University of Gloucestershire lecturer Christian O’Connell has received a prestigious award enabling him to lecture and research in North Carolina, USA.

Published: 12/06/2015 15:31

A lecturer in American History, Christian is the recipient of the Fulbright-Elon Scholar Award, and will be teaching on American history and American studies programme at Elon University from January until May 2016. He will also be researching his new project, examining the influence and reception of African American culture in Italy from the Fascist era to post-war.

Christian said: “Upon learning I received the award, I was both surprised and excited by the prospect of spending a significant amount of time in the US. As a scholar interested in the history and culture of the American South, I was also delighted that my time would spent in North Carolina.”

Penny Egan, Executive Director, US-UK Fulbright Commission said: “I know our 2015 cohort will do us great credit during their time in the US and beyond. Only exceptional scholars and students win Fulbright awards: one of the world’s most competitive merit-based international scholarships.”

Amy Moore, Director of the Fulbright Awards Programme, added: “It's very rewarding seeing a group of talented, inspirational and very deserving individuals, embark on a life changing trip to the US. This year's cohort are no exception, and have been carefully selected for their impressive accomplishments, academic excellence, and a genuine desire to delve into US culture, collaborate with new people and experience new ideas.”

The US-UK Fulbright Commission is the only bi-lateral, transatlantic scholarship programme, offering awards for study or research in any field, at any accredited US or UK university. The Commission is part of the Fulbright programme conceived by Senator J William Fulbright in the aftermath of World War II to promote leadership, learning and empathy between nations through educational exchange. Award recipients and summer programme participants will be the future leaders for tomorrow and support the “special relationship” between the US and UK.

The Commission selects scholars through a rigorous application and interview process. In making these awards the Commission looks not only for academic excellence but a focused application, a range of extracurricular and community activities, demonstrated ambassadorial skills, a desire to further the Fulbright Programme and a plan to give back to the recipient’s home country upon returning.