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. read more

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

 Jonathan and his father standing beside the Goldman School of Public Policy sign.

Jonathan Yantzi (BSocSc [Political Science] ’12) wakes up every morning to a picturesque view of San Francisco Bay and Mount Tamalpais. The uOttawa alumnus and 2013 Canadian Fulbright Award recipient is currently pursuing a Master of Public Policy degree at the Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, but he credits his undergraduate experience at uOttawa with providing him the necessary tools to continue his studies. read more

As a Canada-US Fulbright Award recipient, I completed my Master’s Degree in Education (EdM) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE).  My EdM at Harvard embodied excellence in every way, from the daily inspiration of faculty to the  intensely dynamic interactions with my international peers.   I remember seeing Nelson Mandela receive his honorary law degree at the Tercentenary Theatre in Harvard Yard, hearing lectures at the Kennedy School of Government from authors Camille Paglia and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., learning about multiple intelligences from Howard Gardner, and sharing in the fervour of Noam Chomsky’s political activism at the First Parish church in Harvard Square.  I was constantly motivated to be my very best and to achieve new heights in my own learning and the learning of others.  While I had been an “A” student throughout my undergraduate studies, this environment demanded more than just academic discipline. It required true commitment to intellectual inquiry and a full ownership of one’s voice.  At Harvard, I learned to be fully accountable for the quality of my contributions and how to enhance the larger group discourse through meaningful questions and informed insights. read more

I am often asked why an economist spends time looking at the quality of elementary schools.  My usual response is that education is the second largest economic activity in the country.  Identifying a better outcome in such a large sector of the economy is of central interest.  In a provincial assessment, all students in a specific grade write the same assessment of literacy and mathematics.  The assessments are graded outside the school in which they are written by teachers who do not personally know the child. Results are reported back to parents on an individual basis. In Canada, three provinces, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia results are reported at the school level. read more

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