Fresh off a one-year stint in Jordan on a prestigious David L. Boren Scholarship, Madison Marks doesn’t slow down. With a keen interest in international refugee studies, Madison has pursued every opportunity to advance her Arabic language skills, gain international field experience and prepare a solid resume, with her eye on becoming a future graduate student at Oxford University.
The Boren Awards for International Study, are highly competitive fellowships for study abroad. Funded by the National Security Education Program, the Boren Awards provide undergraduate and graduate fellowships of $20-$30K to fund opportunities to study the language and culture of countries normally underrepresented in U.S. study abroad programs. Applicants must convince the selection committee how their study abroad program, as well as their future academic and career goals, will contribute to U.S. national security. In my previous post “How to Win a Boren Fellowship”, I discuss the importance of crafting a compelling application. Madison provides her insider tips on crafting a national security-related project proposal in the context of economic sustainability. She also talks frankly about her experience applying for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship for study at Oxford.
1. What inspired you to apply for the Boren Scholarship and what was your experience like?
I enrolled in Arabic at FSU, but there were few opportunities to practice the language outside of the classroom; therefore, I sought opportunities to gain an extended immersion experience abroad.
The Boren Scholarship is a National Security Education Program-funded grant that enables students to pursue immersion experiences with languages that are pertinent to U.S. national security interests, broadly defined. Undergraduate Boren Scholars can receive up to $20,000 for study abroad. Boren tends to select students who choose to spend 6-12 months in one country as opposed to one semester. The application process involves writing two essays. One of these essays describes how the language and country chosen is pertinent to the applicant’s goals and U.S. national security interests; the other is a more general overview of the preferred study abroad program.
Developing my proposal for the Boren scholarship was actually quite challenging because I was interested in studying Sudanese Arabic. Both Sudan and South Sudan are on the U.S. State Department Travel Warning list, therefore I had to be creative with my application. My interest in Sudan developed during my first two years at FSU where I wrote several term papers and did a Directed Individual Study related to the causes and consequences of displacement in the Nuba Mountains area of Sudan. Through my research, I learned that the largest Sudanese diaspora community is in Cairo. As a result, I crafted my Boren application in such a way that I emphasized the importance of studying in Cairo so that I could also interact with Sudanese refugees to learn the dialect. I emphasized the importance of having U.S. experts in Sudan in the future, as well as my desire to contribute towards security in the Sudan via economic sustainability projects, especially related to education.
During the period between submitting my application in January 2011 and receiving the Boren Scholarship in May 2011, Egypt experienced a lot of economic and political transitions following the fall of Mubarak. My study abroad program was canceled for the fall, so I switched to Jordan. I had won a grant from my university to study Arabic in Jordan the summer, so I was simply extending my stay from three months to a full year.
I studied Arabic intensively at Qasid Institute, progressing through level 6 of Modern Standard Arabic. I did not go with an organized study abroad group, so I did much of my planning for extracurricular activities, language partners, and travel by myself or with my group of friends. I volunteered with refugee aid and civil society organizations in order to learn more about different NGOs, and taught conversational English. All of these extracurricular activities and language partners enabled me to hone my Arabic conversational skills and gave me insight into my academic and professional interests. Working with and befriending refugees from across the Middle East and North Africa sparked an interest in pursuing further education in Refugee and Forced Migration studies.
Upon returning to the U.S. in summer 2012, I worked with refugees in Nashville, Tennessee in order to learn about the U.S. resettlement process and the challenges that refugees face in adjusting to American culture and systems. My experience in Nashville and the Middle East motivated me to apply for the Rhodes scholarship in order to obtain an MPhil in International Development. Oxford has the world’s leading Refugee Studies Centre, and I wanted to concentrate my master’s thesis on issues concerning forced migration. Because I had already applied for the Boren scholarship, I was prepared for the hard work that the Rhodes application would require. Drafting a personal statement was difficult (and took between 10 and 12 different drafts!) yet rewarding because I was finally able to put my story down on paper in a concise way and better articulate my personal and professional goals. Being selected as a finalist for the Rhodes in fall 2012 was an honor. It challenged me to learn how to articulate my goals in an interview setting and not just on paper. I have grown much as a result of these fellowships and would not have been able to have the opportunities I did without the funding abilities like Boren. The most rewarding part is the personal growth you gain from the application process, whether or not you are selected as a fellow or not.
2. What do you think made your application stand out?
My application to the Boren was unique because of my interest in national security-related issues in the Sudan. The country that was most closely related to Sudan in language and culture was Egypt; therefore, I drafted my application emphasizing the importance of studying in Cairo in order for me to enhance my Arabic skills and understanding of Sudanese culture and dynamics. As mentioned before, the largest number of Sudanese refugees are in Cairo. In addition to my Arabic studies, I planned to volunteer with NGOs that would enable me to use my Arabic skills while learning about the challenges that Sudanese refugees faced in Cairo. Ultimately, I believe my application stood out because it was atypical in the way that I defined the importance of national security in a country like Sudan that is often overlooked in discussions on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. While I ended up studying in Jordan, I pursued my interests in education and social development through volunteerism there, and I visited Cairo on my route home.
I started drafting my essays two to three months before the application deadline in order to give myself time to work through several revisions. Giving myself plenty of time on the application helped me to dwell on areas in which I needed to improve, and what was not necessary to get my point across. If I could give advice to other applicants for the Boren Scholarship, it would be the following:
- Talk to your university fellowships advisor and your major professors early. The application deadline on your campus might be a few weeks before the national deadline. Beginning in October and November gives you plenty of time to do research on your proposed study abroad programs.
- Notify those who will be writing your letters of recommendation well in advance.
- Contact your proposed study abroad programs in advance in order to get the name of the admissions coordinator. If you are having trouble finding a study abroad program, see where other Boren scholars have studied in the past. The Boren website has a list of sites where you might be able to find a list of websites internationally.
- Staying with a host family or in a dorm will provide you unique insight into the culture, and will help you grow your language skills.
- While writing your essays, be sure to answer the prompt questions directly: (1) why the language you seek to study is important to national security; (2) the importance of the country you are studying in; (3) how you came to be interested in this language/country/topic and how you plan to use your acquired skills following the Boren scholarship; (4) where you plan to fulfill your year of service; and (5) how the study abroad programs of your choice will enable you to reach your goals.
- Do your research to create a realist budget. For instance, taxis in Jordan were $4.00 per day. This adds up over a year!
- Keep a timeline of the deadlines for the study abroad programs you have chosen. You will be notified in May whether or not you received the Boren, but you should have applied to the study abroad programs by this time…. Especially if you are starting in summer!
- Reach out to other Boren alumni for any questions. If you are selected as a Boren Scholar, you will have access to a Facebook group for Boren scholars. I utilized this in order to find a roommate in Jordan who is now one of my dearest friends!
3. How has the Boren Scholarship influenced your professional interests and career path?
The Boren Scholarship allowed me to gain advanced proficiency in Arabic, a skill that is fundamental for work in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Living in Jordan for a year also enabled me to explore my interests in refugee assistance and civil society development by volunteering with international and local organizations. Additionally, I was introduced to a network of Boren scholars and other international students and professionals who share an interest in the Middle East.
Overall, my academic and work experiences and the relationships built throughout my time on the Boren Scholarship has encouraged me to pursue a career whereby I can work towards education and social development in the MENA region. The definition of national security includes economic sustainability. I hope to use my language skills in a position with the State Department where I can work towards development policies and strategies related to refugees and asylum seekers in the Middle East and North Africa
I will be working in Washington D.C. this summer as an intern with World Justice Project. I will be working with research, communications, and data collection related to the annual release of the Rule of Law Index. After this summer, I plan to stay in D.C. or move to the Middle East in order to gain experience in the field of international education and social development. My goal is to attend graduate school in the near future for an M.A. in International Development with a focus in Economics. I still hope to attend Oxford in order to interact with the world’s leading professionals in the field of Refugee and Forced Migration studies.
Madison Marks is from Jacksonville, Florida and is a recent graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Middle East Studies. Madison is currently based in Washington D.C. where she is a Rule of Law Index intern with World Justice Project. Her areas of interest include international education and social development and forced migration issues with a focus in the Middle East and North Africa region.
When the Kauffman Foundation launched the Global Scholars Program in 2006, their aim was to teach and inspire recent college graduates who want to build innovative, world-changing businesses. Entering its seventh year in 2013, the program has hosted students sponsored by governments and organizations from eight countries representing at least 14 nationalities. The Global Scholars Program offers high quality education in entrepreneurship and features presentations, seminars, workshops, and discussions with leading professors, researchers, and entrepreneurs from around the U.S. During the program, Scholars have the opportunity to shadow executive leaders and immerse themselves in the day-to-day operations of an innovative firm such as Google, Cisco, InVivo Therapeutics, and InCube Ventures. Through this they learn first-hand about the challenges of launching a new, innovative enterprise. The benefits provided by the Kauffman Foundation include the costs of participation in the program, program-related lodging and travel expenses for the six month duration of the program, and a small living stipend.
Kelly Peeler, a 2010 Harvard University graduate, was the ideal candidate: her aim is to build a business that helps make investing more accessible, social and cost efficient to young people, as only 14 states currently require any type of financial education. We caught up with Kelly to learn more about this extraordinary program.
1. What inspired you to apply for the Kauffman Global Scholars Program?
I was inspired to create NextGenVest, a financial education, experience, and progress-tracking platform for young adults because I had not had any type of financial literacy training through high school or in college. It was only when I became an investor within J.P. Morgan’s Private Bank that I learned how to invest and understand the need to proactively manage personal finances at any income level. I myself procrastinated learning about all topics associated with personal finance, including credit, budgeting, investing, etc. and started to realize that all of my friends and peers did as well. These are vital skills that every person really must understand and have control over, especially in a post-financial crisis era.
2. What is a typical day like for a Kauffman Global Scholar?
The Kauffman Foundation is one of the largest Foundations globally that is focused on promoting entrepreneurship and education. The Foundation hosts programs and publishes extensive research to foster discussion and action around entrepreneurship. The Kauffman Global Scholars Program is a sixth month intensive program for 13 founders from around the world to help them effectively launch their companies. Kauffman Scholars work with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, professors, and industry professionals to learn, develop their product, and hone growth strategies in different cities including Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Kansas City.
It was attractive for me in that it allowed me to learn from a group of international entrepreneurs, do customer development and test my product in different cities across the U.S. It also gave me the opportunity to better understand the core problem I am solving.
3. What tips would you give others applying to the Kauffman Global Scholars Program?
Any student applying to the Kauffman Global Scholars Program should have a clear understanding of why they want to build the company they want to build. They don’t have to have all the answers about how the product or service will look, but they should understand the problem they are trying to solve. Everyone who goes through the program changes their product over time based on the feedback of their users. The applicant needs to be willing to go out and ask users lots of questions, receive criticism, and adapt – quickly. The interview is about proving your ability to formulate and execute ideas. Be flexible and honest about the challenges you have faced so far in starting your own company or venture, they know everyone has them!
As a Kauffman Foundation Global Scholar, Kelly Peeler is building a company focused on making personal finances easier for young adults. She is currently piloting NextGenVest with schools and parents. If you believe you could have been more prepared to manage your own finances, let Kelly know! Contact her at: Kelly at nextgenvest.com
Kelly is also the Executive Director of Business Across Borders. Previously, she worked at J.P. Morgan’s Private Bank as an investor covering financial sponsors, venture capital principals, and strategic clients to the firm. Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in history and economics from Harvard University.
© Victoria Johnson 2013, all rights reserved.
The Organizing and Leadership Academy, TOLA, is now taking applications for their next class of TOLA Fellows, which runs from July 22, 2013 through November 15, 2013. Based in Oakland, California, TOLA’s mission is to train a new generation of young people to become effective grassroots organizers and leaders. The TOLA curriculum builds upon the lessons of effective community organizing and is based on the teachings of Fred Ross Sr., the experience of the Community Service Organizations (CSO), the United Farm Workers (UFW), community organizations and effective grass roots political campaigns. Founded by Larry Tramutola, one of the country’s most successful organizers, TOLA fellows spend four months in a rigorous, engaging, and “real-life” organizing boot camp. Skilled community organizers and leaders volunteer their time to teach TOLA fellows. Through participation in campaigns and projects, TOLA fellows develop an understanding of the fundamentals of community organizing, while developing the basic organizing skills, strategies, and tactics necessary to become effective community organizers.
Read more about the fellowship experience and application tips in our interview with TOLA Fellow Karina Rivera.
Description and Qualifications
TOLA fellows must commit to a full-time organizer’s schedule (six days a week, for four months). TOLA provides an $8,000 scholarship to help cover Fellows’ living expenses.
A qualified applicant must be interested in making a difference in education, accessibility to healthcare, economic and transit development, and increasing civic participation. He/she must have excellent interpersonal skills, and strong presentation, coaching, writing, and analytical skills. Applicants must also demonstrate an ability to work in diverse communities and a desire to learn. Second language fluency is a plus.
Visit the TOLA Website at http://tolacademy.org/apply/
Application Deadline is Friday June 14, 2013. Don’t Miss Out! APPLY NOW!
Max Cuddy is not one to shy away from challenging issues. As a sophomore at Temple University in Philadelphia, Max participated in the university’s Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, which brings college students and student prisoners together inside a corrections facility to study issues of social justice. Developing relationships with the prisoners and delving deep into the mutual misconceptions harbored by the college students and convicts permanently altered Max’s worldviews, and the experience inspired Max to pursue an international career in education and social advocacy. In 2011, Max won a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to South Africa, where he taught English courses and organized afterschool programs for youth. Today, Max is a Teacher For America fellow serving as a Special Education Teacher at Imhotep Institute Charter High School in the West Oak Lane neighborhood of Philadelphia. Teacher For America provides paid teaching fellowships to high-achieving recent college graduates and professionals who teach for at least two years in low-income communities throughout the United States. We caught up with Max to find out more about his Teach For America experience.
1. What inspired you to apply to Teach For America?
In high school, I began developing a critical consciousness about the pervasive inequalities plaguing our country. This was the primary impetus in my decision to study Sociology and African American Studies in college. I wanted to understand how structural forces shaped and sometimes obstructed opportunity and access. Moreover, I had a fierce desire to work with and for marginalized communities and advocate for social change. Teach for America seemed like a natural, proactive extension of this desire. I wanted to involve myself in an organization that put equity at the forefront of their agenda. As a teacher, I hoped to be an agent of empowerment in the classroom and in the community.
2. What is a typical Teach For America week like?
A Teach for America experience can vary widely depending on where you are and what your placement is. That being said, whatever your individual circumstance, chances are you are going to work your tail off! Especially as a first year teacher, you learn a lot on the job by trying out different methods, content, management styles and work habits. All of this takes tremendous time and effort. Work doesn’t end when the bell rings; nor are weekends completely work-free. Of course, you get much better at handling your many responsibilities over time, but it is demanding!
For all of your work, the benefits of Teacher For America are terrific. The professional development and general mentorship you receive from the staff is vital. Although they aren’t as present as you might think, they are always available when you need them most. In terms of future planning, Teacher For America also has numerous partnerships with universities and employers that offer jobs to alumni. Most importantly, while your students might drive you up the wall at times, they are the ultimate benefit of doing the work we do.
3. What tips would you give to others applying to Teach For America?
Teach for America is looking for capable and ambitious young leaders. You don’t have to possess an education background or even have extensive experience working in urban or rural settings. You must be passionate about educational opportunity and have a demonstrated capacity for leadership.
The application process was three-fold when I applied. There is an online application, a phone interview and a final in-person interview day. I definitely remember fielding numerous questions about different leadership positions I had held in college (student government, student organizations, etc.). I also recall discussing my organizational strengths and weaknesses. Finally, there was the dreaded “sample lesson,” in which you prepare and execute a five minute lesson. If you are confident, engaged and organized, you’ll be a strong candidate.
Max Cuddy grew up in Rochester, NY. Max was in the Honors Program at Temple University and studied Sociology and African American Studies. While in college, Max served as Vice President of the Temple University Student Peace Alliance. After graduating in 2010 he spent a year living in South Africa as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. He returned to Philadelphia and worked as a Program Coordinator for an afterschool program as well as an Adult Educator preparing students for the GED. In the summer of 2012 he started training for Teach for America, and is currently finishing his first year as a Special Education Teacher at Imhotep Institute Charter High School in the West Oak Lane neighborhood of Philadelphia.
© Victoria Johnson 2013, all rights reserved.
Our April Esteemed Fellows Dinner was held last night in Washington, DC and included alumni of prestigious fellowship programs as well as two aspiring fellows. The dinner brought together a cross-disciplinary group of fellows including international development experts, young leaders in city government and the non-profit sector, and graduate students in security studies and international affairs. Experiences and business cards were exchanged, and fellows left the event with ideas and contacts for new and ongoing projects.
Ryan and I are planning additional Esteemed Fellows Dinners in San Francisco and other parts of the U.S. If you are a fellowship alumnus and would like to get involved, please sign up for our beta, and we’ll be in touch by email!
April 2013 Dinner Attendees:
- Niiobli Armah IV: City Hall Fellow (Houston) | NAACP
- Thomas Gonzales: City Hall Fellow (San Francisco) | SFO Training Office
- Vicki Johnson: Ian Axford Fellow in Public Policy (New Zealand) | Cofounder, ProFellow
- Miriam Kochman: Chinese Government Scholar | John Hopkins SAIS
- Gerard Lumban: Georgetown University (aspiring fellow)
- Que Newbill: Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow | The Henry L. Stimson Center
- Ashley Noia: Coro Fellow in Public Affairs (St. Louis) | Chemonics International
- Harold Pettigrew: Capital City Fellow | Consultant
- Sarika Sinha: Chemonics International (aspiring fellow)
TOLA is now taking applications for their next class of fellows who will start on July 22, 2013. We caught up with former fellow Karina Rivera to ask about her experience in the program and her tips for the application process.
1. What inspired you to apply for the TOLA Academy Fellows program?
My hometown Watsonville, CA has a long history of organizing. During the cannery strikes in the 1980s, my mother helped organize workers. At the time she had 3 young children but she was still out there supporting the workers. I remember listening to her stories about the difficulties of the strike and how important it was for her to support the movement. From her stories, I learned from an early age how powerful organizing can be.
When I heard about TOLA, I was immediately drawn to the concept of a fellowship that taught people how to be effective organizers while also working on leadership skills. During the 4 months of the fellowship, you are assigned 2 community organizing projects. While doing organizing work, you are also expected to attend workshops taught by community leaders where they speak about their own experiences as organizers and the lessons that brought them to their current leadership roles. These workshops also give fellows an opportunity to ask questions and really understand what it takes to be an effective organizer. Fellows meet on a regular basis to reflect on the work that they are doing out on the field. During these sessions, fellows are able provide insight on the things that are working on in their projects and the things that they need to change in order to be successful.
Lastly, I will say that TOLA staff does a great job of ensuring that fellows have the support they need to succeed in their respective projects. While the work can be incredibly hard and tiring, fellows will find that there is always someone that has done and understands the work.
2. How has the fellowship experience impacted your career path?
Prior to the fellowship, I was working for a non-profit doing case management. While that work is incredibly important, it wasn’t what I saw myself doing long term. After joining TOLA, my career took a slightly different path.
My first project on TOLA was helping organize a campaign to pass a Parcel Tax measure for a local school district. It was incredibly crucial to pass this measure as California schools had been facing deep budget cuts every year. Working with Tramutola staff, parents and with the support of the school district, we led a volunteer driven effort to educate community members about the importance of the measure and were out on the field through Election Day ensuring that people went out to vote. It was an incredible experience not only because of the people involved in it but because I got see all sides of how a campaign is run. I was out in the field organizing people and when back in the office, I was talking strategy and figuring out what steps we needed to take to take the win.
Since the fellowship I’ve moved on to work as a representative for Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan. I work with residents of Alameda County’s Third District, which encompasses parts of Oakland, San Leandro, San Lorenzo and Alameda, to ensure that they are connected to county resources. Through TOLA, I learned about the importance of increasing civic participation in local communities. This has been incredibly helpful with the work I currently do organizing community events that educate and help raise awareness of the role of County Government and the safety net.
Working “in the field” during the TOLA fellowship helped me understand the importance of educating community members about resources available to them and how to best advocate for themselves and their communities at large. The education that I gained through my TOLA experience helped me take the lead as an organizer and representative for communities in Alameda County.
3. What tips would you give others interested in applying to the TOLA Fellows program?
The application process was fairly straightforward- cover letter, resume, and writing sample. I would say that the interview was really the most important part. I had an incredibly positive interview and was honest about my lack of organizing skills. TOLA is not necessarily looking for people who have already done organizing work, so highlight other leadership skills and experiences that will be telling of what you are capable of. Demonstrating passion, good work ethic and a need to want to make a difference in the community is key to getting into the fellowship program.
One of the best parts about TOLA is that a majority of your time is spent out in the field getting experience- meeting, talking and organizing real people, while also getting some classroom instruction time where you learn about the principals of organizing. You are taught the tools that it takes to become a great leader and you also get the opportunity to meet leaders in the Bay Area- people that have done significant work to make their community a better place to live in.
If you’re looking for a 9-5PM fellowship, then TOLA is not for you. Some weeks, you may only work 40 hours and then there are others where you are out in the field or making phone calls until 10PM and through the weekend. The work is difficult and ongoing but like all great work, it is incredibly rewarding.
Karina Rivera graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Latin American and Iberian Studies in 2009. Since then, she has worked with various non-profit organizations and youth agencies in the Santa Barbara area. As a TOLA Fellow, Karina is currently a representative for Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan where she works as a liaison for boards and agencies, community organizations and citizens in her district.
© Victoria Johnson 2013, all rights reserved.
This week, we’re taking ProFellow’s popular university tours online! First the first time ever, we’ll be speaking with students and professionals across the U.S. via Google Hangout.
I’ll give an overview of my experience in 4 different fellowship programs and provide insider tips on how to prepare a competitive application, how to make an impression in the individual and group interview, and how to make the most of your fellowship experience. The presentation will give an overview of a wide range of fellowships for graduate school, research, career advancement and experiences abroad.
Summer is a great time to begin working on applications for competitive fellowships Fellowship deadlines generally fall between October-January. Get a head start on your fellowship search!
ProFellow’s Google HangOut Seminar Dates:
Thursday, April 25, 6-7pm PST / 9-10 pm EST
Sunday, April 28, 4-5pm PST / 7-8pm EST
Tuesday, April 30, 6-7pm PST /9-10pm EST
Health for America in partnership with mHealth for the underserved (a collaboration between One Economy Corporation, Children’s National Medical Center, Amplify Public Affairs and its Health in Place (HIP) Advisory Board) and XLerate Health announces a summer program to incubate, test and launch applications specifically focused on childhood asthma in low-income communities in Washington, D.C. and Louisville, KY. This unique program, presents an opportunity to utilize disruptive mobile technologies to greatly improve health conditions of populations that need it the most.
Chronic disease accounts for more than 70% of deaths in the United States, with health outcomes seemingly worsening each year. Health disparities by race, income level, and state mean that the needs of vulnerable communities are largely going unmet. Meanwhile, the rapid growth of mobile technology ownership within these same populations creates an unprecedented opportunity for mobile health interventions.
Six to ten fellows from diverse backgrounds will work with target communities in Washington, D.C. and Louisville, KY. Fellows will begin by conducting a needs assessment and an environmental scan of mobile solutions that address childhood asthma. Fellows will then participate in a hackathon with the local DC tech community to either improve on existing products or create new solutions to meet the community’s needs. Using entrepreneurial techniques, fellows will iterate the applications developed based upon community feedback. Throughout the program, fellows will have classes and mentorship from thought leaders in health innovation.
This program will provide fellows with unique insights into health, innovation and entrepreneurship while giving back to the community. The program runs from June 10, 2013 to August 4, 2013 and fellows will receive a stipend of $1,500. Fellows will be chosen based on aptitude, creativity, integrity, teamwork and leadership.
Health for America is looking for passionate change makers from a variety of backgrounds including the fields of technology, computer science, art, design and health. Applicants must be a college graduate and have completed their degree after May 2010 to be eligible. Applications from current seniors are welcome, but all fellows are required to have graduated by June 10, 2013. The fellowship is restricted to US Citizens only.
Early deadline with first prefence for city placement: Noon, Monday April 15, 2013
Final deadline: Noon, Tuesday April 30, 2013
To get more information and apply, please visit: http://www.healthforamerica.org/fellowship/summer-program.html
The Council for International Exchange of Scholars is offering U.S. Fulbright Scholar grant opportunities in Europe and Eurasia in the field of public health. Applications for the 2014-15 academic year are currently being accepted from all levels of faculty and professionals, including early career.
Applications are being solicited for a broad range of awards in public health, including but not limited to:
Finland #4200 Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation Award in Health and Environmental Sciences
Denmark #4189 Public/Global Health: Nutrition and Health
Czech Republic #4182 Fulbright-Masaryk Award (NGO Management)
Ukraine #4348 Public Administration, NGO Management, Health Administration or Public Health
Russia #4312 Community College Faculty Award
Applicants must be U.S. citizens and hold a Ph.D. or appropriate professional/terminal degree at the time of application. The application deadline is August 1, 2013.
In addition, all-discipline awards are available in all countries in Europe and Eurasia and can be a good option if no discipline-focused award matches your expertise. Please visit the 2014-15 Catalog of Awards at http://catalog.cies.org/index.aspx to learn more about the opportunities available in this year’s competition. For most awards, English is sufficient for teaching and foreign language proficiency is only needed to the extent required by the proposed research project, if applicable.
For eligibility factors, detailed application guidelines and review criteria, please follow the link http://www.cies.org/us_scholars/us_awards. You may also wish to register for one of our webinars at http://www.cies.org/Webinar/ or join our online community, My Fulbright, a resource center for applicants interested in the program.
To view more than 475 fellowships for students and professionals in all disciplines, sign up to check out ProFellow’s fellowships database.
If you heard Tom McFadden rap on the radio, you might never guess he’s Human Biology graduate from Stanford…unless you listen closely to his lyrics. In an ingenious ploy to get people of all ages more excited about science, Tom raps about all things scientific. It all started while he was a senior at Stanford, when he and fellow Stanford student DJ Derrick Davis decided to rap about the role of gene expression in the process over the beat of Jay-Z’s “Money Ain’t A Thang.” The video of the song “Regulatin’ Genes” became a YouTube sensation, and Tom knew he was on to something. In 2011 he won a Fulbright US Graduate Award to New Zealand to pursue graduate coursework in Science Communication. As part of the New Zealand International Science Festival, Tom visited elementary and middle schools in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin where he helped Kiwi classrooms turn science into rap. Tom has since returned the San Francisco Bay Area and we caught up with him to learn more about his Fulbright experience and fundraising campaign for Brahe’s Battles, his inspirational new project on Kickstarter.
1. What inspired you to apply to a Fulbright fellowship in New Zealand?
I knew I loved biology and I knew that I loved education. However, neither biological research nor classroom teaching seemed like the ideal fit for my interests and skills after I finished my job as a course associate at Stanford. The University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand is one of the few places in the world that offers a broad interdisciplinary course in “science communication.” The Fulbright made it possible for me to travel to New Zealand and spend one year in Otago’s graduate program.
I had sacrificed going abroad as an undergraduate to do neuroscience research. So after college I was eager for the opportunity to be thrown into a totally new environment and new culture and to have to see what I was made of. Getting a postgraduate degree in New Zealand was a way to challenge myself, meet new people, and put myself in a situation where I could grow in new ways.
2. How has the Fulbright experience influenced your long-term goals?
Although I enjoyed making science songs as a biology instructor, my Fulbright experience gave me the tools and freedom to take them to the next level. I was able to make a new set of songs that were better produced, with animations better suited to teaching the content. I was able to think critically about science communication, appreciating the value of incorporating compelling historical stories and human narratives that conveyed scientific process. I was able to work with different groups of kids, conducting qualitative and quantitative research that has informed my current approach. Without the time I spent incubating these ideas during my Fulbright experience, I would have probably moved away from the innovative science education work I’m doing toward a more traditional path. Instead, I am now more fired up than ever about the possibilities ahead.
3. Tell us about your Kickstarter campaign – what do you hope to achieve and how can others support you?
I am helping middle schoolers in urban schools create their own science music videos. Though instead of just rapping about the structure of DNA, James Watson and Rosalind Franklin will be arguing about who deserves credit for which aspects of the discovery. The project is aptly titled “Battle Rap Histories of Epic Science (Brahe’s Battles)” I’ll be doing weekly workshops at five Bay Area schools. We go through all the steps that go into conceiving and producing an educational music video.
If these videos get the production budgets they deserve, then they will spread far and wide and will be used by classrooms throughout the world. They will be watched, remixed, remade, reworked – depending on how much time various science classes have to devote to creative endeavors. It will provide an easy and entertaining way for teachers to open up critical discussions about scientific process, evidence-based argument, and the historical contexts of these discoveries.
But most importantly, it’s a really powerful experience for the kids who get to make the videos. There are so many different skills involved that different kids get to show off their different talents. The project is partially funded by an “Social Innovation grant” from Hewlett Packard and Silicon Valley Education Foundation. However, this only covers one video.
So the Kickstarter campaign is a chance for anybody who cares about science, education, or awesomeness to help support a powerful experience for these kids, which will lead to valuable new tools for science education throughout the world. The deadline to pledge your support (and get cool mixtapes and videos and performances in return) is April 16th!
We backed Tom – you can too! Click here to help him raise $11,865 for Brahe’s Battles by April 16, 2013.
Tom McFadden is a biology educator interested in science-history-music integration. He graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Human Biology with a focus in Neuroscience & Behavior. He was born and raised in Sacramento, California where he grew up listening to rappers like Wu-Tang Clan, Outkast, and The Roots. Over the past four years, Tom has traveled to East Palo Alto, Mexico, New Zealand and Japan to help kids create their own science music videos. You can read more at his blog The Rhymebesome.
© Victoria Johnson 2013, all rights reserved.
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