Six Foreign Fulbright Students join 2015 Millennial Trains Project

NEW YORK, May 20, 2015—Six Fulbright Foreign Students will join the 2015 Millennial Trains Project, a cross-country train journey from May 21st through May 31st, traveling from Los Angeles, CA to Washington, DC with stops in Austin, TX, San Antonio, TX, and Atlanta, GA. The participants will join a group of 20 young American entrepreneurs and pursue individual projects ranging from urban planning and sustainability to religious culture and public health, with the opportunity to explore their projects in the contexts of diverse U.S. cities.

The Fulbright Foreign Students represent Afghanistan, Cambodia, El Salvador, Iraq, Poland and South Africa and are studying at universities across the U.S. as part of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program. MTP’s founder Patrick Dowd is a Fulbright alumnus and was inspired by a similar train project he took part in during his Fulbright experience to India in 2011. The Institute of International Education administers the Fulbright Program on behalf of the U.S. Department of State.


(WASHINGTON, DC) For the second consecutive year, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ flagship international exchange program, the Fulbright Program, and the U.S.-based Millennial Trains Project (MTP) will be partnering on a ten-day, cross-country journey exploring entrepreneurial innovation – the Fulbright-Millennial Trains Project.

Founded by Fulbright U.S. Student Program alumnus and National Geographic Traveler Editor-at-Large Patrick Dowd, MTP is a series of crowd-funded transcontinental train journeys for young innovators. The aim of the cross-country journey is to develop international entrepreneurial leaders, draw attention to opportunities for growth and advancements in American communities, and inspire the Millennial Generation to pursue a new American Dream. Doubling as a mobile innovation lab and dormitory, MTP’s caravans of vintage rail cars support shared discovery and dialogue with distinguished on-train mentors. Stopping in a new city each day, the journeys expose participants to America’s diverse cultural, economic, and geographic landscapes, and allow them to pursue an individual research project across multiple locales.

Through the partnership, six Fulbright Foreign Students currently studying in the United States will participate in MTP’s upcoming journey from May 21 through May 31, starting in Los Angeles, CA and ending in Washington, DC, with stops in Austin, TX, San Antonio, TX, and Atlanta, GA.

This year’s Fulbright Foreign Student MTP participants include:

  • Saja Al Quzweeni, Iraq; master’s student in environmental science and policy at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; Saja’s MTP project will examine and compare the regional best practices of urban agriculture nonprofit organizations.
  • Mohammad Behroozian, Afghanistan; graduate student in television writing and production at Boston University; Mohammad will visit Islamic cultural centers and mosques across the southern United States to investigate how these centers assimilate into their larger, surrounding communities.
  • Magdalena Leszko, Poland; post-doctoral fellow at Northwestern University conducting research on caregiver burden and dementia prevention; her MTP project, “Designing Friendly Communities for Individuals with Dementia,” seeks to educate and promote community-based leadership and create healthier places for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.
  • Nhlalala Mavundza, South Africa; currently pursuing a Ph.D. in neuroscience with a focus on the neuroscience of obesity at Kent State University; Nhlalala’s MTP project will examine the measures that Southern U.S. cities have taken to combat rising obesity rates.
  • Rodrigo Moran, El Salvador; completing a master’s in international sustainable development at Brandeis University; Rodrigo’s MTP project will focus on digital storytelling as a qualitative monitoring and evaluation method for youth development projects.
  • Pichleap Sok, Cambodia; pursuing a master’s degree in computer science at Loyola University Chicago; in each MTP city visited, Pichleap will meet with local women in technology to interview them on the obstacles they have encountered before reaching their current positions – and how they overcame them.

Each of these Fulbright Foreign Student MTP participants will be blogging their cross-country journey for the full duration of the trip.

Learn more about the participants and read their blog articles here.

Save the Date! June 1st Special Open-Press debrief panel with Fulbright-MTP participants. RSVP for details.

Press attendance is by RSVP only. For further information about ECA and the Fulbright Program, please contact, (202) 632-6445.

The Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 360,000 participants from over 160 countries with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

About the Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,200 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations.


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