Alumni

The Fulbright Program has more than 370,000 alumni from over 160 countries worldwide. Fulbright alumni include 33 current or former heads of state or government, 54 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 29 MacArthur Foundation Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and non-profit sectors. Five thousand of those alumni belong to the Australian-American program and received their Fulbright awards from the 1950s on. You are a part of this roll call of excellence.

We aspire to deepen and expand our connection with you. We want you to be committed and contributing partners in the fostering of mutual understanding through academic and cultural exchange between Australia and the U.S. that the Fulbright Program promotes.

Some of our alumni

Tiago Tomaz Postdoctoral Scholars

Home InstitutionUniversity of Western Australia
Host InstitutionUniversity of Illinois
Award NameWestern Australia State Postdoctoral Scholarship
DisciplineBiological Sciences – Plant Biology
Award Year2013

“The development of crops that are able to grow under changing climactic conditions is essential to guarantee a food supply for humans in the future.”

Dr Tiago Tomaz, a recent graduate from the University of Western Australia (UWA) has won one of two Fulbright Western Australia Scholarships, sponsored by the WA Government and WA universities. Through his Fulbright, Tiago will go to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) for a year to further his research in crop improvement through the application of genomic and post-genomic techniques, which involve analyses of plants at both the molecular (gene) and physiological (whole plant) level.

“Genomic and post genomic tools are major drivers for development of agriculturally beneficial traits in crop plants” Tiago said. “A priority area for further development is to look for ways to enhance plant tolerance to increased concentrations of ground level (tropospheric) ozone. Currently, few efforts have used these tools to uncover mechanisms for enhancing ozone tolerance in one of the worlds’ most valuable crop plants, maize”.

“This research is important due to elevated concentrations of air pollutants posing a significant threat to the productivity of global maize (and other major cereal) crops. The most damaging of these pollutants is tropospheric ozone”.

Tiago’s project will involve the transfer of valuable tools developed at both UWA and UIUC. UIUC is a pioneer in analysing the impact of global change factors on crop plants, and Tiago will assist in efforts to screen over 200 candidate maize lines for ozone tolerance using innovative free air concentration enrichment (FACE) experimental field plots.This research will provide target maize lines from which to selectively breed ozone tolerant hybrids.

Tiago has a BSc and a PhD in biological sciences from the University of Western Australia. He currently works as part of a Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) funded team at the Department of Agriculture of and Food Western Australia (DAFWA), who are looking to improve drought and cold tolerance of Australian wheat varieties in pre-breeding field trials. In his free time, Tiago enjoys participating in a variety of ocean sports, improving his Portuguese and travelling.

Joel Fuller Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionUniversity of South Australia
Host InstitutionUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst
Award NameSouth Australia State Postgraduate Scholarship
DisciplineMedical Sciences (Biomechanics)
Award Year2015

Joel has always had a love for sport and being active. Growing up he competed in basketball, Australian football and cricket and currently he spends his spare time surfing and scuba diving. Joel’s love of sport has also seen him develop a passion for encouraging others to be active. Throughout high school Joel was a coach in local community sporting programs where he helped school children enjoy being physically active. These early experiences as a leader taught Joel how rewarding it is to help others and ever since he has pursued careers that bring benefit to the community. In 2008, Joel was accepted into the bachelor of physiotherapy program at the University of South Australia, which allowed him to combine his passion for helping others with his love of sports. Joel supplemented his study with work at Flinders Medical Centre as a physiotherapy assistant, where he helped patients improve their level of function and return to the home.

After completing two years of his physiotherapy degree Joel was given the opportunity to complete an honours research project. While completing the honours program Joel learned how research could be used to benefit the widespread community. As an avid sportsman that also enjoys maintaining a good level of physical fitness, Joel has always been aware of the frustrations associated with being injured and unable to participate in the physical activities you love or complete the necessary physical activity to maintain fitness. Sedentary lifestyle is a major cause of chronic illness (in particular cardiovascular disease) and premature morbidity in the U.S. and Australia. As a result, absence from sport and physical activity can have tragic health consequences. Sport and physical activity are also a common form of positive social interaction and absence from this interaction through injury can have a negative effect on mental health. As a result, Joel has always been interested in understanding what can be done to prevent the occurrence of injury and this topic has become a research passion for him. Currently, Joel is completing a Phd with the University of South Australia that is investigating prevention of injury in distance runners in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Sport.

As part of his PhD research, Joel is investigating how variability in the running stride can be used to identify individuals at the greatest risk of injury. To undertake this research Joel undertook a short placement at the University of Massachusetts in 2014 in order to learn the techniques required to study running stride variability. At the University of Massachusetts Joel had the pleasure of working with some fantastic researchers and learnt that international collaboration is the best way to pioneer innovative health strategies. Following this initial exposure to international collaboration Joel has worked towards undertaking further research with the University of Massachusetts in 2015. Joel hopes that this collaboration will lead to improved injury prevention within sports medicine and help reduce the negative health effects that are associated with absence from sport and physical activity through injury.

Joel aims to improve sports injury prevention strategies through the combined expertise of Australian and U.S. sports scientists. Joel will undertake a prospective study investigating whether running stride variability can predict musculoskeletal injury amongst athletes. Undertaking this research at the University of Massachusetts provides the opportunity to work with a large cohort of high-performance athletes. This opportunity is typically not possible at Australian universities, which rarely have high-performance sporting programs. Joel hopes that his Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship will establish an ongoing collaboration between the University of Massachusetts and the University of South Australia. Additionally, Joel’s ongoing collaboration with the Australian Institute of Sport will allow the findings of his scholarship to be effectively integrated into the management of Australia’s athletes and community sporting initiatives.

David Ian Rawson Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionSt Ursula's College, Toowoomba
Host InstitutionHarvard Graduate School of Education (TBC)
Award NameFulbright Queensland Postgraduate Scholarship
DisciplineEducation
Award Year2016

David graduated from the University of Queensland in 2012 with dual degrees in Arts and Secondary Education, majoring in English and French. His Honours study in the field of Communication and Cultural Studies saw him named valedictorian and a recipient of a University Medal.

Now in his fourth year of teaching at St Ursula’s College, Toowoomba, a Catholic girls’ school in the Ursuline tradition, David’s passion for education has seen him make a significant impact in the learning and lives of his students. He coaches debating, works to promote the status of language learning and cultures within the school and mentors the student leadership council. He has marked the Queensland Core Skills (QCS) Test for tertiary admission and moderates Senior French Work Programs and assessment on his district’s review panel. He furthered his language study in the south of France as part of an Endeavour Language Teacher Fellowship, awarded by the Commonwealth Government (2014).

David’s research into adolescent brain development and Middle Schooling Philosophy was instrumental in providing a theoretical underpinning for his school’s Year 7 Program ahead of Queensland’s shift to Year 7 into secondary in 2015. For these endeavours, he was awarded the Dr Roger Hunter Excellence in Beginning to Teach Award (2014). David was selected to have his pedagogy showcased as part of the Queensland College of Teachers’ ClassMovies Project. His finished documentary serves as a fine model for other early-career practitioners with clear strategies identified for addressing The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

David is the Chairperson of his College’s Assessment Review Steering Committee, which enables him to explore his special interest area of, and deep passion for, assessment. He leads a team of six teachers to review current practice and to develop a College-wide blueprint that will present more effective ways of assessing students’ learning.

David’s research in the United States of America aims to better understand how re-conceptualising assessment might bring about broader school improvement. In particular, he wishes to develop more engrained and sustainable mechanisms for fostering effective teacher collaboration in Queensland schools. In this way, David hopes to develop a strategy for supporting teachers to engage more routinely with peer-reviewed research and integrate it into their praxis. He sees it as important to address the disjunct between educational theory and practice, which has emerged alongside the growing demands on teachers and their time.

David is looking forward to engaging in cross-cultural conversations with other engaged and dynamic teachers, developing a deeper knowledge of curriculum and educational leadership.

Laura Williams Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionMonash University
Host InstitutionUniversity of Minnesota
Award Name2011 International Fulbright Science and Technology Award
DisciplineEcology
Award Year2011

“Land-use changes, invasion of exotic species and fragmentation have caused widespread degradation of ecosystems. Fortunately, this has triggered substantial efforts to mitigate damage and to manage and restore ecosystems. Effective ecological management and restoration depends on sound knowledge of community and ecosystem dynamics.”

Laura Williams, a research assistant at Monash University, is one of two Australians who have won International Fulbright Science and Technology Awards, which are the most prestigious and valuable awards offered by the U.S. Government.  The IS&T Awards cover full tuition, stipend and living expenses for three years to undertake a PhD in the U.S. They are offered to only about 40 people worldwide. Laura will undertake a graduate program in ecology at the University of Minnesota in the U.S. that will help achieve her objectives of developing ecological theory in the context of restoration. This program will combine research and coursework to advance her skills in plant ecology and ecological modelling, and include the capability to specialise in phylogenetic and trait-based community analyses.

“This will complement my current education—undergraduate Arts and Science degrees with Honours in ecology—and research experience—including monitoring the effects of riparian restoration in south-eastern Australia and testing theories of community assembly in tropical rain forest,” Laura said. Studying toward a PhD will help Laura to achieve her career goals by developing her skills in ecological research, teaching and communication. The skills that she will acquire in ecological fields have significant potential to be applied in Australia. Laura has completed a BA and BSc (Honours) at Monash University. She received several awards from Monash University during her studies, including the AR Wallace Prize for her Honours thesis, the Vice Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Scholarship, prizes for second and third year biology, Dean’s List Fellowship Awards and Academic Excellence Awards in Geography and Environmental Science.

The prestigious Fulbright program is the largest educational scholarship of its kind, created by U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright and the U.S. Government in 1946. Aimed at promoting mutual understanding through educational exchange, it operates between the U.S. and 155 countries. In Australia, the scholarships are funded by the Australian and U.S. Governments and corporate partners and administered by the Australian-American Fulbright Commission in Canberra. Laura is one of 26 talented Australians to be recognised as a Fulbright Scholar in 2011.

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