Washington, DC - Five recent U.S. college graduates have been selected to participate in the 2015-16 Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship to explore the power of music to influence culture and engage audiences overseas on topics of global importance. Through this joint effort by the U.S. Department of State and mtvU, MTV’s 24-hour college network, fellows will pursue academic projects on international contemporary or popular music, focusing on music and social activism, music in learning, music and the community, and musical performance.
Their findings will be shared online via the mtvU college network.
The 2015-16 Fulbright-mtvU Fellows are:
- Christa Majoras, a graduate of Boston University’s College of Communication, will research how young Serbians influence culture through underground dance music;
- Brian Parker, an alumnus of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, will create a digital repository of interviews and original music by local artists in Santiago and Valparaíso, Chile;
- Sarah Plovnick, a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, will explore combinations of jazz and Dominican music and their influence on music education in the Dominican Republic;
- Dimitri Staszewski, a Loyola University New Orleans graduate, will film nomadic Mongolian herders performing traditional music and will create a digital archive; and
- Lena Weissbrot, an alumna of Florida State University, will examine hip hop music in South Africa as a form of activism among feminist artists.
Fulbright-mtvU applications are field- and discipline-reviewed by U.S. and foreign academic leaders and regional experts. Top qualified candidates were then reviewed by Grammy Award-winning duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Pete Wentz of multi-platinum rock band Fall Out Boy, and the Grammy-Award winning band OK Go. The Presidentially-appointed J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board approved the final selections based on the nominations.