a Fulbright student in Montreal, I am given the opportunity to study my passion and interests in a brand new environment. One might think, how can Canada be that different from the United States? Speculations like these are all assumptions that we hold until they shatter in the light of new perspectives and thoughts following our arrival to a new place. Personally I see it as a first-hand opportunity to study immigration in a global context, to observe the naturalization process for African immigrants in a setting that is unique for its own immigration history and policy, and attempt to understand the thought process of immigrants to Canada. It may be possible to study this phenomenon without leaving the U.S. since the ever-developing technology allows us access to information at our fingertips. read more

By Allison Turner, 2015-2016 Fulbright Student from Purdue University at the University of Waterloo

I’ve been in Canada for two and a half months. I’ve been in graduate school for two of those months. What have I learned after all of that international education-ing(?). This: if you want to feel alive, go study abroad…but be prepared for quite a ride.

In the first few weeks of my program, I felt lonely and frustrated. I’m used to a packed schedule, but graduate school started off very slowly. I only take one course this semester, and the remainder of my work involves the solitary tasks of reading and writing. I had lots of questions, but I felt silly asking them. Most of my classmates enjoyed the company of a friend close by; I struggled to keep in touch with old friends and mentors, who were a nation away. read more

By Dr. Lomax Boyd, Fulbright Scholar 2015-2016

The studio of the National Film Board of Canada is one of the last places you might expect to find an American biologist.

Having spent years in a laboratory, my outlook on the world was solidly scientific. I had gone through the gauntlet of scientific training, published a respectable paper, and was set for the next step in a traditional scientific career. But what was once a side interest while in graduate school—producing intimate, visceral documentary films about science—had morphed into a fully fledged passion. The problem, however, was that no one funded that kind of passion! Or so I thought. read more

Each year, Fulbright Canada brings the new cohort together for orientation. This year was the 25th (Silver) Anniversary, so in addition to the regular activities, the 2015-2016 cohort got to be part of the celebration Gala. Here is the official Press Release for the Event.

I wasn’t sure what to expect at Orientation – not because we were uninformed about the activities, but because I’ve not really had the chance to interact with a lot of Fulbright Scholars. I think prior to receiving the award, I only knew four others who had received the award (only two others were scholars – including my dissertation chair). So, to say I was excited to meet more Fulbrighters is an understatement. read more

My name is Patrick McGarey and I’m a current Fulbright Canada STEM scholar building, programming, and automating robots at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS) Autonomous Space Robotics Lab (ASRL). Engineers use copious acronyms. The robots I design make it possible to explore extreme environments on Earth and (someday) other rocky planets in our solar system. With generous support from Fulbright Canada, I’ve been hard at work developing a new climbing robot capable of accessing/mapping steep terrain and hazardous environments. The robot’s name is Tethered Robotic Explorer, or TReX for short (pronounced like the dinosaur). Here’s a video of me building TReX (notice my lightning speed). Building TReX Video TReX is awesome because it allows both scientists and first responders to safely visualize environments too dangerous for human access. Furthermore, an integrated laser sensor makes it possible to build detailed 3D models, which are sent back to the user. This video shows TReX driving and mapping steep terrain.

TReX Rover Mapping Video

Fun Fact: I was formally in a band called Super Stereo, and the songs you hear in the videos were written by me. Science and music are a winning combo. This past Summer was milestone in my research because I was able present a publication about TReX during the international conference, Field and Service Robotics 2015 (FSR). The paper titled, “System Design of a Tethered Robotic Explorer (TReX) for 3D Mapping of Steep Terrain and Harsh Environments” can be found here. The conference gave me a chance to meet with top field roboticists from around the world and discuss my work. In addition to my talk at FSR, I was also invited to present a poster on TReX at the annual meeting of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Field Robotics Network (NCFRN) in Kelowna, B.C. thanks to funding from the Fulbright mobility grant. As an American working and studying in Canada, I’m grateful to be involved in these incredible opportunities. The collaborative partnerships that I’ve been able to establish thus far are an indelible asset to my future as an engineer and scientist.  Above all, I’m thankful to Fulbright, whose support fosters international collaboration and understanding through academic pursuits. For up-to-date TReX developments go here, thanks for reading.

The goal of this Fulbright Canada-U.S. Embassy in Ottawa Community Leadership Program project, led by Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) Professors Victor Armony and Bernard Duhaime, was to foster a conversation about the legacy of human rights violations and crimes against humanity in Latin America, particularly as part of a collective memory shared by many Canadians of Latin American heritage. The project’s core idea was that, by creating opportunities for the expression and exchange on these issues, it may become possible to preserve and help disseminate accounts of individual experiences by victims, to engage participants in understanding and discussing the history of state-sponsored political violence, persecution, and discrimination in Latin America, and to consider the implications of a duty of remembrance for Latin American diasporas—specific to their national origins but also as part of the larger Canadian story of inclusive citizenship and global responsibility to protect. The Latin American population in Canada is rapidly growing and integrating into the larger society. Compared to Hispanics in the United States, Canada’s Latinos constitute a much smaller, recent and diverse minority, one that as yet has not developed a full sense of community. However, there are some elements that point to an emerging common identity among Canadian Latin Americans, which are in part related to a shared experience of “low-intensity citizenship” and “incomplete democracy” in their countries of origin. In order to explore how the (personal or transmitted) memory of injustices committed by Latin American governments brings together individuals of different backgrounds, allows them to discuss their lasting effects, and also encourages them to formulate their idea of what a fully realized citizenship means, several activities were planned. read more

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