Recent Alumni Gatherings – July ’15

June 23rd, 2015
We are excited to share some pictures and news from our successful Fulbright Korea Alumni Happy Hour in Seoul!

A few nights ago, fifty alumni and current grantees gathered at The Beastro in Hongdae to enjoy some great drinks and even better company. This was the largest gathering of Fulbright Korea alumni in recent memory.

In addition to new connections and lots of reminiscing on Fulbright experiences, an auction of donated Girl Scout cookies and the generosity of the community allowed us to raise 122,000 KRW for the Fulbright Korea Alumni Fund (FKAF)! These funds will go towards helping current grantees complete research projects and community projects, enabling them to engage with Korea and their local communities in a new and meaningful way.

We want to say a huge THANK YOU to all of the Fulbrighters who joined us for the event and made it such a success! We enjoyed spending time with you and hope that the conversations that began at the event will continue well into the future.

We would love to hear more about Fulbright Korea meet-ups and gatherings back in the USA and/or other parts of the world. Please feel free to share stories here or email us!

Korea Alumni Event

From Coordinator Lauren Hong:
Fabulous Fulbright Korea Alumni happy hour event in San Diego tonight! Lots of fun meetings new folks, exchanging stories, and catching up.

SD Alumni Event
From Coordinator Jennifer Law:
Thanks to all the alumni who reunited yesterday in Boston, including two who traveled up from NYC and an ETA alumna who, we were delighted to discover, taught at my placement school ten years before me! Hope to see you all again soon.
Boston Alumni Event

Protected: “Journalism and Online Media” Webinar with Marie McDermott

June 17th, 2015

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Protected: “The Tech Industry and Finding your Footing in the San Francisco Bay Area” Webinar with Carolyn Straub

June 17th, 2015

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Protected: “Education Policy and International Development” Webinar with Adam Gann

June 17th, 2015

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Protected: “Teaching in the U.S.” Webinar with Ryan Walsh, Clara Kang, and Maggie Coyne

June 7th, 2015

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Protected: “DC Pathways: Finding your Footing in the Nation’s Capital” Webinar with Hogan Medlin

June 7th, 2015

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Protected: “International Energy Policy” Webinar with Lauren Gritzke

June 7th, 2015

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Ben Harris & Judith Foo: Open Windows

June 7th, 2015


First-year ETAs and creative writing aficionados Ben Harris and Judith Foo are coming together to start a new initiative aimed at showcasing the creativity of Korean students.

The project will take the form of a satellite student literary magazine in partnership with Fulbright Infusion, the long-standing literary magazine that highlights creative works from Fulbright grantees. The name of the magazine is Open Windows, intended to represent the freedom of creativity and opportunity, and it is currently accepting rolling submissions (through current ETA nominations) for its first online publications.

Ben and Judith say that they came up with the idea through a shared desire to see their students have more motivation and encouragement to write.

[This initiative] is important because our students are often told that their success is measured by their test scores. They don’t have many chances to write analytic or expository essays for classes, much less creative work. But so many of our students are extremely talented and deserve not only to have their work published, but to feel that their talent in this regard is attention-worthy, commendable.

The ETAs say that the magazine as an online publication is only the beginning. “One day, we’d love to see it become a print magazine. […] For right now we’re excited about what’s in the works, and we can’t wait to go live and start seeing what these students can do.”

Keep an eye out for the first issue of Open Windows Magazine, coming your way soon!

Matt D'Arcy: Resident Rocket Scientist

June 7th, 2015

Meet our Junior Researcher and resident rocket scientist, Matt D’Arcy. He is currently working with the Space Systems Research Laboratory (SSRL) of Korea Aerospace University (KAU) to build a 3U CubeSat (a small satellite that is 30x10x10 cm) to launch into orbit and take pictures of the Earth.

Matt, who says he was interested in space from a young age thanks to his grandfather’s work on major U.S. space projects (including the Apollo missions and the Mars Viking Lander), came to Korea after earning his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Drexel University. His plan was to conduct mission operations of the satellite in orbit, but he soon discovered that due to the unique build-from-scratch approach of the lab and the enormity of the project, the launch would be significantly delayed.

Matt says he quickly found that his mechanical engineering background and research experience had not prepared him for the electronics and computer programming-heavy work that awaited him. Not one to back down from a challenge, he spent the first few months of his grant year powering through several textbooks and tutorials to attain working proficiency in several computer programming languages and expand his practical knowledge of electronics. Matt says that tackling the steep learning curve that awaited him was both the most challenging and the most rewarding part of the year.

I had to learn entirely new skill-sets, but I had the time to sit down and learn them well, down to the nitty-gritty, as I did not have other courses or work pressures in my day-to-day.

Since then, Matt has become more involved in many aspects of the design and building process, but has found perhaps his most notable contribution in an entirely different area: project management. Matt says he faced an internal and cultural conflict with the work culture in the lab – namely, 20+ hour days and/or 6-day-long stints. During the series of all-nighters incurred for the construction process of the test model in particular, he worried that staff exhaustion could potentially harm the final product due to the extremely detail-oriented nature of the work. After careful discussions, Matt helped create a shift in work structure and new guidelines for the next construction process, introduced new team management software, and also reorganized much of the clean room and lab and helped institute policies for disposing of needles and other waste.

In the time he carves out away from the lab, Matt enjoys spending time with friends, exploring the Hongdae-Sinchon area he calls home, and hiking and biking in the spring weather. We wish Matt all the best in finishing up his project and his grant year!

Aimee Lee: Bringing Worldwide Recognition to the Art of Hanji 

June 7th, 2015

Aimee Lee, a Fulbright Korea alumnus, was recently recognized for her work with hanji in the Korea Times. A graduate of Oberlin College, Lee’s interest in hanji, otherwise known as traditional handmade Korean paper, grew during a Chinese Art History course in college.

Motivated by her interest to learn and pursue Korean traditional art – which is widely unrecognized in comparison to Japanese and Chinese art – Lee learned the process of making hanji from Jang Seong-woo, a Korean traditional paper making artisan, in 2009. Since then, Lee has used her Fulbright research, experience, and skills to spread awareness of the hanji tradition and to open the Anne F. Eiben Hanji Studio. Her studio, the first and only Korean paper making studio in North America, is located at the Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland.

Lee has also written the first English book on hanji, titled Hanji Unfurled: One Journey into Korean Papermaking (The Legacy Press, 2012).

To read more about Aimee Lee’s accomplishments, check out the original article on the Korea Times website.