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New Fulbright Campus Ambassador at Atlantic Technological University – Dr Rita Melia

Pictured left to right: ATU President Dr Orla Flynn; Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission in Ireland Dr Dara Fitzgerald; Fulbright Campus Ambassador Dr Rita Melia at the 2022-2023 Fulbright awards ceremony in Iveagh House Dublin in June 2022.

Pictured left to right: ATU President Dr Orla Flynn; Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission in Ireland Dr Dara Fitzgerald; Fulbright Campus Ambassador Dr Rita Melia at the 2022-2023 Fulbright awards ceremony in Iveagh House Dublin in June 2022.


Dr Rita Melia has been appointed as Fulbright Alumni Ambassador for ATU. A Lecturer in Early Childhood Education and Care at ATU Galway City and Mayo campuses, Dr Melia is a member of the Children's Research Network Ireland (CRNI), ATU Taught Programmes Research Ethics Committee (TREC) Mayo Campus and Membership Secretary Irish Fulbright Alumni Association.

Fulbright Campus Ambassadors are Fulbright Alumni appointed by the Fulbright Commission in Ireland to increase the mission and visibility of the program, and to promote and interact with existing and future Fulbright Awardees (Fulbrighters). There are currently 21 Fulbright Irish Campus Ambassadors at Higher Education Institutions around Ireland.

In her Ambassadorial role, Dr Melia will offer guidance to ATU staff and students who wish to apply for a Fulbright Scholarship to study, research or teach in the USA. She will also liaise with ATU faculty to grow new Ireland-USA networks and collaborations through hosting Fulbright U.S. Scholars and Students. ATU Donegal Letterkenny currently offers opportunities for visiting Fulbright U.S. Scholars in Computer Science, and Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation. Other campuses welcome visiting US scholars also through the Fulbright U.S. specialist award programme.

Dr Melia completed a Fulbright scholarship to Harvard Graduate School of Education under the sponsorship of Professor Howard Gardner (Multiple Intelligences Theory) in 2016-2017.

Dr Seamus Dowling, Programme Chair and Lecturer in Cybersecurity at ATU Galway-Mayo School of Science is currently on a Fulbright-Tech Impact Scholarship to the Data Privacy and Security lab at the University of Texas, Dallas. Through these Fulbright scholarships, Dr Melia and Dr Dowling, and others before them, have established new partnerships and created lasting connections between ATU and US institutions.

The 2023-2024 Fulbright Irish Awards opened for applications on 31 August 2022. Visit www.fulbright.ie for more information.

An ATU Fulbright Day will take place on the ATU Galway City campus on 23 September 2022. Register here.

To learn more about the Fulbright Awards for Irish and EU citizens and find out how you can host US Scholars and students at ATU contact rita.melia@atu.ie

ATU President, Dr Orla Flynn, said…

“The Fulbright programme offers an extraordinary opportunity to broaden horizons, develop relationships, and deepen knowledge. I would really like to encourage our staff and students right across ATU to engage with Fulbright. The possibilities are endless. A special word of thanks to The Fulbright Commission in Ireland for their support and encouragement!”

Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission in Ireland, Dr Dara Fitzgerald, said…

“We are delighted to work with ATU to create new Ireland-US collaborations and strengthen existing partnerships. There is so much potential for growth in this area and we are excited to see this year’s ATU applications for the Fulbright Irish Awards. Dr Melia has taken part in Fulbright interview panels and will be able to provide great insight to ATU students and staff who are considering visiting the USA through these scholarships. We are grateful to President Dr Orla Flynn for her support of the Fulbright Program and look forward to meeting with her and other faculty members and students at ATU Galway this September.”

Fulbright Campus Ambassador, Dr Rita Melia said…

“I am delighted to be appointed as the Fulbright Ambassador to ATU, I will follow in the steps of the Fulbright ambassadors who have promoted the Fulbright programme to students and staff across the ATU campuses and be guided by them. My Fulbright experience was as a PhD student, but I have offered advice and support to numerous lecturers and students across different disciplines in various academic institutions nationally. I look forward to supporting ATU lecturers and students to apply for a Fulbright scholarship. My Fulbright experience was lifechanging on a personal and a professional level.

The mission of the Ireland-United States Fulbright Commission for Educational Exchange is to fortify Irish and American collaboration through exchanges of talent, knowledge and scholarship. While the vision of the Irish Fulbright Commission is to inspire minds to create a global culture of understanding and solidarity by nurturing academic and professional excellence, expertise and leadership.

I encourage ATU students and staff to consider applying for a Fulbright scholarship. A Fulbright scholarship offers opportunities for reciprocal learning, mutual understandings and exchange of academic and professional expertise and knowledge across a range of academic and cultural interests.”

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