2010 Fulbright-mtvU grantees

Press Release

Meet the 2010-2011-Fulbright mtvU Fellows!

October 8, 2010—The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and mtvU, MTV's 24-hour college network, today announced the winners of the 2010 Fulbright-mtvU Fellowships.  These four U.S. college graduates will spend the coming academic year abroad conducting independent projects designed to promote "the power of music" as a global force for mutual understanding. 

This year's Fulbright-mtvU Fellows are Karima Daoudi of Knox College, Yesica Hernandez of Stanford University, Akesha Horton of Michigan State University and Lynne Stillings of Connecticut College.  mtvU and musical icons Tom Morello (best known from Rage Against the Machine), Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, and Beth Ditto of Gossip helped to identify this year's winners, nominating the finalists from a pool of top qualified candidates that had been chosen in a merit-based process by U.S. and foreign academic leaders and area experts.  The final selection was made by the Presidentially-appointed J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

The four Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship winners will conduct research abroad in Senegal, Peru, Australia and Indonesia, respectively, for one academic year on projects of their own design around an aspect of international musical culture.  Winners will connect youth across cultures by sharing their experiences with their peers during their Fulbright year via video reports, blogs and podcasts that will be showcased on mtvU, mtvU.com, and the dedicated Fulbright-mtvU website.

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and mtvU joined together to create this Fellowship to promote the role of music in mutual understanding, invigorate interest in international education among U.S. college and university students, and further the positive impact of public-private partnerships in public diplomacy.

The competition for the next Fulbright-mtvU Fellows is now open.  Applications will be accepted through March 1, 2011.  For more information visit: http://www.us.fulbrightonline.org or http://www.fulbright.mtvU.com.


Fulbright-mtvU Fellows

Karima Daoudi, who graduated from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois with a B.A. in Anthropology and Sociology in June 2009, will conduct her Fulbright-mtvU project in Dakar, Senegal, exploring the relationship between the thriving Dakar hip-hop scene and traditional Senegalese griot (musical storyteller) culture.  She will work with hip-hop artists and griots, and will collaborate with Africulturban, a hip-hop based youth community center, to research how people use music to navigate tradition, modernity, and globalization to craft a contemporary, urban, African identity. View a video interview with Karima.

Yesica Hernandez, who graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Sociology and Film and Media Studies, will use her Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship to film a documentary on Afro-Peruvian music in Peru.  With the help of El Centro de Desarrollo Etnico, a non-profit organization in Lima, Yesica will document the role Afro-Peruvian music has had in ameliorating race relations and explore ways to introduce this musical genre to young people. View a video interview with Yesica.

Akesha Horton, a doctoral student in Curriculum, Teaching, and Educational Policy at Michigan State University, will conduct research in hip-hop and new media in Australia.  She will explore how hip-hop is used to help Australian youth become socially conscious, global and digital citizens at the University of Technology, Sydney, and community outreach centers in Western Sydney. View a video interview with Akesha.

Lynne Stillings, who graduated from Connecticut College with a B.A. in Music and French in May 2009, will spend her Fulbright-mtvU year in Indonesia, examining the relationship between children's music and cultural identity.  Working with the Indonesian Institute of the Arts in Yogyakarta, Lynne will create an after-school music program to encourage students to express their ideals, values, and social positions through music. View a video interview with Lynne.

The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is the U.S. government's flagship international exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world.  Since 1946, it has provided more than 300,000 participants from over 155 countries with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.  

Broadcast to more than 750 college campuses, mtvU reaches upwards of 9 million U.S. college students, making it the largest, most comprehensive television network just for college students. mtvU is dedicated to every aspect of college life, reaching students everywhere they are: on-air, online and on campus. mtvU programs music videos from emerging artists that can't be seen anywhere else, news, student life features and initiatives that give college students the tools to advance positive social change. For more information, visit www.mtvU.com.

For further information about the Fulbright Program, please contact us at  202-632-3238 or fulbright@state.gov

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Sharon Witherell
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