Fulbright Grant

Each year an additional grant is awarded to a Fulbright student by NFAA.
On this page you'll find an overview of the NFAA member who recieved an NFAA grant in the past.

NFAA Grant 2013: Elsien van Pinxteren

University: University of Cambridge, UK
Host university: Harvard University
Discipline: Middle Eastern studies

NFAA Grant 2012: Samuel Zwaan

University: Utrecht
Host university: Georgia Tech
Discipline: Media techniek

Samuel about himself:
It is quite an adventure to embark on a trip to the United States of America for 2 years. This is not a simple trip you make to a foreign country, it is actually living there. Still, I was looking forward to it. This letter is being written after about 3 months of being in the US and it is going great. The Georgia Institute of Technology demands a lot, but if we are honest, do we want anything else? It is only when we are challenged and when our limits are tested that we excel.

The first semester here at Georgia Tech has mostly been about coding, learning how to program. I’ve created a Digital Neighborhood Watch, an online portfolio, digital simulations of an ant colony, visualized GPS data and made a strange game involving a tornado and cows (email me if you are intrigued). It has truly been an inspiring time and I am eager to learn more.

I am very grateful for the support given by the NFAA. With your support I have been able to join the co-lab at Georgia Tech (http://colab.lmc.gatech.edu ). In co-lab we use Arduino, an open-source single-board microcontroller, to build miraculous artifacts. A while ago for instance we transformed a simple piece of carton into a touch sensor with the help of Arduino. When you touched it, it could sense whether you were pinching it, holding it or pushing it. The following weeks I will try to create my own GPS logger in co lab.

A gathering such as co lab and the courses I am taking are being taught by professors I used to read when I studied at Utrecht University. At first this was a bit intimidating. Now that professor, whose text you’ve always discussed with your fellow students, is standing in front of you and asking you questions. It only emphasizes the possibilities that arise when you go abroad for your studies. You get to meet fun, interesting and inspiring people. It is easy to stay within the safe confines of your own home or your own town. However, there is a whole world out there with so much to discover.

As I understood this letter will be read at Thanksgiving which is in a couple of days. Perhaps not surprising, I will probably be working most of the time because several projects are due the weekend after Thanksgiving! Still, I hope you have a wonderful evening. I wish you all the excitement I have already experienced here, all the inspiration from conversing with each other and that many adventures may cross your paths in the years to come.

Sincerely,

Samuel Zwaan

NFAA Grant 2011: Sjef van Stiphout

University: Univ van Amsterdam
Host university: University of Chicago
Discipline: Political science

Sjef about himself:
November 17, 2011

Dear NFAA board members, alumni, and other guests,

I am writing this letter while sitting on a bench in boarding area E6 of Chicago's O'Hare Airport. It is 7:45 in the morning and I am awaiting my outbound flight. Acting Chair Boukje Zaadstra asked me to write a letter to share with you my experiences as a Fulbright student in general and my experiences as this year's alumni fellow in particular. It is an absolute pleasure and honor to do so.

Do not worry, I will not bother you too much with a resume pitch. But at the same time it feels only right to provide some context to the person who you have awarded the annual grant. My name is Sjef van Stiphout. The pronunciation of your name abroad is always a good source of conversation and anecdotes. I found that the Americans find Sjef an equally unusual name as the Dutch: “Yes, indeed, it is pronounced as Sjef in Chef Cook”, “Really?”, “Really”. In a strange way this confusion makes me feel at home. Since last September I am a graduate student in the MA program of the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. I feel very privileged to be given the opportunity to study at this renowned research institution and to live in this extraordinary metropole.

Boukje send me the program for your dinner lecture. Like most people following the developments I have been thinking a lot about the causes and implications of the Arab spring. I am confident however that former diplomat Petra Stienen is far more knowledgeable on these subjects than I am. Therefore I would like to share something on a more personal note. One of the questions is whether the Arab revolutions will in fact lead to more freedom. In 2008 when I visited Damascus a Syrian student told me: “all predictions about the future are wrong, even if they turn out to be right”. I believe the journey towards freedom is never easy nor unidimensional; it includes struggle over political, economical, religious and material issues. Actual reform in these areas can sometimes take as long as a whole generation to settle. For today however I wish for the developments to yield at least the fourth of Franklin Roosevelt's freedoms: the freedom from fear.

I was told that the alumni award is intended for extracurricular activities. My flight that is now almost ready for boarding will bring me to New York City. As a fellow of the Netherlands American Foundation I am invited to the prestigious Peter Stuyvesant Ball located in the heart of Chelsea Piers on the Hudson. After spending a couple of days in this incredible city I will fly to Seattle and visit a friend to celebrate Thanksgiving. If I have understood the intention of the award correctly, I like to believe I honored its objective. I thank the NFAA board members for awarding me the alumni grant and I wish everybody a wonderful and inspiring evening. I am looking forward meeting you at a future Fulbright alumni event.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sincerely yours,


Sjef van Stiphout
Chicago, IL

NFAA Grant 2010: Irene van Zeeland

University: Theaterschool Amsterdam
Host university: Merce Cunningham Dance Comp
Discipline: Dance

Irene about herself:
Na mijn dansopleiding aan de Theaterschool in Amsterdam ben ik gaan werken als dansdocent, danser en choreograaf. Al snel merkte ik dat ik mijn vijfjarenplan al binnen een jaar gerealiseerd had en dat ik nieuwe plannen kon gaan maken. Ik geef het liefst les in moderne danstechnieken en wilde mij hier dus ook graag in verdiepen. Ook wilde ik mijn horizon verbreden en naast het lesgeven in Europa ook heel graag naar Amerika, de bakermat van de modern dans. Dit werd New York City omdat daar de studio van Merce Cunnningham staat, een van de grootste vernieuwers van de moderne dans.

Ik wil mij graag in zijn techniek gaan verdiepen volgend jaar om zo als danser en als docent te groeien. Na mijn opleiding daar wil ik deze kennis graag mee terug nemen naar Nederland om de techniek van Merce in de dansopleidingen levend te houden. Ook wil ik graag mijn kennis en vaardigheden als choreograaf uitbereiden, maar voordat ik zelf stukken ga maken wil ik bij het begin van de moderne dans beginnen. Ik denk dat dat een goed startpunt is en dat ik vandaaruit verder kan gaan in het ontwikkelen van mijn eigen bewegingsidioom.

Naast de opleiding aan de Merce Cunningham Studio wil ik heel graag naar diverse (dans)voorstellingen gaan kijken om een beter inzicht te krijgen in de hedendaagse Amerikaanse danscultuur. Merce werkte in zijn voorstellingen altijd heel intensief samen met andere kunstdisciplines en wist op die manier zichzelf en de andere kunstenaars te blijven inspireren. Dat is iets waar ik ook naar op zoek ben, ik hoop dan ook in New York City nog veel meer kunstvormen te mogen ervaren en kennis te maken met andere jonge, vernieuwende kunstenaars.

New York City is een stad waarin alles mogelijk is en volgens mij de ideale omgeving om kunst te laten ontstaan. Van dit gegeven wil ik heel graag gebruik maken en zo ontdekken wie ik als danser, docent en maker ben.

NFAA Grant 2009: Ingrid Leijten

University: Universiteit Leiden
Host university: Columbia University
Discipline: Law

Ingrid about herself:
There is this one song I keep listening to over and over again. When I’m taking the train downtown for a visit to one of the great museums, when strolling through SoHo, and also when spending a long evening the library of Columbia Law School. The song is called “Empire State of Mind.” It’s about New York.

But actually it’s about more than that. It’s about me feeling extremely grateful for having the opportunity to spend a year in such a wonderful city, studying at this prestigious university. My experiences so far have been nothing but fantastic. That is, except for the first day I arrived here and entered my extremely dirty apartment, desperate for some clean clothes after an exhausting and delayed flight, but with all of my luggage still being in London. After that day, I have enjoyed every single thing: From the classes of famous professors whose books I have been reading back home in Leiden, to the relaxed Sundays working in the lobby of the Law School with a group of enthusiastic students from all over the world, as well as the well-deserved drinks in a nice bar after a week of hard work.

But, no matter how much I love my New York life, at the same time everything I do is related to my past experience and future plans in the Netherlands. The courses I take allow me to think more elaborately on the topics I have been working on before. I am developing my research plans in the field of international public and human rights law, gaining valuable insights I immediately put down to paper in order to take them wherever I will go in the future.

With the support of the NFAA I am able to intensify my experience by working for the Columbia Journal of European Law, taking ballet classes, getting out of New York City once in a while and probably at the end of the year completing my American legal studies by taking the New York Bar Exam.

“These streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you.” The song stresses what is so true and most important for me. Broadening my horizons, and learning more than I could have imagined, I wish you all a great Thanksgiving and send you all the best from New York.

Ingrid Leijten
November 2009

NFAA Grant 2008: Andrea Goezinne

University: Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
Host university: Brown University
Discipline: Public Policy

In 2008 ontving Andrea Goezinne deze voor haar Master in Public Policy aan Brown University in de Verenigde Staten. In mei 2005 studeerde zij cum laude af aan University College Utrecht. Volgde vakken in psychologie, internationaal recht en sociologie, met als overkoepelend thema het begrijpen van het gedrag van mensen in de samenleving. Heeft naast haar studie altijd gewerkt.

Andrea about herself:
Ik krijg elke dag de Parool in mijn emailbox, dus ik heb een klein beetje een idee hoe het gaat in Nederland. Naast mijn studie loop ik nu stage bij The Nonprofit Quaterly in Boston, waar ik werk aan een "special issue on immigration reform. Ik ben ook trainer/vrijwilliger voor The Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence in Providence. Daarnaast heb ik een beurs gekregen van het Watson Instituut (verbonden aan Brown uni) om een colloquium serie over immigratie op te zetten. Ik heb al een paar sprekers uit Nederland uitgenodigd om toch nog een beetje contact te houden met de thuisbasis.

Deze zomer loop ik waarschijnlijk stage bij The Migration Policy Institute in Washington en hoop daarnaast nog een zomercursus te volgen aan Georgetown University in Arabisch. Ik denk dat ik hiervoor de NFAA beurs ga gebruiken. Begin maart ga ik naar Chicago voor de Fulbright seminar. Het thema dit jaar is social entrepreneurship, een onderwerp dat mij erg aanspreekt dus ik ben benieuwd!

NFAA Grant 2007: Inssaf Cherif

University: Universiteit Leiden
Host university: The American University
Discipline: Law

NFAA Grant 2006: Ulkuhan Buyuk

University: Univ van Amsterdam
Host university: Syracuse University
Discipline: International Relations

NFAA Grant 2005: Wouter Waalewijn

University: Universiteit Utrecht
Host university: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Discipline: Physics

NFAA Grant 2004: Marc Mackintosh

University: Universiteit van Amsterdam
Host university: New School University
Discipline: Literary Theory

NFAA Grant 2003: Roelant Ossewaarde

University: Universiteit van Amsterdam
Host university: SUNY College at Buffalo
Discipline: Computational Linguistics

NFAA Grant 2002: Sophie Ortega-Witsenburg

University: Universiteit Utrecht
Host university: University of California, Davis
Discipline: Cultural Studies

NFAA Grant 2001: Emma Cohen de Lara

University: Universiteit Leiden
Host university: University of Notre Dame
Discipline: Political Theory

NFAA Grant 2000: Svent Rietdijk

University: Universiteit Leiden
Host university: Harvard Medical School
Discipline: Medical Science

NFAA Grant 1999: Judith van der Elst

University: Universiteit Leiden
Host university: University of New Mexico, Main Campus
Discipline: Amerindian Archeology

NFAA Grant 1998: Hans Verheij

University: Technische Universiteit Eindhoven
Host university: Georgia Institute of Technology
Discipline: Computer Aided Architectural Des

NFAA Grant 1995: Judith Thissen

University: Universiteit Utrecht
Host university: New York University
Discipline: Cinema Studies