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!

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

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.

Fulbright-HIF Grantees

Written by Fulbright on 05/15/2015. Posted in Alumni testimonials

The Hungary Initiatives Foundation

U.S. Grantees AY 2013-2014

Dr. Jozsi Zoltan JALICS
Home Institution: Youngstown State University
Host Institution: Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Wigner Research Center for Physics, Budapest
Field: Mathematics / Neuroscience
Project title: Localization of Single Neuron Current Sources Based on Extracellular Potentials

Dr. Jalics’ proposal and work fit well into the host’s research program, and new outcomes and improved research methods resulted from the collaboration. Dr. Jalics wrote an article about his findings. Collaboration will continue in the future.

On March 20, 2015 Dr. Jalics participated in the meeting of the American Fulbright alumni organized jointly by the Hungarian Fulbright Commission and the Embassy of Hungary in Washington, DC. The event took place at the Embassy of Hungary, and Dr. Jalics was one of the speakers giving an enthusiastic account of his professional and personal experiences of his year in Hungary as a Fulbrighter.

“I joined the Computational Neuroscience Research Group of the Wigner Research Centre for Physics within the Hungarian Academy of Sciences as a Visiting Research Fellow for the 2013-14 academic year. In collaboration with Zoltán Somogyvári and Dorottya Cserpán, I investigated the localization of single neuron current sources from extracellular potentials. In particular, we were able to develop a new spike Current Source Density (sCSD) method for spherically shaped neurons such as those in the thalamus. Relative to the traditional CSD method, our method yields more flexible asymmetric results and has the advantage of providing an approximation of the cell-electrode distance. I have written a manuscript regarding the work entitled “Single Cell Current Source Computation in the Thalamus” and presented the work to the research group before my departure from Hungary. Our ongoing and future work includes the generation of new results from our thalamic data, improvements to our method, and revisions to our manuscript. We expect that our collaboration will continue to be fruitful for many years to come. Additionally, I developed strong bonds, which I plan to preserve, with the entire research group through regular group meetings, lectures, and daily lunches. My Fulbright experience was extremely rewarding and fruitful.”


Dr. Andrea MITNICK
Home Institution: Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
Host Institution: Budapest College of Communications and Business
Field: Communications and Journalism
Project title: Goulash and Global Smarts: Doing Communication , Business and Art sin the Land of My Father

Dr. Mitnick taught undergraduate courses in Public Speaking and in Leadership Communication, and gave lectures at other universities. She also advised students regarding the possibility of pursuing a Fulbright on their own. She edited colleagues’ papers, and helped organize a conference at her host institution.

“The most important thing for me is to continue my lifelong love of international learning and teaching. I will always be grateful for this opportunity to live in the land of my father. It was an adventure, an honor, and a blessing.”

Ms. Amber WINICK
Home Institution: Bard College, Brooklyn, NY
Host Institution: Museum of Applied Arts / University of Szent István, Department of Architecture and Urban Design, Budapest
Field: Art History
Project title: Designing Hungarian Childhood in the Twentieth Century

Ms. Winick researched Hungarian designs created for children and their social impact.She collected oral histories from designers, writers, teachers, art historians and architects. Her research also focused on the archival holdings of museums. She collected images, took photographs she plans to use in future writings.

The paper Ms. Winick wrote about her Fulbright research in Hungary was accepted and will be published in the Hungarian Cultural Studies e-Journal of the American Hungarian Educators Association.

“As a historian of material culture, I have many tangible outcomes from my time as a Fulbright grantee. Because I am interested in designs created for children and their social impact on everyday Hungarians, I collected a number of oral histories from designers, writers, teachers, art historians and architects. These oral histories are an invaluable part of my research as they would never have been possible without living in Budapest for an extended period.
A large portion of my research has focused on the archival holdings of museums. Not only have I made wonderful professional contacts with a number of art historians, but I have also collected images I hope to use in future writings. In addition, I have visited architectural sites and public leisure spaces across Hungary and have taken photographs. Lastly, my book collection has increased two-fold since arriving in Budapest. I have collected Hungarian and English language catalogues, as well as illustrated children’s books. Each of these tangibles–oral histories, professional contacts, scanned images, photographs and books–will be invaluable when I return to New York as they will inform my writing and future research.”


U.S. Grantee AY 2014-2015

Dr. Kenneth STEVENS
Home Institution: Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX
Host Institution: University of Debrecen, North American Department, Debrecen
Field: History
Project title: History of the United States

Dr. Stevens was the holder of Országh László Distinguished Chair in American Studies award. He taught courses on US history and on African American Civil Rights Movement . He was involved in many different scholarly activities of his host institution: edited papers, commented on articles, attended PhD dissertation of a student, and frequently met with and discussed research topics with students. He gave presentations at Eötvös Loránd University and the Institute of Legal Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He regularly spoke at the American Corner Debrecen, and attended many of their events. He presented a paper at the conference ’La Frontera: Borderlands Multidisciplinary Symposia’ organized by Eszterházy Károly College of Eger.

In academic year 2015-2016, his American institution, the Texas Christian University will host Hungarian Fulbrighter Dr. Tibor Glant, Professor of History and Chair of the North American Department of the University of Debrecen. Dr. Stevens was instrumental in enabling him to receive a two-semester appointment.

“Being a Fulbright Scholar was for my wife and I a life-changing experience. We met wonderful people who have enriched our lives beyond measure. My Hungarian colleagues were friendly and welcoming. The staff members of the Fulbright Commission in Budapest are wonderful. The best part of the experience were taking part in all department events at the University of Debrecen and the Fulbright activities put together by the Fulbright office in Budapest. We learned a great deal about Hungarian history, culture, and society through those activities.”



Hungarian Grantees AY 2013-2014

Mr. István KESZTE
Home Institution: Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Host Institution: Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
Field: Aerospace Engineering
Project title: Aerospace Engineering Master’s studies

“I successfully completed all my academic work in this top notch engineering school through which I learnt specific topics of my field of interest from world renowned professors and got involved in their research concerning acoustics and aircraft design. Apart from my research for NASA and courses in a team we won the American Helicopter Society’s (AHS) 31st Annual Student Design Competition , where we designed an aircraft capable of flying with closely 400 knots – the speed of an airplane – but can also hover with the high efficiency of a helicopter.”

Ms. Éva RÉZ
Home Institution: Budapest Stock Exchange Ltd.
Host Institution: Golden Gate University, San Francisco, CA
Field: Business / Finance
Project title: Graduate Certificate Program in Finance

“As a Fulbright student for 2013/14 I spent 9 months in San Francisco, where I acquired a Certificate in Finance at Golden Gate University. Over this period I gained a lot of very useful practical experience due to the different approach of the American higher education system. I had the chance to attend classes, into which I had not got a deep insight before, such as Behavioral Finance, Technical Analysis and Venture Capital. The latter was so decisive that now I work in the Hungarian start-up ecosystem for Day One Capital Ltd. (VC) as an investment director.”


Home Institution: Eszterházy Károly College, Eger
Host Institution: Newberry Library, D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies, Chicago, IL
Field: American Studies
Project title: Manifestations, Perceptions and Theorizations of American Indian Sovereignty since the 1960s

“In addition to research at the Newberry Library, I have regularly volunteered at the American Indian Center operated by Chicago’s Indian community. I am greatly indebted to the grant for enabling me to meet and establish connections with tribal leaders of the Eastern Shawnee, Minnesota Ojibwa and Navajo tribes, activists involved in national Indian affairs, writers and members of the Indian community in general. I intend to utilize and share my findings in my teaching of BA- and MA-level American literature, culture, and American Indian cultures courses at the University of Debrecen, and also to publish my second biography both in Hungarian and English to offer a better understanding of Indian Country.”


Hungarian Grantees AY 2014-2015

Dr. Péter CSATÓ
Home Institution: University of Debrecen
Host Institution: University of Texas, San Antonio, TX
Field: American Studies
Project title: Teaching Interdisciplinary Courses in the United States

“In the second semester of 2014-2015 I will teach at the University of Texas at San Antonio as a Visiting Lecturer. At my host institution, I will teach two courses at undergraduate level: (1) Culture and Interpretation; (2) Philosophy on the Screen. My teaching objectives are: (1) to reveal and analyze the constitutive role of interpretive practices in various kinds of cultural discourses; (2) to familiarize students not majoring in philosophy with some of the major philosophical problems in both the Continental and analytical traditions through their explicit or implicit thematization in filmic narratives.”

Ms. Nóra DEÁK
Home Institution: Eötvös Loránd University
Host Institution: American Hungarian Foundation Library, New Brunswick, NJ
Field: Library Science
Project title: Digital access to library and archival material on the 1956 Hungarian refugees at the American Hungarian Foundation

“My research at the American Hungarian Foundation in New Brunswick, NJ includes the digitization and cataloging more than 32000 registration cards prepared at Camp Kilmer, a former military base and reception center, in 1956-57 in the course of processing Hungarian refugees. The scanned version of typed cards will be part of the Rutgers digital archive, providing access to the image files, while a searchable list of the registration data (the individual’s name, gender, date of birth, date of arrival, ship or flight manifest number, sponsoring agency’s code/abbreviation, marital status and occupation where available) will be available for multi-field data retreaval. My PhD dissertation will be based on this research.”

Mr. András JÓKÚTI
Home Institution: Hungarian Intellectual Property Office
Host Institution: George Washington University
Field: Law
Project title: LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law at The George Washington University

“In the first semester, I was introduced to the US legal system and learned how to write legal memoranda for US law purposes. My specialized studies focused on patent law and antitrust. As these areas of law have a very intriguing interface, my research paper was about one of the very current issues regarding their interplay in both the US and the EU, i.e. the antitrust treatment of the so-called “pay-for-delay” settlements in pharmaceutical patent litigation.

In the second semester, I chose subjects from other areas of intellectual property: I was introduced to US trademark and design law, I learned the basics of drafting licensing agreements, and I took a comparative course of international intellectual property. I graduated with highest honors in May 2015 and received the Thelma Weaver Memorial Award for the best foreign LL.M. student of the academic year.

For my academic training, I am assisting a new patent law professor at the faculty in preparing teaching materials for the course he will hold in the fall semester.”


Home Institution: Zoboki, Demeter & Associates Architects, Budapest
Host Institution: New York School of Interior Design, New York, NY
Field: Architecture
Project title: Master of Professional Studies in Healthcare Interior Design (MPS-H)

“My post-professional program is focusing on providing designers and healthcare professionals with broad knowledge of current issues, research, and theory in the design of healthcare interiors, including a focused studio experience. Our professors are world-renowned healthcare professionals with many years of experience and the advisory board members represent industry leaders from top US design firms in the field of healthcare. One of the main focuses of the syllabus is evidence based design and it’s implementation to the design process. Site visits and attending conferences to experience the most up-to-date design and planning methods is also an essential part of the program. We are participating in a research project too that is using state of the art technology to explore flow and behavioral patterns in healthcare spaces. Participants in the program represent a broad mixture of nationalities and disciplines including hospital administration, social work, interior design and architecture.”

Home Institution: Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Host Institution: Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Field: Sociology
Project title: Teaching joint courses at the Department of Sociology and Central Eurasian Studies Department

“In the 2014/15 academic year I teach a total of 4 courses. In the Fall semester my courses were ‘Organizations in society’ and ‘Youth in national and international perspectives’. The Spring courses will be ‘Citizens’ attitudes and behavior in Europe’ and ‘Digital identities: the culture of the new media’. All courses are open for both undergraduate and graduate students.
Apart from regular teaching I also actively participate in the academic life of the university. In the coming months I will have several public lectures, presentations and workshops based on my current research projects. (European Social Survey and EU Kids Online)
On November 13, 2014 I also presented at FOSI’s Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.”

Ms. Zsuzsa VÁRADY
Home Institution: University of Theater and Film
Host Institution: Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Field: Theater / Film

“In the first semester my research was based on three separate parts. First, I have been auditing screenwriter and filmmaker classes to gain a deeper understanding of the educational structure of screenwriting here. Secondly, I proceeded in the independent research of former or contemporary filmmakers, who have used improvisation in the process of their writing. Finally, I started auditing the workshops of a contemporary filmmaker-screenwriter-professor who has developed a method very similar and relevant to my topic. In the time left my plans are to continue with the independent research and also to summarize my gained practical and theoretical knowledge in a workshop given to the graduate screenwriter student based on my improvisational method.”

Mr. Miklós ZALA
Home Institution: Central European University
Host Institution: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Field: Political Science
Project title: Religious and Cultural Accommodation: A Discrimination Perspective

“As a Fulbright visiting doctoral student, I am doing my research at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor on the topic of legal exemptions that apply exclusively to some religious or cultural groups, such as the exemption of kosher/halal butchery from humane slaughter regulations. My project is normative: I try to find a plausible theoretical framework that can justify these exemptions.
During my stay, my work enormously profited from the help of my UM supervisor, Elizabeth Anderson, who is not only the expert of multiculturalism and racial integration in particular, but also an internationally acclaimed authority of political philosophy in general. I am also able to take part in the activity of the Legal and Political Philosophy Workshop of UM’s Philosophy Department, which provides me the opportunity to discuss the works in progress of LPP participants.  I plan to present my own work to the LPP workshop later in the semester.”