Author Archive

75th Anniversary of the Global Fulbright Program: A Community Based on Shared Values

Written by Fulbright on 10/14/2021. Posted in News

The Fulbright community in Hungary celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the Global Fulbright Program and the 30th Anniversary of the Hungarian Fulbright Alumni Association on October 7-8, 2021.

75th Anniversary of the Global Fulbright Program: A Community Based on Shared Values

2021 is the 75th Anniversary of the launch of the Fulbright Program. In 1946, President Harry S. Truman signed legislation into law to establish the Fulbright Program, an international academic exchange program with an ambitious goal to increase mutual understanding, and support friendly and peaceful relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Program now operates in 160 countries and has provided over 400,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds and in all fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to complex global challenges.

Chargé d’Affaires Marc Dillard of the US Embassy in his keynote address at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences highlighted that “the Fulbright program has continued to exchange some of the best and brightest minds, building a cultural bridge which links our two nations. The continuing collaboration between Fulbright participating institutions is a great example of how to get the most out of a Fulbright grant, how Fulbrighters can make a long-term impact, and how beneficial it can be for a larger community.”

Deputy State Secretary Balázs Nagy of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology emphasized in his keynote address that the Government of Hungary is to quadruple its annual contribution to the Fulbright Commission in three steps, reaching HUF 200 million (USD 700,000) in 2022.

See here the detailed program of the conference.

For more pictures of the festivities (by photographer Péter Szalmás), see here:

75th Anniversary of the Global Fulbright Program

 

Visit to the Parliament

 
75th Anniversary of the Global Fulbright Program

Prior to the conference, on October 7, 2021 MP Zsolt Németh, Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee hosted 24 US Fulbright grantees of AY 2021-2022 at the Hungarian Parliament for a talk and a tour of the building.

 

Reception at the Royal Guard Café

 

In the evening the Fulbright Commission organized a reception to honor US Fulbright grantees, their Hosts and Institutional Partners at the Royal Guard Café, Buda Castle.

U.S. alumnus offered long-term position at host university

Written by Fulbright on 05/17/2021. Posted in Alumni testimonials

U.S. alumnus offered long-term position at host university
by Jeffrey Griffitts

Thanks to Fulbright Hungary and my time there in 2019, I have been offered a long-term position with the Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences (MATE) in Gödöllő. My Hungarian colleagues and I began discussion on a few research projects in 2019 that have shown promise in preliminary work. We will begin a new collaboration that will focus on trying to better understand the effects of microplastics on the inflammatory process in a transgenic Zebrafish model. In addition to the ongoing research project, I will be teaching several courses for the international graduate college at MATE. All of this was made possible through the Fulbright program. I am so thankful for that time and experience in 2019 that has helped foster these new relationships with my Hungarian colleagues and has helped further my career. My family and I are excited to be living, long-term, in such a welcoming and beautiful country!

U.S. Fulbright grantees welcomed in Budapest virtually

Written by Fulbright on 03/02/2021. Posted in News

U.S. Fulbright grantees welcomed in Budapest virtually

In late January, 7 newly arrived U.S. Fulbright students and scholars participated in a unique orientation session in Budapest. U.S. Embassy Counselor for Public Affairs James Land greeted the group virtually, stressing the value of exchange, and encouraged them to develop and strengthen personal and professional ties between Hungary and the United States. ED Karoly Jokay noted that the grantees joined the ranks of the many notable Fulbright alumni who have participated in the global program since its inception 75 years ago. The Fulbright grantees will, for example, teach English, do peer advising, read Ottoman documents, study high-level math, offer courses in Native American studies, collaborate with medical researchers, and observe MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) investigators.

Alumni Books published in 2020

Written by Fulbright on 12/14/2020. Posted in Alumni testimonials

Books by Hungarian Fulbright Alumni

Miklós Vassányi ’16: From Alaska to Yucatan: An American travel diary (in Hungarian)

Balázs Lázár ’00 (ed.): In Refuge – American Diplomats at U.S. Embassy Budapest on Cardinal Mindszenty 1957-1970

Katalin Parti ’13 (ed.): Juvenile Justice and Schools: Policing, Processing, and Programming

Tamás Scheibner ’18: Conspiracy Theories in Eastern Europe: Tropes and Trends

Ágnes Hódi ’19: Editing Measurement Tasks and Questionnaire Items (in Hungarian)

Mónika Fodor ’17: Ethnic Subjectivity in Intergenerational Memory Narratives – Politics of the Untold

Csaba Lévai ’17: Transatlantic slave-trade and the emergence of the slave systems in colonial English-British America (in Hungarian)

Ákos Máthé ’86 (ed.): Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of North America

Géza Jeszenszky ’84: Lost Prestige – Hungary’s Changing Image in Britain 1894-1918

Gábor Turi ’13: American Jazz Diary (in Hungarian)

Veronika Kusz ’05: A Wayfaring Stranger – Ernst von Dohnányi’s American Years, 1949-1960

Péter Galbács ’18: The Friedman-Lucas Transition in Macroeconomics – A Structuralist Approach

Péter J. Sós ’90: #megértjükegymást: Conversations on PR (in Hungarian)

Katalin Sulyok ’15: Science and Judicial Reasoning: The Legitimacy of International Environmental Adjudication

 

Books by U.S. Fulbright Alumni

Frank Baron ’84: Stopping the Trains to Auschwitz, Budapest, 1944

Ronald Johnson ’04: Magic Happens! My Journey with the Northern Iowa Wind Symphony

Thomas Tobin ’17: Going Alt-Ac: A Guide to Alternative Academic Careers

Leslie Waters ’09: Borders on the Move, Territorial Change and Ethnic Cleansing in the Hungarian-Slovak Borderlands, 1938-1948

Mary Henold ’19: The Laywoman Project: Remaking Catholic Womanhood in the Vatican II Era

Erika Sólyom ’03: Senegalodream of Mine (in Hungarian)

R. Chris Davis ’06: Hungarian Religion, Romanian Blood, A Minority’s Struggle for National Belonging, 1920–1945

Karla Kelsey ’10: Blood Feather

Jacob Lucas ’04: The Seed Vault (poetry collection)

Jan Marie Fritz ’16 (ed.): Clinical Sociology for Southern Africa

Bill Issel ’08: Coit Tower, a Novel of San Francisco

Fulbright Student Project Publishes Roma Eger by Chandler Fritz

Written by Fulbright on 12/01/2020. Posted in News

Fulbright Student Project Publishes Roma Eger by Chandler Fritz

This book is a culmination of seven months of work with the Eger Roma Residential College of Eszterházy Károly University, during which Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Chandler Fritz ’19 interacted and collected paintings, recipes, and essays from students.

“I write this note far from the artists, scholars, cooks, and friends who have created this book. It is a testament to the dedication of our supporters and the spirit of this group that such a project prevailed despite the distance. It is, in fact, entirely due to the proven commitment and resilience of the Roma students I met in Eger that I was able to pick myself up from the pandemic and play my small role in their great cause. If you’re anything like me, you could use a bit of that same inspiration these days. I’m proud to tell you, from the bottom of my heart, that you can find it in grand abundance in the work of these students.”

Fulbright Hungary is proud of its Roma English Teaching Assistant projects:

and continue to expand collaboration with the Roma Residential Colleges and other foundations throughout Hungary in upcoming academic years.

To view the booklet, see issuu.com/fulbrighthungary/docs/roma_eger

To download the booklet, see www.fulbright.hu/doc/Roma_Eger.pdf

Learning about a City through its Literature: Reflections on a Fulbright Scholarship in Budapest

Written by Fulbright on 10/13/2020. Posted in Alumni testimonials

Jeffrey Herlihy-Mera, University of Puerto Rico

It’s March 2019. My family and I live at 64 Visegrádi utca, around the corner from Nyugati Railway Station. I’m a bit late for class. My son Santiago (5) and I hurry out the door to meet my wife Joanna and other son Alejandro (5 months), who were out for a stroll along the Danube.

Reflections on a Fulbright Scholarship in Budapest

My lecture in “Budapest in American Literature” that day is about Mark Twain’s visit to Hungary, the farthest east he would go in Europe. I’m thinking about my slides. It was 120 years to the day of Twain’s visit. He arrived on the train from Vienna to a gala reception at Nyugati.

Our neighbors pass us in the hallway. I nod and say, “Szia! Jó napot.”

As we get in the elevator, Santiago shakes his head and says firmly: “Daddy, nem. It’s sziasztok.”

“Sziasztok?” I was sure “szia” was “hello” in English. I had been saying it since we arrived.

My son’s formal training with Hungarian to that point involved soccer in the park, watching Richard Scarry’s Busytown Mysteries in Hungarian, and post-it memos around our apartment that we recite each day. At campus I reviewed my notes from our language course during the Fulbright orientation. Yes, according to Annamaria Sas, “hello” is indeed “szia.”

But I asked my students anyway, out of curiosity: “Is ‘hello’ ‘szia’ or ‘sziasztok’?”

This was met with some polite laughter. “Well,” said Gergő Teglasi, “it’s actually both. ‘Szia’ is used to address one person. ‘Sziasztok’ is plural.”

“Ah, thanks,” I replied.

Hungarian is a superpower that my son has developed faster than me.

During my stint as Országh László Chair in the Department of American Studies at ELTE, I gave lectures at several Hungarian universities (University of Debrecen, University of Pannonia, and Károli Gáspár University) and was invited to speak at the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies and at the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford. But that misty morning with my son, a bit late for class, is one of my fondest memories.

I applied for a Fulbright in Budapest for the opportunity to learn about American Studies in a non-US setting, to develop a course (and eventually a book) on Budapest in American Literature and Film, and to learn more about the cross-cultural ties between Hungary and the US through critical studies of literature, film and the arts.

My Fulbright application was submitted just a few weeks before Hurricane María hit Puerto Rico. After those months of hardship, when the award notification arrived a February day in 2018, my wife cried—she always had a dream to live to Europe: before we knew it, we were packing for an unforgettable time in one of the continent’s most beautiful and exciting countries.

Aside the magnificence of the city and its rich history, something I love about Budapest is the importance given to literary and intellectual culture. Hungarians revere writers. While the US has a monument to an unknown soldier, the Hungarian capital has a statue dedicated to an unknown writer. (They also have a Mark Twain postage stamp!)

Learning about a city through its literature brings travel and scholarship and new friendships together. Fulbright provided many wonderful experiences and opportunities to do just that—and among the most fulfilling was collaborating with my students, whose insights and partnership have extended long after the grant term. In November 2020, two doctoral students from ELTE—Rabéb Touìhrí and Endah Sapturi—will give a guest lecture to my class in Puerto Rico.

Reflections on a Fulbright Scholarship in Budapest

I feel very fortunate to have been affiliated with ELTE, as some of the faculty scholarship—like Vera Benczik’s deft perspectives of space, place, and identity in post-9/11 films, and Orsolya Putz’s innovative book, Metaphor and National Identity: Alternative conceptualization of the Treaty of Trianon—have exciting intersections with language, sovereignty, migration, empire, war, and intercultural spaces, concepts that are seminal to my research. Working there pushed me to think about my scholarship in new contexts and to consider the role that literature and creativity have across many social and political axes.

“Last week I was going down with the family to Budapest to lecture,” wrote Mark Twain in 1899. “Had a great time. At the banquet I heard their chief orator make a most graceful and easy and beautiful and delicious speech—I never heard one that enchanted me more—although I did not understand a word of it, since it was in Hungarian. But the art of it! it was superlative. They are wonderful scholars.”

I have to agree.

***

Jeffrey Herlihy-Mera is a professor of Humanities at the University of Puerto Rico.

Dr. Michael Penkava passed away on September 6, 2020

Written by Fulbright on 09/14/2020. Posted in News

Dr. Michael Penkava passed away on September 6, 2020

As a Professor of Mathematics of the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, he came to Hungary on a Fulbright grant in January 2008 to collaborate with mathematicians of Eötvös Loránd University.

Ever since that time, he returned to Hungary twice a year – each time with a fun story, and with lots of energy to continue his research with his Hungarian colleagues. The last time he visited our office, he was pale and tired, but ready to fight his illness. We are sorry he did not succeed. He is part of Fulbright Hungary history. We remember him fondly.

Fulbright Hungary launches John von Neumann Distinguished Award in STEM

Written by Fulbright on 06/19/2020. Posted in News

Thanks to significantly increased funding from the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Fulbright Hungary proudly announces a new distinguished grant in STEM for US scholars starting in the Academic Year 2022-23 competition (deadline: September 15, 2021).

See: awards.cies.org/content/john-von-neumann-distinguished-award-stem

Named after Hungarian-American scientist John von Neumann, who was born in Budapest, emigrated to the US in the early 1930s to Princeton, where he made major contributions in mathematics, physics (quantum mechanics, hydrodynamics, and quantum statistical mechanics), economics (game theory), computing (Von Neumann architecture, linear programming, self-replicating machines, stochastic computing), and statistics.

Priority areas for the von Neumann grant include, but are not limited to: autonomous (self-driving) vehicles, artificial intelligence (AI), 5G networks, molecular biology, physics and material science.

Some Hungarian institutions that specialize in these fields:

  • ELI-ALPS Institute in Szeged: Extreme Light Infrastructure research center funded by the European Union for attosecond projects. ELI is connected to the particle and x-ray center in Prague and the photonuclear center in Bucharest, Romania. Hungarian university researchers and their departments have access to ELI.
  • ZalaZONE Test Track in Zalaegerszeg, whose mission is to: “Establish a full-range validation facility for the vehicles and communication technologies of the future enabling multi-level testing opportunities from prototype tests till serial products development.” ZalaZONE is affiliated with three Hungarian universities.
  • Biological Research Centre, Szeged, affiliated with the University of Szeged, is a European Union Centre of Excellence, focuses on: biophysics, biochemistry, genetics, plant biology.

While US scholars are free to associate with any university in Hungary, the following departments have direct relationships with the priority institutes listed above and have strong ties to the Fulbright Commission in Hungary:

Scholars, of course, may seek affiliation with any accredited research facility and university not on the above list.

For more information, please contact Annamaria Sas, US Program Officer or Károly Jókay, Executive Director.

Fulbright Hungary May 2020 Update

Written by Fulbright on 05/18/2020. Posted in News

What has been happening at Fulbright Hungary since the Covid outbreak arrived in early March?

March and April:

The Fulbright office has switched to a work-at-home model on March 13th, as the Technical University campus, including our building, closed that week and we do not know when the campus will reopen. We have access to the office if needed.

The State Department in March issued a level 4 travel warning covering all of the EU, and we had to ask our US grantees to leave Hungary at their earliest convenience. All but two US grantees have left Hungary by early April.

All but 5 Hungarian grantees in the US have returned already.

Despite rumors about the global Fulbright program, all of our grantees have been paid until the end of their original grant agreements.

Academic Year 2020-21:

There are several “known unknowns” and “known knowns” (credit to Secretary Rumsfeld) that directly affect our grantees already selected for Academic Year 2020-21.

The global Fulbright program will be fully reinstated on January 1, 2021.

All of our Hungarian and US grantees, with a few exceptions, will start their grants in January, most of them for the original duration of the grants. US students will be able to choose between 6, 7, and 8 month grants (taking them through August, 2021).

We will have 13 Hungarian students and 12 researchers, as well as 12 US researchers and 11 students during the 2020-21 academic year.

We do not know when:

a) the level 4 Travel Warning will be lifted for the EU,

b) when the US will allow EU citizens to travel to the US,

c) when the Schengen Zone will allow US citizens entry,

d) when airlines will fly again and

e) when US and Hungarian universities will reopen for real (on-line does not really count, as Fulbright does not support off-site, online-only enrollment).

Academic Year 2021-22:

Despite complete uncertainty, we are recruiting for the 2021-22 Academic year, and expect Hungarian applications to arrive at the end of May and in October. US students have an October 13th deadline and scholars face a September 15th deadline. We will interview Hungarian applicants as usual in late June and early July, as well as late November. These could be on-line for the first time ever, we shall see.

In Loving Memory of Dr. Beatrix Kotlan

Written by Fulbright on 05/08/2020. Posted in News

In Loving Memory of Dr. Beatrix Kotlan

A few words of parting by Rita Hoffmann ’19, one of her fellow Fulbrighters:

“April 29th was the end of a long, difficult and merciless marathon. Bea did not arrive at a finish line of her choosing. But she is there now, exhausted, in eternal silence. Bea was an enthusiastic Fulbrighter, a community organizer, a struggling heroine, stubborn but all the more humble. God be with you dear Bea, may you rest in peace, you restless, eternally cheerful soul who strived for justice and a better world.”

Dr. Beatrix Kotlan was awarded a Fulbright research grant twice along with numerous other prestigious international fellowships. She did her Fulbright research at the John Wayne Cancer Institute, in Santa Monica, CA (2006-2007) and the University of Texas Houston, MD Anderson Cancer Center (2014-2015).

Dr. Beatrix Kotlan was a leading researcher in biology and immunology at the National Institute of Oncology in Budapest, Hungary. She dedicated her entire life to research, first of all cancer research. She truly believed in the potential of immunotherapy. As a Fulbright researcher, she worked on developing this form of therapy.

As a member of the Hungarian League Against Cancer, she regularly organized and supported free time activities, fundraising runs and walks in the true spirit of fighting against cancer.