A record number of UNSW Sydney academics and alumni have been announced as Fulbright scholars to study, research or teach in the US in 2019.

This year, seven scholars from UNSW will be a part of the flagship foreign exchange scholarship program with the US, aimed at increasing binational research collaboration and the exchange of ideas.

Adam Davids, who works with young Indigenous Australians entering university and the workforce, will be based in Chicago at international organisation INROADS, a non-profit organisation dedicated to increasing diversity in America’s top corporations.

Mr Davids, a UNSW 2011 Bachelor of Commerce graduate, is the first Indigenous Australian to receive the Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Non-Profit Leadership. He is a director at CareerTrackers, which supports thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students obtain a university degree, pursue employment, become industry leaders and role models for future generations.

“INROADS aims to increase ethnically diverse employees in corporate management in the US,” says Mr Davids. “We want to make sure that by studying their models similar programs in Australia are sustainable, and we can learn the key ingredients and generational impact of these programs over time.”

Professor Kate Dolan, based at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at UNSW, has received the Fulbright Scholar Award, a scholarship for senior academics, government scientists or to undertake a collaborative project at Kansas State University.

Professor Dolan will examine the impact of prison gardens and other features of the natural landscape on reducing mental health problems and stress among prisoners. She will work with US colleagues to produce guidelines for the Australian prison setting aimed at reducing stress and examining the impact on prisoner behaviour and mental health of common practices such as solitary confinement.

“We know from previous studies that there is a positive correlation between the natural environment and stress,” says Professor Dolan. “Prison gardens are one example. When gardens have been introduced, there have been physical and psychological benefits for inmates and staff.” 

Dr David Mizrahi, an exercise physiologist at UNSW based at the Children’s Hospital, has been awarded the Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholarship to work at St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis investigating the role of exercise in children after completing their cancer treatment.

“The Fulbright scholarship is undoubtably my greatest achievement as a clinical researcher. I have great aspirations to change the way cancer patients are managed in the future, which includes the fact that all patients should have access and support of a tailored exercise program to their needs,” says Dr Mizrahi.

“Currently, there is growing support for the use of exercise in oncology clinics, however it is not standard of care. I will be spending 10 months in a world-leading institution where nearly all children will be offered an exercise assessment or intervention, which will be inspiring to be involved in.”

Fleur Johns, Professor and Associate Dean (Research) at UNSW Law, received a Fulbright Scholar Award and will be based at NYU. She will work with scholars on global technology law at the Guarini Institute for Global Legal Studies, the NYU Institute for International Law and Justice and the NYU Information Law Institute. As a specialist in international law and legal theory, Professor Johns studies global governance and the changes legal and political relations that occur in the context of technological change.

"By focusing on changing practice at the UN over the past decade, I will investigate the nature and extent of this reconfiguration, what might be at stake in changing the way the UN and its member states represent, envision and address publics, and how this might enable some and disable other forms of legal and political agency," says Professor Johns. "I hope, ultimately, to make a contribution to ensuring that those in need of humanitarian and development assistance are better served by the technology, agencies and donors that seek to aid them."

Associate Professor John Triantafilis, from the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at UNSW, received the Fulbright Future Scholarship to be based at the University of Arizona. He will be studying problems of water use efficiency in irrigated systems and the impact of rising water tables and sea levels to monitor soil salinity.

Associate Professor Triantafilis leads a small group of PhD and Master's students at #UNSWSoilScienceCentral2018. His research aims to demonstrate how near soil and remote sensing data can be used to develop digital soil maps in cotton areas of central and northern NSW as well as in sugarcane fields of far north Queensland.

Miranda Samuels, Public Engagement and Events Officer at UNSW Galleries, has received the Fulbright New South Wales Scholarship to improve access to art education through policy and education.

She has established a number of responsive art education programs for young people without access to mainstream art education, and has built education programs for organisations including Youth Off The Streets and Hermes Australia. Until recently she worked at the Art Gallery of NSW as an Artist Educator, working on community, access and school programs.

Zach Lambert, who graduated from UNSW in 2014 will be based at the American, British, Canadian Australian and New Zealand Armies’ Program. He received the Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Australian-US Alliance Studies. His research will explore the challenges and impacts of competition versus cooperation within the allied context on an Australian mobilisation effort. 

The Fulbright Program has grown to become the largest educational exchange scholarship program in the world, operating in over 160 countries. In its seventy-year history, more than 370,000 students, academics, and professionals have received Fulbright Scholarships to study, teach or conduct research and promote bilateral collaboration.

Lucy Carroll