2008 Grantees

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and mtvU have announced the winners of the 2008-2009 Fulbright-mtvU Fellowships, awarded to promote “the power of music” as a global force for mutual understanding. These five grantees will conduct research abroad for one academic year on projects of their own design, around an aspect of international musical culture. They will share their experiences during their Fulbright year via video reports, blogs and podcasts.

Fulbright-mtvU 2008-2009 Blue Ribbon Panel 

Blue Ribbon Panel

Mold-breakers from all corners of the music industry, including Wyclef Jean, Serj Tankian from System of a Down, Tunde Adebimpe from TV on the Radio and Karen O from Yeah Yeah Yeahs, signed on to help us pick the mtvU-Fulbright fellows below.

Alexis Tucker 

Alexis Tucker

School: Princeton University
Major: French and African Studies
Country Visiting: France

Alexis Tucker, who graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in French and African Studies in May 2008, is traveling in France to study how socially engaged French rap music and hip-hop culture has addressed the aftermath of the 2005 riots and the French election. She will produce a multimedia presentation and a documentary that reflect the political role of hip-hop in France.

Katie Day Good 

Katie Day Good

School: Loyola University
Major: Anthropology and Asian Studies
Country Visiting: Mexico

Katie Day Good, who graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a B.S. in Anthropology and Asian Studies, is traveling in Mexico to produce podcasts that anthropologically explore the Mexican youth renaissance of performing various pre-rock music styles. Working with the School of Mexican Music in Mexico City and the danzon and son jarocho of Veracruz, Ms. Good’s podcasts will serve Mexico as documents of a new cultural trend.

Melissa Adams 

Melissa Adams

School: Emory University
Major: Public Health
Country Visiting: Uganda

Melissa Adams, who graduated from Emory University with a Masters in Public Health, is traveling in Uganda to work on a Hip-Hop Therapy Project in which war- and AIDS-affected youth in Northern Uganda learn to beat box, break dance, and create hip-hop with local instruments. She will conduct an assessment of the children’s needs and available resources and use the data to determine how best to further meet their psychosocial needs through hip-hop.

Ainsley Breault 

Ainsley Breault

School: University of Southern California
Major: Communication
Country Visiting: New Zealand

Ainsley Breault, who graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Communication and minor in Cinema-Television, is traveling to New Zealand to research the role of music in keeping the Maori population at the forefront of society. She will culminate the academic year by obtaining a one-year certificate in Maori music and chronicle two significant Maori music events, sharing her findings through two 30 minute rockumentary-style digital videos.

Specer Orey 

Spencer Orey

School: University of California, Berkeley
Major: Anthropology
Country Visiting: Mali

Spencer Orey, who graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Anthropology, is traveling to Mali. There he will study the rich tradition of griot musicians who are known as living embodiments of cultural knowledge. He will also examine their role in Mali’s transition to democracy. From his findings he will create a compilation of music.

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