What Have We Been Up To?
Reykjavík walking tour
In October, our U.S. grantees got to experience old Reykjavík with historian Stefán Pálsson, learning about Reykjavík from the ground up – literally. Geothermal energy and its history in heating housing, pools, and more was one of the topics on the tour as well as the strange history of prohibition and beer brewing in Iceland.
Orientation for 2022-2023 U.S. grantees to Iceland
On 2 September, we had had an orientation for our 2022-2023 U.S. grantees to Iceland. The grantees had a packed Friday afternoon with Iceland101, tips on surviving and thriving as well as basic Icelandic lessons! After a break featuring traditional Icelandic pancakes, the grantees continued their orientation with guest speakers Bergljót Gyða Guðmundsdóttir, psychologist and vice-chair of the Alumni Association board, Fulbright alumnus Adam Flint Taylor (2021), assistant professor at the Iceland University of the Arts and Karen Huntress, Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Reykjavík.
A celebratory send-off for our Icelandic grantees
A reception celebrating our Icelandic 2022-2023 grantees was held on May 31 in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation at the National Gallery of Iceland’s House of Collections. Both Honorary Co-Chairs of the Fulbright Iceland Board, Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, Minister of Science, Industry and Innovation, and Michelle Yerkin, Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy, attended the celebration and wished the grantees good luck with their studies and research in the U.S. this year.
A highlight for many of our U.S. grantees last spring was our visit to Alþingi, the Icelandic Parliament, where they had an opportunity to tour the premises. They also sat down with Fulbright alumnus and Member of Parliament, Björn Leví Gunnarsson, who spoke to the grantees about how the Icelandic parliament operates, the daily life of an MP in Iceland and his experience as a Fulbright fellow in the U.S.
Other grantee enrichment events last winter included a guided tour through the old Hólavallagarður cemetery, a historic walk-through of WWII remnants in Fossvogur and Öskjuhlíð, and a lovely dinner.
Fulbright Forum – Grantee Final Presentations
Our 2021-2022 U.S. fellows and scholars presented their work during two Grantee Final Presentations last spring. We were excited to have a presentation event at the University of Akureyri for the first time, with three scholars presenting – Dr. Christina Goethel, Dr. Elizabeth Mendenhall, and Dr. Evan Dean.
The following week in Reykjavík, nine U.S. students and scholars talked about their work and experiences during their time in Iceland. Those who presented were Adam Flint Taylor, Tyler John Gogal, Jillian Hemler Galloway, Robyn Angela Barrow, Andrew Paul Castagno, Olivia Wynne Houck, Eric Johnson, Meghan McGrath, and Ashely Byock.
The discussions ranged from cyber-security to international law of the sea to art-making in medieval Iceland.
You can watch recordings from the Fulbright Forums on the Fulbright Iceland YouTube page.