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Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad

Purchase College is proud to have been awarded a Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad grant, funding curriculum development and language immersion in Benin, West Africa for Purchase faculty and K–12 teachers. Meet the grant awardees, learn about their curricula, as well as about Purchase’s other Fulbright initiatives.

The Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Award

The Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad (GPA) grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, funded six Purchase College faculty members and  five K-12 teachers to participate in a four-week curriculum development and immersive foreign language program in Benin, West Africa, in the summer of 2023. Among the grant awardees, there are four Purchase alumni.

Participants explored the intersection of Beninese languages, culture, history, educational systems, politics and more, infusing the courses they currently teach and creating new ones. They will ultimately share resources with other educators through an open educational resource platform, expanding the reach of the program.

Purchase’s Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad was facilitated in Benin by a number of the college’s international partners, including the African School of Economics, the Zinsou Foundation, Centre Wâlo, and Atchê Binon Art & Culture.


  • Diana Cassells

    Diana Cassells

    Assistant Professor of Political Science, School of Natural and Social Sciences
  • Caleb Dowden

    Caleb Dowden

    The Willow School NOLA + The New Orleans Ballet Association
    Dance: K - 4th Grade
  • Cassandra Hooper

    Cassandra Hooper

    Professor of Printmaking and Interim Director, School of Art+Design
  • Nancy Larsen

    Nancy Larsen

    Brooklyn New School / PS 146
    General Education: 3rd Grade
  • Krystal Perkins

    Krystal M. Perkins

    Associate Professor of Psychology and Global Black Studies, School of Natural and Social Sciences
  • Mariel Rodney

    Mariel Rodney

    Associate Professor of English and Global Literatures, School of Humanities
  • Awa Diop

    Awa Diop

    New York French-American Charter School, NYC
    French Literacy and Social Studies: 4th Grade
  • Reginald Eldridge

    Reginald Eldridge Jr

    Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School
    AP United States History, American Government and Politics, Global Studies: 11th - 12th Grade
  • Julian Kreimer

    Julian Kreimer

    Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing, School of Art + Design
  • Lisa Jean Moore

    Lisa Jean Moore

    Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies, School of Natural and Social Sciences
  • Caroline Pomietlarz

    Caroline Pomietlarz

    High School of Computers and Technology, Bronx
    Special Education, English Language and Literature, English Language Arts, Integrated Classroom Teaching: 9th-10th Grade

Key Personnel

Fulbright Sweep

With the Fulbright-Hays Award, Purchase College has reached a milestone with the Fulbright program. In the past year and a half, Purchase sponsored students in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, a faculty member in the U.S. Scholar Program, a visiting Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence, and now the Fulbright-Hays Group Project Award.

Purchase College is proud to have been named a Fulbright HSI Leader for the second year in a row by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), because of our noteworthy engagement with Fulbright programs. Purchase is one of only three primarily undergraduate institutions to be selected for this honor in 2023-24.

Read more about each below.

Fulbright Stories

David Bassuk professor of acting, received Fulbright U.S. Program award for 2023-24, traveling Salzburg, Austria, exploring immersive storytelling.

Purchase College Named a 2022 Fulbright HSI Leader, acknowledged for noteworthy engagement with Fulbright programs. One of only five undergraduate schools receive this honor.

Purchase College Earns a Competitive Fulbright-Hays Award, grant funding curriculum development and language immersion in Benin for faculty and K-12 teachers.

Marcel Gbeffa, an internationally renowned Beninese dancer and choreographer was named a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence (S-I-R) for the Conservatory of Dance for 2022-23.

William Byram ’20 (Dance) received a Fulbright Trinity Laban Award in Dance to pursue an MFA in Choreography in the United Kingdom for the 2021–2022 academic year to study at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

Caleb Dowden ’21 (Dance) received a Fulbright Study Research Award in the Creative/Performing Arts for study in Benin.

Laura Ricciardi, assistant professor of arts management and lecturer in entrepreneurship in the arts, won a Fulbright Award to teach at the University of Messina in Sicily, Italy, ​during the 2021-22 academic year.

Gbeffa returns to campus after (T)HERE: Collaborate—An Artistic Residency in 2019.

More About Fulbright Programs

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program creates connections in a complex and changing world. In partnership with more than 140 countries worldwide, the program offers unparalleled opportunities in all academic disciplines to passionate and accomplished graduating college seniors, graduate students, and young professionals from all backgrounds.

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program offers over 800 awards in more than 135 countries for U.S. citizens to teach, conduct research and carry out professional projects around the world. College and university faculty, as well as artists and professionals from a wide range of fields can join over 400,000 Fulbrighters who have come away with enhanced skills, new connections, and greater mutual understanding.

The Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence (S-I-R) Program is a unique Fulbright Scholar Program initiative that is specifically driven by the goals of U.S. institutions of higher education to enhance internationalization efforts on their campuses. Through the S-I-R Program, institutions host a scholar from outside of the United States for a semester or full academic year to teach courses, assist in curriculum development, guest lecture, develop study abroad/exchange partnerships and engage with the campus and the local community.

Fulbright-Hays Programs provide overseas funding to current and prospective U.S. educators to participate in advanced overseas study and research. The GPA program contributes to the development and improvement of the study of modern foreign languages and area studies in the United States by providing training opportunities for faculty, teachers, and upperclassmen and/or graduate students in foreign countries outside of Western Europe and where the United States has diplomatic representation. Awards are made under the program to conduct overseas group projects in research, training, curriculum development, and advanced foreign language study.

Fulbright Programs at Purchase College are administered by Anne Kern, Dean for Global Strategy and International Programs, through the Office for Global Education.