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Diplomacy in Action

2014-15 Fulbright-mtvU Fellows To Explore the Power of Music


Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
August 28, 2014

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Five U.S. graduate students and recent graduates have been selected to participate in the 2014-15 Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship to explore the power of music to foster cross-cultural communication, overcome cultural barriers between nations, and identify the ideas that unite our diverse societies. This joint effort by the U.S. Department of State and mtvU, MTV’s 24-hour college network, provides a special opportunity for fellows to pursue an academic project on an aspect of international contemporary or popular music, including music and social activism, music in learning, music and the community, and musical performance. Fellows are empowered to explore music as a common language that transcends borders and cultures through projects of their own design.

Participants selected for the 2014-15 cohort include:

  • Benjamin Cohn, a graduate of the University of Puget Sound who will facilitate access to music education for youth in Ghana;
  • Jillian Marshall, a Ph.D. student at Cornell University who will research traditional and underground music scenes in Japan;
  • Martha O’Donovan, a New York University alumna who will explore how youth in Zambia express themselves through music culture;
  • Scott Shigeoka, a Washington State University graduate who will launch a music festival in Iceland promoting environmental sustainability; and
  • Corinne Stokes, a Ph.D. student at the University of Texas at Austin who will document multinational and pan-Arab collaboration in contemporary Arab musical culture in the United Arab Emirates.

Full biographies and project descriptions can be found here.

Fulbright mtvU participants are selected through a multi-tiered, merit-based selection process beginning with field and discipline reviews by U.S. and foreign academic leaders and regional experts. Musical artists Tegan and Sara, members of the band Chvrches, DJ and musical producer Hardwell, and mtvU representatives reviewed and nominated the top qualified candidates. The Presidentially-appointed J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board made final selections. The State Department and mtvU are proud to partner to invigorate interest in international education among U.S. college and university students and further the positive impact of public-private partnerships in public diplomacy through the medium of music.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. Government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 360,000 participants from more than 160 countries with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. The Fulbright Program is the 2014 recipient of the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation.

For more information, please contact ECA Press at ECA-Press@state.gov or (202) 632-6552.



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