BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MICH., March 17, 2016 — The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs recently announced the U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most 2015-2016 Fulbright U.S. Students, and once again, Cranbrook Academy of Art was ranked as a top producer. With another grant received last year, Academy students have now received a total of 26 grants over the past 12 years, making the Academy, per capita, the highest producer of student Fulbright scholars in the United States.
The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Top-producing institutions are highlighted annually in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Kathryn Zazenski (Sculpture ’14) is the most recent Academy graduate to receive an award, taking her to Poland. According to Zazenski’s proposal, her plan was to “work with researchers at the Warsaw-based Space Research Center, Pi of the Sky, and the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center to learn what space data is being collected and how, as well as its real-life implications for our daily lives. I will study their methodologies and create my own tools and data. My tools will then be used to record audio and visual data that will be turned into video installations. I will work to develop public programming that includes film screenings and exhibitions that feature optical and natural phenomena. Their subjects will focus on how artists and scientists work to continually re-shape our perceptions of the ordinary.”
She has spent the past seven months studying in Poland and has found herself far more excited by the personal connections to this type of work than the mechanical. “I have been working primarily within a community of astronomers and physicists here in Warsaw. Having logged countless hours in conversation, visiting labs, research centers, etc., I have found that I am much more inspired by the theoretical and philosophical aspects of these scientific fields, and the emotional relationship between and researcher and his/her work. These insights have become the fuel for several series of photography-based work and sound-based installations.”
Her work has also included several public programs. “I have given public lectures and will be participating in several forthcoming events/conferences, including the forthcoming Lean In STEM conference, supporting women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. I am also currently developing a month-long workshop focused on vibration to be held in Warsaw this September in collaboration with the Berlin-based School of Machines, Making, and Make Believe.”
This experience has been incredibly enriching to both her practice and to her personally. “I have developed a deep connection to this city and have grown to love it in a very short time. I feel incredibly lucky to be in the company of so many incredibly inspired, passionate, curious, and supportive people, within both my Fulbright cohort and the greater Varsavian community.”
Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 360,000 participants—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Over 1,900 U.S. students, artists and young professionals in more than 100 different fields of study are offered Fulbright Program grants to study, teach English, and conduct research annually. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program operates in over 140 countries throughout the world. Lists of Fulbright recipients are available at: www.fulbrightonline.org/us.
For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit http://eca.state.gov/fulbright.