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2023-2024 Fulbright Alumni Project Fund Awardees

Alumni Project fund1 1

The Fulbright Commission in Ireland offers five €1000 grants each year to support Fulbright Alumni projects and events. All Irish and U.S. Fulbright Alumni are welcome to apply when the competition is open. Projects and events should be relevant to the applicant’s professional activities and have an Ireland-U.S. focus. We particularly welcome impactful community projects that focus on diversity, equality and inclusion, in line with the Fulbright ethos. 

2023-2024 Fulbright Alumni Project Fund Awardees

Ingrid Hess
Current Organisation: University of Massachusetts Lowell
Fulbright Year & Host Organisation: 2021 University College Cork, 2018 Mary Immaculate, Limerick

Go Green! Teaching Environmental Sustainability to Children

I will create a book and exhibition on sustainability with professors at Queen’s University Belfast. This work builds on the environmental sustainability project for children that I created while I was a Fulbright Specialist at University College Cork. This current project will teach children how and why they can be important participants in environmental sustainability and provides important teaching tools for elementary school instructors. My university, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, is working to strengthen both our Irish partnerships and our sustainability practices. Ireland has been at the forefront of sustainability practices so these dual goals pair well. But for these practices to last in perpetuity, they must filter into the community. The youngest among us need to be welcomed into and educated about the environmental movement. Teachers need materials that help them create dialogue with their young students about sustainability.

Queen’s University Belfast Sustainability Conference will take place from 18-20 April, 2024. Associate Professor Hess's solo exhibition will open the Sustainability Conference at Queen’s University Belfast on 18 April from 5:30-8pm. On Friday, 19 April Professor Hess will deliver a public lecture on how her work focuses on sustainability.


Dr Catherine Leen (Trinity College Dublin) in collaboration with Dr Melissa Hidalgo (California State University Long Beach)
Fulbright Year & Host Organisation: 2007-2008 University of California Santa Barbara

From Potatoes to Tacos: How Mexican Food is Making Waves in Ireland

This three-part podcast focuses on Mexican food in Irish culture as a reflection of the increasing diversity of Irish society while also considering issues such as migration and intercultural exchange. It will focus both on Mexican food in Ireland and on the influence of the Mexican diaspora’s food culture on the United States and on Mexican food internationally. The podcast will address key developments in Irish and U.S. society, including transnational encounters and culinary hybridity. The podcast will showcase the relevance of Chicanx studies to Irish culture by highlighting how Mexican and Mexican-American food increases the diversity of Irish culture. It will be used for our undergraduate courses at Trinity College Dublin and California State University, as an educational tool that creates an exchange of knowledge, bringing Ireland and the United States together through conversations with academics from Ireland and the United States and food professionals in Ireland whose gastronomic expertise spans Mexico, Ireland and the United States. In an era where discourse about migration both in Ireland and the United States is decidedly negative, we hope to provide a counternarrative that uses food as a lens through which to celebrate diversity and intercultural exchange.

Photo ‘Picado Mexican Pantry, Dublin’ by Lily Ramírez-Foran.


Laura Marshall Clark
Current Organisation: University of Houston
Fulbright Year & Host Organisation: 2020 (COVID delay) completed in 2021 at University College Cork

Vertical Shift: The Way Across

Vertical Shift The Way Across is a dissolution of time and perceptions of peoples and cultures an ocean apart. It is a collaborative project to develop student writers and deepen Irish-Indigenous relationships in a cross-cultural, student literary exchange of graduate creative writing students at University College Cork and Native American students at the University of Oklahoma.

Irish and Native creative writing students will first explore Irish and tribal histories, cultures, and contemporary issues about one another, and make personal connections among the cohort. Guided by the project’s author and their respective university mentors, students will then respond to this experience through poetry and short fiction in a digital anthology. The collection of written works by students will premiere online on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2024. UCC will host a public gathering for community engagement on March 19, 2024, to debut the anthology. Project author Laura Marshall Clark (Mvskoke) will travel to Ireland for the event and to meet participating Irish students.


Oran Kennedy
Current Organisation: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Fulbright Year & Host Organisation: 2008 - Mount Sinai Medical School, NY

Our team of Fulbright Alumni Dr. Oran Kennedy (2008), Dr. Natalie McEvoy (2022) and Prof. James Ankrum (2022)] are proposing to host an event in RCSI to raise awareness on the importance of skin-tone in the treatment/research of skin conditions/wound-healing. Many clinical skin assessments focus on the appearance and responses of light-toned skin only. Also, from a research perspective, wound-healing processes can differ depending on skin tone. We will highlight this spectrum of difference and encourage attendees to consider it during the development of new assessments, treatments and therapies. Our event will be co-hosted by the Equality Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) team in RCSI. Our first speaker Dr. Natalie McEvoy is a member of the RCSI Skin Wounds & Trauma Research centre (SWaT), which is a leading group in this field. The second speaker, Prof. James Ankrum leads a regenerative medicine programme, with a focus on skin/wound-healing, at the University of Iowa. The third speaker, Prof. Sarah Snelling leads the Soft Tissue Repair Group at St Hilda's College, Oxford University - and recently developed a world-wide network to specifically account for ancestral differences in human tissues to enhance the global the applicability of her research. Light refreshments will be provided.

Kenneth D. Ward
Current Organisation: University of Memphis
Fulbright Year & Host Organisation: 2016; Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Ireland has been a global leader in reducing tobacco use but 20% of Irish men and women 15 years of age and older continue to smoke, leading to more than 4500 premature deaths each year. Rates of smoking, and more recently, vaping, are especially high in marginalized groups, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and others (LGBTQ+) community. Smokers who identify as LGBTQ+, compared to non-LGBTQ+ smokers, are as interested in quitting but less successful in doing so. Reasons for these disparities in Ireland are unclear but data from other European countries and the U.S. suggest greater nicotine dependence, targeted marketing of tobacco products, stress induced by prejudice and discrimination, and difficulty accessing compassionate health services all play a role. Ireland’s new National Stop Smoking Clinical Guidelines to Help People Stop Smoking does not address the needs of the LGBTQ+ community specifically, but there is interest from national public health leaders and LGBTQ+ advocates to better understand the needs of this community and improve delivery of cessation services. To advance this effort, we propose to convene key stakeholders, including public health researchers, cessation specialists, and LGBTQ+ health advocates for a half-day virtual summit.

Past events supported by the Fulbright Alumni Project Fund 

May 2023: An online cross-cultural panel discussion about the Men’s Shed movement  and an exhibition of creative works made at Men’s Sheds throughout Ireland took place in conjunction with Ireland’s Bealtaine Festival. Panelist Barry Golding, renowned researcher of the Men’s Shed movement, gave an overview of the Men’s Shed movement in a variety of different countries. An exhibition of the creative work made at Men’s Sheds throughout Ireland was displayed at the Limerick School of Art and Design. Contact Melinda Heinz for further information.

*The Irish Men’s Sheds documentary was selected by the Catalyst International Film Festival in March 2023.

**The Irish Men’s Sheds documentary was selected by the Boroondara Senior Film Festival in Australia in August 2023.

26 October 2022: Children's Dental Health Awareness Event entitled 'Fulbright Smiling Children 2022' in The Faculty of Dentistry, RCSI.

Fulbright Alum Professor Jeff Dean was awarded €1,000 grant made available to support Fulbright Alumni projects and events. This free and interactive event provided practical, simple and up-to-date information to parents in Ireland on how to create and maintain good oral health for children throughout their lives. Contact Prof. Jeff Dean for further details.

17 May 2022: 'Towards diverse and inclusive policing: Practitioners and Researchers in conversation' (Online)
Fulbright Alum Dr Aoife Delaney is bringing Fulbrighters and researchers from policing organisations across Ireland and the US together to share ideas. The programme will highlight trailblazing research in the area of policing and diversity. Contact Dr Delaney for further details.

15-16 March 2022: 'Ireland Masterclass in Health Economics' at UCD
Fulbright Alum Dr John Cawley and collaboraters are coordinating a Masterclass where prominent senior researchers will share their cutting-edge research with early-career health economists. Further details

7 April 2022 ‘Meeting the Needs of Parents in Pregnancy and Parenting after Loss’ (Online)
Fulbright Alum Dr Joann M. O'Leary and collaborators will host free online workshops on April 7/26, and May 12, 2022. These events will provide training for organizations working with bereaved parents on how to support parents and siblings at the time of loss. The project will also further important research in this area. To book a place email mgt.murphy@ucc.ie  

In 2021, Fulbright Alum Lisa Nic an Bhreithimh worked with LGBTQ+ educational charity ShoutOut to organise a panel discussion on the topic of Queer Decolonisation. Speakers included Katlego Kai Kolanyane-Kesupile, Timothy R. Bussey, Ph.D. and Alber Saborío. The event was moderated by Mpho Mokotso. Watch the event back here: ShoutOut: Queer Decolonisation | Panel Discussion 


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