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miércoles, 29 de noviembre 2023
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Nine members of the UdeA community won Fulbright 2023 scholarships

By: Julián David Ospina Sánchez - Journalist

The academic and research merits of nine members of the UdeA family were awarded by the Colombia Fulbright Commission, which granted them scholarships to continue their education at renowned universities in the United States. Universidad de Antioquia is among the five institutions with the most scholarship recipients chosen by this binational organization that promotes collaborative research, academic mobility and cultural cooperation.

The grantees from left to right: Tania Jaimes; Maure Aguirre, UdeA graduate and professor; Paola Hincapié; María Camila Salamandra, UdeA graduate; and Catalina Quintero. Photo: Colombia Fulbright Commission.

In the second semester of 2023, nine members of the UdeA community will be starting master's or doctoral degrees or research and teaching periods in several of the most renowned universities in the United States. "They are the winners of the Colombia Fulbright Commission grants, who presented research projects relevant to the bilateral relationship between Colombia and the United States," said Marcela Garcés Valderrama, director of International Relations at Universidad de Antioquia. 

The Colombia Fulbright Commission is a joint work organization between the Colombian and U.S. governments. Its objectives are collaborative research, academic mobility and cultural cooperation so that grantees become agents of change and engines of global development. "The grant has an essential commitment: What is discovered and explored must reach our communities to contribute to their struggles," said Maure Carolina Aguirre Ortega, UdeA professor and winner of the Fulbright Minciencias.


In addition to the beneficiaries from Universidad de Antioquia, the 2023 cohort comprises 68 scholarship recipients from institutions throughout the country: 66% from public universities and 34% from private universities. "Public universities are the best thing the country has. They are an opportunity for the excluded to have a place in the educational system," said María Camila Salamandra Arriaga, a UdeA graduate and winner of the Fulbright Afrodescendant Communities Award.

In this call for applications, UdeA ranked among the top five universities with the most selected students. Nine students were elected, which is equivalent to 12% of the scholarship recipients. "This means that we are generating relationships that make Universidad de Antioquia more visible and position it better abroad," said Garcés Valderrama.

Also in the ranking are Universidad Nacional de Colombia with 29% of the beneficiaries, Universidad de los Andes with 12%, Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas with 4%, and Universidad del Valle with 4%.

"Being part of Universidad de Antioquia and having this opportunity puts me in the obligation to show more young people that, regardless of the difficulties, there are possible paths for personal and professional development," noted Robinson Garcés Marín, a UdeA professor who will pursue a PhD in Business at Emory University.

Other figures for the 2023 cohort specify that 76% of the grantees are under 35, 62% are men, 38% are women, and 54% are first generation: first ones in their family to complete university studies.

The 76 grantees began the process with a course to improve their academic English and learn about the culture of the United States. Photo: Colombia Fulbright Commission.

International projection

The participation in the Fulbright calls and the associative work with this bilateral organization, which includes visits from international experts and strengthening scientific cooperation, are part of the turn that is being given to the internationalization of Universidad de Antioquia. "We no longer see international relations as a simple mobility process but as a response to the strategic commitments of the institution, the region, the country and global development," explained Garcés Valderrama. 

According to UdeA professor Aguirre Ortega, "Taking a doctorate in the United States is an opportunity to explore other ways of seeing the world, define one's own identity and be involved in future research projects that apply to the institution."

Similarly, for Professor Garcés Marín, "Returning to Colombia with a doctorate from a U.S. university will allow me to make high-quality contributions of great impact on the national academic environment."

The University's commitment to academic excellence and the search for and strategic dissemination of opportunities converge with the promotion of the capacities the Fulbright Commission seeks so that the relevance of the programs and internships can directly impact the territories.

Thus, work such as graduate María Camila Salamandra Arriaga's in the AfroUdeA collective expands and takes new directions in the Master's Degree in International Relations Focused on Peacebuilding that she will pursue at the University of Notre Dame. "Because at Universidad de Antioquia, everything flourishes, and new challenges are born," concluded Salamandra Arriaga.

Robinson Garcés Marín will return to the country as a doctor in business from Emory University. Photo: Robinson Garcés

The chosen ones 

These are the eight members of the UdeA community selected by the Colombia Fulbright Commission for the 2023 cohort:

Fulbright Minciencias Award: UdeA professor Maure Carolina Aguirre Ortega. She will take the Language, Culture and Society Doctorate at Pennsylvania State University.

Fulbright Minciencias Award: UdeA professor Robinson Garcés Marín. He will pursue a PhD in Business at Emory University.

Fulbright Visiting Researcher Grant: UdeA professor Ricardo León Gómez Yepes will work at Northern Illinois University.

Fulbright Visiting Researcher Grant: UdeA professor Henry Colorado Lopera will work at the University of California.

Fulbright DPS Jóvenes en Acción Grant: UdeA graduate Francisco Javier Moreno. He will study for a Master's Degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Mississippi.  

Fulbright Afrodescendant Communities Award: UdeA graduate María Camila Salamandra Arriaga. She will study for a Master's Degree in International Relations Focused on Peacebuilding at the University of Notre Dame.

Fulbright Afrodescendant Community Award: UdeA graduate Sedney Shahad Suárez Gordon. He will study for a Doctorate in Interdisciplinary Humanities at the University of California, Merced.

Fulbright Colombian Doctoral Student: UdeA student Laura Cano Arboleda. She will have her PhD in Environmental Engineering from Universidad de Antioquia qualified at the University of Florida.

Fulbright Colombian Doctoral Student: UdeA graduate Diana Carolina Toro Henao will have her PhD in Literature from Universidad de los Andes qualified at Brown University.


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