Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ambassador for Good

A news release passed by my desk last month and I made a note to save it for this week. The release announces that our own Auschwitz Jewish Center coordinator Dara Bramson has been named a Fulbright Scholar and will be leaving on Monday night to begin her scholarship abroad in Poland. Dara is one of more than 1,600 U.S. citizens chosen for the 2011-2012 academic year.

I was not aware of the history of the Fulbright program until I read that it was created in 1946 by Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.

Dara, who is studying anthropology at Columbia University, joins the ranks of author Gish Jen, architect Daniel Libeskind, soprano Renee Fleming, and 2002 Nobel Laureate Riccardo Giacconi. No pressure, Dara.

The Fulbright program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Since 1946, approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists have been given the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

We wish Dara the best of luck and look forward to working with her in this new capacity.

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