Alumni

The Fulbright Program has more than 370,000 alumni from over 160 countries worldwide. Fulbright alumni include 33 current or former heads of state or government, 54 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 29 MacArthur Foundation Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and non-profit sectors. Five thousand of those alumni belong to the Australian-American program and received their Fulbright awards from the 1950s on. You are a part of this roll call of excellence.

We aspire to deepen and expand our connection with you. We want you to be committed and contributing partners in the fostering of mutual understanding through academic and cultural exchange between Australia and the U.S. that the Fulbright Program promotes.

Some of our alumni

Scott Cameron Chapman Senior Scholars

Home InstitutionCSIRO Agricultural Flagship and The University of Queensland
Host InstitutionKansas State University
Award NameKansas State University Senior Scholarship
DisciplineAgriculture (Crop Science)
Award Year2015

Agricultural research is a diverse area – from studying soils and microbes through to looking at the DNA of plants. As a crop physiologist, Scott enjoys trying to understand how plants ‘work’. This helps plant breeders to develop better varieties for farmers to grow. His focus is on dryland crops, especially those subject to drought and heat, so he tries to determine how to select crops with the best growth characteristics – how the patterns of growth of leaves, roots and grains are best ‘organised’ over the season to efficiently use light, water and nutrients. The work involves detailed experiments to measure crop growth using basic tools (rulers and knives), and developing and applying new remote sensing methods (cameras, lasers, heat sensors) mounted on ground or aerial robots. Processing these large datasets into useful information is a major activity for Scott, and he then uses this information to build computer models of how plants grow. Just as computer models are essential to the design of new cars and aero planes, they are also useful to describe biology of crops and how they respond to soil and climate conditions. Scott uses historical weather records to predict how plants would have grown over the last 50 years, and this information helps breeders and farmers to know how ’virtual’ crops should perform in any place where we would propose to grow them. These models also allow him to predict how crops should grow in ‘future’ climates.

During Scott’s PhD at The University of Queensland and a short term at the state research department, he developed a great interest in crop physiology and the adaptation of crops. With a four year post-doc at an international centre (CIMMYT) in Mexico, Scott learnt how these research areas could be used to design better crop varieties for farmers, especially in the developing world. Since then he has been based in Australia (for the last 17 years at CSIRO) and has been able to work with researchers and breeders around the world on multiple crops including sunflower, sorghum, sugarcane, maize (corn) and wheat. In that time, there have been great improvements in the opportunities to genetically characterise and manipulate crops. So now, the main limit to breeding better crops is the ability to more rapidly measure how they grow (their phenotype), especially in the field. In recent years, Scott’s work has focused more on using wireless sensors and aerial robots in high-throughput applications to measure these plants and to try to integrate this information into crop models.

Scotts’ Fulbright Scholarship will allow him to undertake new research into how best to characterize wheat plant growth in response to field stress conditions. KSU is located in a low rainfall zone with some of the largest areas of wheat and sorghum production in the USA, the two crops that Scott works on in Australia. Although he has frequently worked with scientists in the region, this study period will help build new collaborations with KSU and other agricultural centres in the US into the future. It will also provide the opportunity to better understand how plant breeding can be used to improve adaptation to drought and heat conditions.

Andrew Tyndale Professional Scholars

Home InstitutionGrace Mutual, Ltd
Host InstitutionThe Milken Institute
Award NameProfessional Scholarship in Non-Profit Leadership (sponsored by the Origin Foundation and supported by the Australian Scholarships Foundation)
DisciplineBusiness Administration – Social Finance
Award Year2013

“Around the world and throughout Australia, the infrastructure used to deliver social services (education, aged care, social and affordable housing, disability accommodation and delivery of health services) is in need of significant investment, both to update existing capital items and to meet the new demand of a growing and aging population.”

Mr Andrew Tyndale, Director and Founder of Grace Mutual Limited, has won one of two inaugural Fulbright Professional Scholarships in Non-Profit Leadership, sponsored by the Origin Foundation and supported by the Australian Scholarships Foundation. Andrew will go to The Milken Institute in the U.S. for four months, to further his research in social investment.

“Social Investment is a new field in which commercial investment is directed to investments which generate a good social outcome. They may include employment, community enterprise, environmental or social inclusion,” Andrew said.

His focus is on mechanisms to attract wholesale capital into the infrastructure necessary to deliver social services such as affordable housing, aged care, disability accommodation, education and health. Through his project he will research developments in the US that may be applied in Australia.

“Over the next 5 years in Australia, it is estimated that more than $100 billion is needed for aged care and housing alone. There is a general, global acceptance that governments cannot fund these needs, and there is considerable thought being given to the problem at State and Commonwealth levels. Much is based on work being done in the UK and the US to develop ways to attract commercial funding (primarily pension savings funds) into this sector,” Andrew said.

Andrew’s goal will be to write up a number of initiatives, using his technical finance skills and knowledge of the social sector to assess the compatibility and likelihood of success in Australia. Then he will work with government, investors, financial intermediaries and the social sector to implement them.

Andrew has a Hon, BComm in Business Administration from Queen’s University in Canada. He has been an investment banker for 30 years: 26 years in a competitive commercial environment, and 4 years in a not-for-profit vehicle that he founded. Together with his wife, Philippa, he has also had extensive involvement, over almost three decades, in the charitable sector, both in domestic welfare and international development. His interests include travel, skiing, rugby and trekking.

Travis Blake Franks Postgraduate Students

Travis Franks
Home InstitutionArizona State University
Host InstitutionUniversity of Queensland
Award NameFulbright Postgraduate Scholarship
DisciplineLiterature, Culture and Australian Studies
Award Year2016

Travis earned his B.A. (History and English) and M.A. (English) at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. As an undergraduate, he was a Ronald E. McNair Scholar, served as president of Sigma Tau Delta, and was elected Most Outstanding Graduating Senior in both the History and English Departments. Now pursuing a Ph.D. in literature at Arizona State University, Travis teaches advanced freshman composition and survey courses on American literature and serves as the nonfiction editor of RED INK: An International Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art & Humanities.

Outside of the classroom, Travis has worked extensively as a writing and reading tutor, and has presented at several national conferences, including the National Conference for Peer Tutoring in Writing and the American Literature Association Conference. Recently, his article on Cormac McCarthy and William Faulkner, titled “Talkin about Lester; Community, Culpability, and Narrative Suppression in Child of God,” was published in Mississippi Quarterly. He is currently at work on his dissertation, tentatively titled “Settler Nativism: The Colonial Origins of Anti-Immigrant Nationalism”, which is a comparative analysis of how creative texts from the U.S. and Australia shape ideas of belonging around race and property. Travis’s work often involves novels, films, and music set in his home state of Texas, particularly in how they depict relationships between Indigenous, settler, and immigrant/migrant populations. He is also a third-generation musician who plays guitar, sings, and writes music. He is a founding member of the rotating ensemble band New Heroes of the Old War.

Travis is thrilled to be undertaking his unique project in Queensland, which will see him interning as a digital archivist for the AustLit database and serving as a research assistant for a historian at the Texas Heritage Centre in Texas, Queensland. He looks forward to the many relationships he will build in academic and non-academic communities and is grateful that he will have an opportunity to share his music at the Texas Country Music Roundup, held every September in Texas, QLD. He wishes to acknowledge the Indigenous communities whose land he will visit and to pay his respect to elders, past and present.

Vafa Darren Ghazavi Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionDepartment of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Host InstitutionJohn F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Award NameFulbright-Anne Wexler Scholarship in Public Policy, Sponsored by the Australian Government, Department of Education and Training
DisciplinePublic Policy
Award Year2016

Vafa Ghazavi is an international cyber policy adviser at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. At Harvard, he will focus on global policy innovation in the digital age, ethics, and behavioural economics.

Vafa is a former Australian diplomat with postings to Afghanistan (2009-2010) and the Australian Embassy and Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Vienna (2011-2014). In Vienna, he was responsible for Australia’s relations with the United Nations, focusing on transnational drugs and crime issues, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He also led diplomatic engagement with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo during Australia’s term on the UN Security Council. At the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Vafa was a policy officer on the Iraq Task Force, a negotiator on the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, and in the secretariat of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament.

Previously, Vafa volunteered in the cabinet office of José Ramos-Horta, then Foreign Minister of Timor-Leste, and served as an election monitor during Timor-Leste’s 2007 parliamentary elections.

Vafa is passionate about Indigenous education. He tutors Indigenous students at the Australian National University and worked at a language centre in the East Kimberley through the Jawun secondment program. In Sydney, Vafa mentored high school students through the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience and volunteered with the Police Citizens Youth Club in Redfern.

Vafa has a Bachelor of Economic and Social Sciences with First Class Honours and the University Medal from the University of Sydney. He served on the university’s Academic Board, was a co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Sydney Globalist international affairs magazine, and was president of the Politics Society, through which he founded the Hedley Bull Memorial Lecture.

Vafa is an avid traveller and enjoys new media, old books and Australian art.

Vafa’s studies at Harvard Kennedy School will focus on global policy in the digital age, ethics, and behavioural economics. He will explore innovative policy responses to transnational challenges, including how to harness big data for the public good, and policies designed to ensure a free and open internet. Vafa will look at how policymakers can promote the development of technologies that help address global challenges such as poverty, gross human rights violations, and armed conflict. He will also examine how countries can prevent conflict and support political transitions that advance human rights and effective governance.

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