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(Ful)bright future for award recipients

Monday, 24 July 2017 4:22pm

Two of Otago's Fulbright recipients, Ben Riordan (left) and Andrew Pauling.

The University of Otago has received a number of honours in the latest round of Fulbright New Zealand awards given this month.

Postgraduate student Ben Riordan received a Fulbright General Graduate Award, and Andrew Pauling, Kate Turner, Jeremy Lee-Hand and Charlotte Skerten received Fulbright New Zealand Science and Innovation Graduate Awards that will allow them to undertake studies in the United States in their chosen fields. Postdoctoral Fellow Sarah Sharp has also received a Scottish Studies Scholar Fulbright Award.

Andrew Pauling, a BcS (Hons) and MSc Physics student, will research the impact of Antarctic ice sheet collapse on the global climate at the University of Washington in Seattle, working towards a PhD in Atmospheric Science.

Kate Turner, a BA student, will complete her PhD in Geophysics specialising in sea ice geophysics within a collaborative research environment of scientific and indigenous knowledge at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

Charlotte Skerten, an LLB (Hons) and BA student, will complete a Master of Laws specialising in international law at Columbia University in New York.

Jeremy Lee-Hand, a BSc (Hons) student will complete a PhD in Physics specialising in Condensed Matter at Stoney Brook University in New York.

Ben Riordan, a current Psychology PhD student, will research a text message-based drinking intervention for new university students at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. His research focused on Otago’s Re-Orientation week and the drinking culture that accompanies it, and used focus groups of Otago students to test his strategy.

The Science and Innovation Graduate Awards are for promising New Zealand graduate students to undertake postgraduate study or research at US institutions in fields related to science and innovation. At least 10 awards valued at up to US$31,000 (plus NZ$4,000) travel funding) are granted each year, towards one year of study or research in the US.

Postdoctoral Fellow Sarah Sharp from the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies has received a Scottish Studies Scholar Fulbright Award. The award enables Sarah, a UK citizen and University of Edinburgh graduate, to research at the University of South Carolina in the US for a five-month period, and Sarah says she is “very excited” about the opportunity.

The Scottish Studies Scholar Fulbright Award is offered to UK academics, artists or professionals to undertake lecturing or to carry out research relating to Scottish Studies, and develop institutional links with any accredited US institutions for a period of three to eight months.

The Fulbright programme was established in 1946 to promote mutual understanding through educational and cultural exchanges between the US and other countries. It has been described as one of the largest and more significant movements of scholars across the world and now funds around 8,000 exchanges per year for participants to study, research, teach or present their work in another country.