Browsing Tag

Dominican Republic

U.S. Fulbright

Fulbright: Completing the Puzzle

July 3, 2017

History Estill-Varner, 2015-2016, Dominican Republic (center), with a group of community members at a Deaf sporting event hosted at the Olympic Stadium in Santo Domingo.

The anticipation leading up to my departure for the Dominican Republic as a Fulbright U.S. Student Study/Research award recipient is something I remember vividly. While I dreamt of the ways that my research would have an impact on my host community, I had no idea that it would also end up having an impact on me. Some may call it serendipity, others may call it a blessing, but I now realize how the Fulbright “piece” was the perfect fit to the “puzzle” of my soon-to-be professional life.

I began constructing my puzzle in high school by taking sign language classes and added another piece during college through an intensive Spanish immersion program in Costa Rica. Due to these experiences, I chose to double major in American Sign Language/English interpretation and international studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Yet, as I progressed in my undergraduate career, I struggled to see how these pieces fit together. How was it possible to apply a language that is uniquely American to the international community? When my professor approached me about an opportunity to apply for a Fulbright award, I knew this was my chance.

Shortly after I heard about Fulbright, I worked as an intern in the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Education. Over the summer of 2014, I had the opportunity to meet members of the Dominican Deaf community. To my surprise, I discovered that American Sign Language and Dominican Sign Language were not that different after all. Suddenly, something that I had previously thought restricted me professionally to the United States, gave me an international connection to the Dominican Deaf community and a foundation for a Fulbright proposal.

Continue Reading

U.S. Fulbright

Don’t Play the Game. The Odds Are Not in Your Favor!

August 15, 2016
Mary Ogunrinde

Mary Ogunrinde, 2014-2015, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to the Dominican Republic, in the classroom

Don’t play the game. The odds are not in your favor. I say this because I began and completed my application for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship during the last three weeks of the 2013 application cycle. I applied to teach in the Dominican Republic. I wasn’t trying to start the process so late. I started graduate school in August of that year and learned about the Fulbright U.S. Student Program as I was looking for scholarships on the Internet. I spent the first month of graduate school looking for a Fulbright Program Adviser on my campus and it turned out there wasn’t one. By this time, it was already September and the application was due by the second week of October.

As I worked on my Statement of Grant Purpose and Personal Statement, I scoured the Internet for information about previous Fulbrighters, their experiences, their essays, their credentials, et cetera. That’s when I began to play the game: The comparison game. I began to lose some of confidence in my ability to prove to Fulbright application reviewers that I was worthy of a grant. These Fulbrighters had pages of credentials. They seemed to be on their way to winning a Nobel Prize. Here I was a first semester graduate student with a resume that contained mostly volunteer work from my undergrad and no leadership position in any organization. I didn’t graduate Summa Cum Laude. I was not saving the lives of orphans in Africa or building wells in India. I was sitting in St. Petersburg, Florida, trying not to get lost, make wrong turns on to the numerous one-way streets and get myself killed in an accident.

Continue Reading

U.S. Fulbright

Announcing a New Fulbright Opportunity for Public Policy Students and Young Professionals

November 8, 2011

On behalf of the U.S. Department of State, we are pleased to announce the Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship – a new component of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and a new opportunity for public policy students and young professionals.

The Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship will allow U.S. citizens to contribute to the strengthening of the public sector abroad by serving in professional placements within foreign government ministries or institutions while simultaneously carrying out an academic research/study project.  The fellowship will help advance public policy research agendas, fosters mutual understanding and builds lasting ties between the U.S. and partner countries. 

Selected Fulbright Students will work side-by-side with the citizens of other countries to tackle the toughest public policy problems of the day.  This new exchange is the vanguard of international public diplomacy, as it leverages the excellence of the Fulbright program to achieve global development objectives.

Fulbright Public Policy Fellows will serve in partner country governments, which include:

  • Bangladesh
  • Cote d’Ivoire
  • The Dominican Republic
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Mongolia
  • Nepal
  • Nigeria
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia

The U.S. Department of State and partner country governments will coordinate professional placements for candidates in public policy areas including, but not limited to, public health, education, agriculture, justice, energy, environment, public finance, economic development, housing and communications.

Candidates must be in receipt of a master’s or J.D. degree by the beginning of the Fellowship (Summer 2012) or be currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program.  Applicants must apply At-Large and have at least two years of work experience in public policy-related fields.  Final selection will be made by the Presidentially-appointed J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

More information, including complete eligibility requirements, please contact Theresa Granza, or Walter Jackson,  For more information on how to apply, please visit

Applications for the 2012-13 competition will be accepted from November 4, 2011 through February 1, 2012; Fulbright Public Policy Fellows will begin their assignments in summer/fall 2012.