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Enrichment U.S. Fulbright

A Postcard from West Virginia

March 25, 2016
Jimmy Mahady is a Fulbright U.S. Student Program alumni who researched biofuel development in Uruguay from 2012-2013.

Jimmy Mahady is a Fulbright U.S. Student Program alumnus who researched the development of renewable energy in Uruguay in 2013.

Foreword: The musings herein were gleaned from a few days of service-learning through a special Fulbright Enrichment Activity with Amizade in the town of Williamson, WV and its surrounding area. My intuition and meager sample size have yielded this blurry, self-reflective view of what was, is and may be. Thanks for reading.

Six participants from abroad, six from the U.S. – I have come together under the banner of mutual understanding with my fellow fellows to Williamson, WV and we are growing together like a bunch of grapes. I’ve never been to a place like this. Infinite hills – friendly, drawn-out speech and demeanor – a town with its head held high – in spite of unforgiving squalls of global market forces. From far away, current residents’ forefathers arrived here, willing or not, nearly all of whom fought hard to survive. The rich seams of coal presented an obsidian opportunity, but avaricious plutocrats spared no expense to make the people’s sometimes deadly struggle for fair treatment seem Sisyphean. Eventually they prevailed, and fairer wages and better working conditions begot longer hours below with the black particulate that crackled in their chests.

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Enrichment Foreign Fulbright

Finding New Life in the Strip Mines of Williamson

March 17, 2016
Fulbright Amizade participants visiting a community garden in Williamson, WV, built on a mountain top after strip mining. Photo by Khaliungoo Ganbat

Fulbright Amizade participants visiting a community garden in Williamson, WV, built on a mountain top after strip mining. Photo by Khaliungoo Ganbat

When I was informed of my selection to participate in the Fulbright Amizade service-learning program in Williamson, West Virginia, I was very excited to share the news with my friends in the United States. To my surprise, their reaction to what I thought was great news was rather negative. They said that West Virginia is like a U.S. version of the developing world, and told me to get ready to see a completely different face of America than what I had seen since I began my Fulbright grant. Having worked with people from rural areas in Mongolia, who struggled to find drinking water, and Aboriginal Australians, whose livelihoods are almost completely dependent on mining, I wasn’t sure what to expect from West Virginia.

On our second day, we drove to Williamson and enjoyed the beautiful scenery all throughout the trip. When we arrived, it was nothing like my friends had described. It was small, yet well-organized and unbelievably clean. We were welcomed by the former Mayor Darrin McCormick, who showed us around and spoke about how Williamson is rebuilding its economy after their coal production had plummeted. It seemed to me that Williamson is headed in a positive direction and has great potential to diversify its economy.

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Enrichment Foreign Fulbright U.S. Fulbright

Meet the Fulbright Amizade Participants!

March 11, 2016

top_banner_emailIn March 2016, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs will sponsor six Fulbright Foreign Student Program students, along with six Fulbright U.S. Student Program alumni to participate in a week-long service-learning program in Williamson, WV led by Amizade Global Service-Learning which empowers individuals and communities through worldwide volunteering.

During their week-long program in Williamson, Fulbrighters will participate in service activities and learning about the town and its history. Williamson is a small rural coal-mining town in Mingo County (WV) that once was home to 10,000 residents and a thriving coal economy in the mid-20th century. However, in recent years, Williamson has experienced a collapsed coal mining industry, a series of devastating floods, and de-population. Now a population of 3,000, community members have joined together to create Sustainable Williamson, the local organization with whom Fulbright students and alumni will be working. Sustainable Williamson is a small team of community organizations that work together to increase access to fresh foods, initiate active living programs, and teach healthy living styles. Throughout the week, the Fulbrighters will be sharing in, and learning how, community members are pioneering and engaging in thoughtful work in order to maintain their cultural framework while also creating a realm of new opportunities.

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Foreign Fulbright

Becoming Part of the Sustainable Energy Revolution: My Experience at the UN

December 28, 2015
Franco Borrello-1

Franco Borrello, 2014-2016, Argentina, attending the 70th UN General Debate at the UN Headquarters in New York City on September 28th, 2015. During this historic event, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted.

I have dedicated my career to studying energy, and it is one of the reasons why I came to Boston to pursue a Master of Science in Energy Systems at Northeastern University, thanks to the Fulbright Foreign Student Program.

This year, I have had the pleasure of participating in two high-level events at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. In May, I attended the annual Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Forum. The SE4ALL initiative is a multi-stakeholder partnership launched by the UN in 2011 with three main objectives to be achieved by 2030: Ensuring universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

During this event, I learned about success stories, innovations, and solutions deployed across the world in the energy sector. Most importantly, I interacted with colleagues and decision-makers in my field who shared valuable advice, which in turn, contributed to improving my own ideas. A very important takeaway I was left with was that establishing collaborative public-private partnerships has been very important to the energy field, especially in promoting and reducing risk in renewable energy projects designed for developing countries.

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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.