Prestigious Fulbright scholarships have been awarded to six talented members of the Griffith University community.
Leading academic Professor Susan Harris Rimmer joins PhD candidates Danielle Hill and Michael Lucas, Adjunct Professor Amanda Ullman, and alumni Dr Hayman Lui and Aaron Pereira as recipients of the 2021 scholarship.
The Fulbright Program is a foreign exchange scholarship program of the United States, aimed at increasing bi-national research collaboration, cultural understanding and the exchange of ideas.
Professor Susan Harris Rimmer
Policy and Innovation Hub Director and Gender Equality Research Network co-convenor Professor Harris Rimmer will use her DFAT Fulbright Senior Scholar in Australia-US Alliance Studies fellowship at Georgetown University to continue researching gender and diplomacy.
The academic will analyse the Ambassador for Women, first appointed in the US in 2009, and similar roles that have been created around the world since.
“For the first time, women can embody the state in a both a literal sense and a sense of casting a lens over foreign policy,” Professor Harris Rimmer said.
“My hypothesis is that an Ambassador for Women does not guarantee feminist foreign policy, but it is more likely to surface silences and exclusions than previous diplomatic practice.”
Professor Harris Rimmer plans to assess how the Ambassador for Women role has evolved and worked in the Australia and the US, its influence in Australia-US foreign policy, and whether the role has deepened or changed the overall alliance between the two countries.
She will also determine whether cooperation between the two roles has influenced foreign policy or defence strategy issues, such as the Women Peace and Security agenda.
As interest in alternative energy solutions continues to expand globally, Danielle will use her Fulbright Futures Scholarship to study traditional (coal waste) and alternative (nuclear waste) power generation contamination in freshwater ecosystems.
She says the Savannah River Site in South Carolina provides a unique opportunity to research two types of aquatic contamination – coal fly ash-associated trace metals and legacy radionuclides – as it has previously been home to both active nuclear reactors and coal-fired power plants.
“Aquatic insects and amphibians are sensitive to many contaminants and their unique life-cycles put them further at risk,” Danielle said.
“My PhD research aims to address critical gaps in knowledge regarding contaminant dynamics and toxicity in metamorphosing aquatic insects and amphibians.
“This new knowledge will inform and refine water quality guidelines and remediation practices in both the Australia and the United States.”
Master of Global Development graduate Michael will use his scholarship to undertake a comparative analysis between American Indian and Aboriginal Australian issues to uncover culturally appropriate and socially responsible resource agreement outcomes for Indigenous people.
“In the wake of the Juukan Gorge destruction, it has become increasingly clear that resource agreements between industry, government and First Nations peoples are not fit for purpose,” Michael said.
He said given major extractive resource companies operate across both the US and Australia, there are often similarities to negotiations around resource projects, like mining, and their corporate social responsibility.
“There is a need for both nations to learn from each other in terms of economic development outlooks and approaches, and to improve the outcomes from royalties, partnerships and agreements.”
Adjunct Professor Amanda Ullman
Professor Ullman’s research focusses on the prevention of harm associated with the most common procedure in paediatric healthcare – the insertion of intravenous (IV) catheters.
As a paediatric intensive care unit nurse, Professor Ullman grew “frustrated” by sick children developing further illness due to their IVs.
“Children already diagnosed with terrible conditions, such as cancer and congenital heart disease, were being harmed by their healthcare experience – developing infections and blood clots that could have been prevented,” Professor Ullman said.
This drove her to make the move to academia and she has since developed a program of research to reduce vascular access-associate harm for children.
“My research has demonstrated the potential for how everyday healthcare practices can prevent vascular access-associate harm in this vulnerable population,” she said.
“This includes how paediatric critical care clinicians select, insert, manage and remove vascular access devices.”
The Professor will spend time at the University of Pennsylvania, where she plans to both learn from American experts and share her knowledge.
“During my Fulbright, I want to learn from more tenacious and compassionate people, from differing professional and personal backgrounds,” Professor Ullman said.
“My dream is to build a future that ensures if any of my children, or their children, need hospital care, they can receive this care without harm.”
Hayman Lui and Aaron Pereira
Doctor of Medicine alumnus Hayman will spend time at clinical practice, education and research organisation Mayo Clinic, while Aaron, who graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in Microelectronics, is heading to NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre.
Griffith University Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans was the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship in 2011, spending time between Washington DC and Atlanta while studying comparative religious freedom and leadership models.