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U.S. Fulbright

Three Fulbrighters Named 2019 MacArthur “Genius” Fellows

November 6, 2019

The Fulbright Program is pleased to congratulate three alumnae on their selection as 2019 MacArthur Fellows! “Genius” Fellows Andrea Dutton (2020 U.S. Scholar to New Zealand), Saidiya Hartman (1997 U.S. Scholar to Ghana), and Stacy Jupiter (2002 U.S. Student to Australia) will each receive a $625,000, no-strings-attached award from the MacArthur Foundation to support their creative, intellectual, and professional projects.

According to the MacArthur Foundation’s website, fellowships are awarded to “talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.” It lays out the following criteria for the selection of Fellows:

  1. Exceptional creativity
  2. Promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishments
  3. Potential for the Fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.

Learn more about how each Fellow’s experience as a Fulbright participant supported and inspired their professional goals:

Andrea Dutton

Andrea Dutton: A University of Wisconsin-Madison geochemist and paleoclimatologist specializing in sea levels, Andrea Dutton will travel to New Zealand as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar in the spring of 2020. During her grant, she will analyze local coral and coastlines to better understand how sea levels are changing. Dr. Dutton is motivated to study and share her findings with people and communities specifically affected by rising seas.





Saidiya Hartman

Saidiya Hartman: A literary scholar and cultural historian, Saidiya Hartman “explores the limits of the archive” through telling the stories of African slaves, free black people, and other marginalized individuals excluded from the recent American past, and how those experiences inform the contemporary African American experience. During her nine months as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Accra, Ghana in 1997, Dr. Hartman studied the Atlantic slave trade through her project, entitled, “Belated Encounters on the Gold Coast: Captives, Mourners, and the Tragedy of Origins.” She has authored two books and is a professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University.



Stacy Jupiter

Stacy Jupiter: A marine scientist, Stacy Jupiter works with indigenous Melanesian communities in Fiji, the Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea on ecosystem management by integrating local cultural practices with field research. Dr. Jupiter has collaborated on Fiji’s first “Ridge-to-Reef” management plan, which is currently used as a template for other areas in the region. During her Fulbright to Australia as a U.S. Student in 2002, she worked to contain and prevent microbial blooms in Moreton Bay, Queensland.

U.S. Fulbright

How I Built a Global Network through Music

August 25, 2017

Benjamin Cohn, 2014-2015, Fulbright-mtvU Fellow to Ghana, interviewing rap artist Reggie Rockstone in Accra

The 10 months I spent in Ghana for my Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship were the most supportive and constructive of my life. Sure, I faced new challenges every day, even insurmountable ones occasionally, but between my home communities, the Fulbright Program, and the new relationships I made in Ghana, I have never been more prepared to take risks.

Prior to applying, I had always considered Fulbright to be for “other people” until, at a networking meeting, I was told to consider it by the Executive Director of the Fulbright Association, an independent U.S. alumni organization. Upon further investigation, I realized that Fulbright’s goals aligned with my own more than I ever expected. Traveling has played a large part in my development; being exposed to different experiences, worldviews, and perspectives has 100 percent changed me for the better. Senator Fulbright believed that to be true for individuals, and even more so for nations.

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U.S. Fulbright

Living the ‘High Life’: Studying the Music of Ghana

October 8, 2015
Ben Cohn - 1

Benjamin Cohn, 2014-2015, Fulbright-mtvU Fellow to Ghana (right), with friend and colleague Ba-ere Yotere on the coast of Accra, the country’s capital

My name is Benjamin Cohn, and I recently returned to San Francisco after a year in Accra, Ghana on a Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship researching the roles that music plays in society, its power to enact real change, and Ghana’s educational infrastructure. These research interests quickly led me to the Bizung School of Music and Dance in Tamale, the Northern region of Ghana. While a big portion of my grant was focused on conducting interviews, writing, and engaging in more theoretical practices (described below), my goal has always been to put my Fulbright grant to good use, which is why I am currently running a campaign for the school.

Although I am not a musician, I have worked in various aspects of “the industry” from radio to concert production and promotion. I maintain a hip-hop website and have contributed articles to many sites including Afropop Worldwide, TeamBackPack and KevinNottingham. Through my Fulbright Fellowship, I was able to immerse myself in the Ghanaian popular and traditional music scenes completely. I did camera work for educational documentaries, created a web series featuring episodic video profiles of contemporary musicians, wrote a video treatment for an up and coming artist and even found my way into the music video of the 2015 Ghana’s Best Rapper (The Ghana Music Award Winner). All of these relationships, and more, led to a serious cultural exchange any time we got together.

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U.S. Fulbright

Music = Cultural Exchange

November 10, 2014

Are you applying for a Fulbright-mtvU grant? If so, join the first informational Fulbright-mtvU webinar for the 2015-2016 competition on Thursday, November 13, at 2:00 p.m. EST.

As I await my departure for Accra in November, I thought I could answer some of the most common questions I receive, rundown some of my preparation and detail what I hope to do. I am lucky to live in the Bay Area, home to many organizations built for the preservation of the arts and arts education. I have spent the last months meeting with teachers, employees and heads of music programs of all kinds. It has been a fantastic time to learn, gather resources, make contacts and gain insight into the world I hope to join.

Why Ghana?
Narrowing down what country to create a proposal for was a difficult process. The path that lead me to Ghana began with The Jazz Ambassador Tours and specifically Louis Armstrong’s experiences in Ghana. Ghana was also the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to achieve independence, standing as a role model for the first Wave of Independence through Africa in the 60s and the Civil Rights movement in America.

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