Nine from Latvia receive Fulbright scholarships for U.S. studies

Five students and four researchers from Latvian universities are the recipients of the latest Fulbright scholarships that will allow them to pursue their academic interests in America, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Rīga has announced.

The scholarships cover all expenses during their stay in the United States, as well as round-trip airfare to and from Rīga.

The nine Fulbright fellows were scheduled to be honored in a July 15 reception in the U.S. Embassy.

“I admire the enthusiasm with which these talented individuals have pursued their research and studies,” Bruce Rogers, U.S. charge d’affaires, said in a press release. “They are a talented group of individuals. Many of the former Fulbright fellows from Latvia have gone on to become leaders in politics, business and the (nongovernmental organization) sector. I am confident that we will hear similar success stories in the future from this group.”

Recipients of the Fulbright scholarships for the next academic year include:

  • Agnese Irkle, who will work toward her doctorate in pharmacology at the University of Texas, Austin.
  • Liene Ločmele, a lecturer from Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, who will work toward a doctorate in communication at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
  • Jevgēņijs Babaicevs, studying for a master’s degree in economics at New York University.
  • Madara Apsalone, who will work toward a master’s of business administration in global management at the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Ariz.
  • Kaspars Bērziņš, chairman of the board of Zeno Consulting Ltd., who will work toward a master’s degree in public administration at Syracuse University in New York.
  • Anna Mežaka, a scientific assistant in biology at University of Latvia, will conduct research at Oregon State University. The theme of her research is “Epiphytic Bryophyte and Lichen Community Ecology in Temperate Forest Ecosystems.”
  • Juris Žvikovs, assistant professor at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music, will teach piano performance at California Institute of the Arts.
  • Ivars Ījabs, assistant professor of social sciences at University of Latvia, will conduct research at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The theme of his research is “Politics of Memory and Democratization: The Role of Civil Society.”
  • Arturs Kučs, head of the International Law department at the University of Latvia, will conduct research at the University of Connecticut. The theme of his research is “Balancing the Freedom of Expression and Hate Speech: Legal Doctrine and Case-Law in the United States.”

The next competition for Fulbright scholarships will be announced in August, an embassy spokesperson said.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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