FAU’s ‘Fab Four’ Receive Prestigious Fulbright Global Scholar Awards

Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters; Fulbright, Global Scholar Award, International, Award, Faculty, Exchange Program, Education, Music, Political Science, Film, Gender Studies, Environment

Fulbright is the world’s largest and most diverse international educational exchange program. (Photo by Alex Dolce)

By gisele galoustian | 10/3/2022

The Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board has selected four Florida Atlantic University faculty members in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters to receive the prestigious Fulbright Global Scholar Award (academic year 2022-2023).  

The Fulbright program is devoted to increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Fulbright is the world’s largest and most diverse international educational exchange program. Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs and university presidents, as well as leading journalists, artists, scientists and teachers.

Fulbright alumni include 61 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 76 McArthur Fellows, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Since its inception in 1946, more than 400,000 Fulbrighters have participated in the program.

“What a remarkable accomplishment to have four faculty members within the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters receiving the prestigious Fulbright Scholar Award in one year,” said Michael J. Horswell, Ph.D., dean, FAU Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. “Their incredible talents range from music to film to gender studies and human rights. By joining other outstanding Fulbright U.S. scholars around the world, our ‘fabulous four’ FAU scholars are expanding their research scope and networks to address a multitude of challenges around the globe.”

The four FAU U.S. Fulbright Scholars are:

  • Rachel S. Harris, Ph.D., who will officially join FAU in December, has received a Fulbright Scholar Award for a project titled, “With a Wider Lens: Recovering Lost Israeli Cinema 1947-1967.” The project examines the dozens of feature films, documentaries and informational broadcasts made in the first years of Israeli cinema. Working with scholars and archivists at Tel Aviv University, this award will provide Harris with the opportunity to research this foundational period in film history. Thanks to new digitization and restoration projects undertaken by the Israel Film Archive, many of these films, which have been hidden away for decades to preserve the fragile filmstock, are now available to view.
  • Phillip A. Hough , Ph.D., an associate professor, Department of Sociology , has spent the last two decades researching and writing about labor and agrarian relations in remote commodity-producing regions of Colombia. His Fulbright U.S. Global Scholar Award will provide him with the opportunity to study the plight of coffee-producing farmers living across the “global coffee belt” regions of Latin America, Africa and East Asia. His work is being conducted in three rounds: the coffee region of Caldas, Colombia; the coffee-producing regions in and around Nairobi, Kenya; and the highland regions north of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
  • Irena Kofman , DMA, director of piano studies and an associate professor in the Department of Music, is a renowned Russian-American pianist who has spent the last 55 years of her life devoted to playing the piano. As a Fulbright Scholar, Kofman will be working with students at the University of Taipei in Taipei, Taiwan starting this winter. As the language of music is a universal language – a way that people can communicate without words and across cultural differences – Kofman will advance her current professional goals by adding to her accomplishments in international teaching and curriculum development. This award will help to enhance FAU’s music reputation and create more opportunities for students at FAU and abroad.
  • Annette LaRocco , Ph.D., senior associate director of the Leon Charney Diplomacy Program and an assistant professor, Department of Political Science, received the award for a research project titled, “Mother’s Nature?: What All-Female Conservation Initiatives Can Tell Us About Gender, the Environment, and Power.” LaRocco’s grant from the Africa Regional Research Program will enable her to conduct research in the Sub-Saharan countries of Botswana, with host institution Okavango Research Institute in Maun, a center of the University of Botswana, and one of the leading research hubs for critical conservation studies in the region; and in Zimbabwe, with host institution the Gender Institute at Midlands State University in Gweru.