On January 25, 2019, American Fulbrighters met in Sofia for their mid-year conference, “One Hundred Days in Bulgaria”. 3 scholars, 4 student researchers and 32 English teaching assistants came together to share their experiences and achievements so far. Special guests to the event were Matthew Hagengruber, Cultural Affairs Officer and Robert Kelty, Regional Security Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Sofia, Nancy Shiller, President of the “America for Bulgaria” Foundation, the Foundation’s entire Education Programs team – director Natalia Miteva and program assistants Stanislava Staneva and Irina Ilieva, Zornitsa Georgieva and Kalin Mutavchiev, experts from the Transnational Research Initiatives Department at the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science, Dr. Ronald Harvey and Jesse Scinto, Fulbright scholar program alumni, Boryana Dzhambazova, Tzvetelina Hristova, and Ivan Radev from “Media Literacy in the Classroom”, an initiative of the Association of European Journalists – Bulgaria in partnership with Fulbright, and Anna Joukivskaia, psychologist and AUBG admissions councilor.
After enjoying the scholars’ project presentations and the creative and often hilarious 2-minute videos, made by the ETAs, the group participated in a workshop on Persuasive speaking, led by Jesse Scinto, a lecturer in Columbia University’s graduate Strategic Communication program. In 2018, Mr. Scinto was a Fulbright U.S. Scholar at the American University in Bulgaria, teaching courses of AUBG’s Executive MBA program. Later in the afternoon, grantees were introduced to sCool Media – the new online platform for student journalism, which launched just yesterday, on February 3, with over 30 essays, podcasts and videos, submitted by students from around the country.
The group split in the late afternoon with ETAs staying for a session on Cultural Adjustment and Teen Psychology with psychologists Anna Joukivskaia and Ron Harvey, while scholars and researchers enjoyed some teambuilding activities at Bread House Sofia.
The event concluded with the already famous Fulbright Party and Talent Show, which celebrated its 5th anniversary with a record number of 15 American and Bulgarian performers, one of whom was an artist live-painting the event! American and Bulgarian grantees and alumni, and partners, sponsors and friends of the Fulbright program in Bulgaria celebrated the mid-year milestone and enjoyed some very talented musical jazz, pop and folk performances in Bulgarian, English, and Arabic, as well as some comedy and tricks! Please stay tuned for some videos from the evening, which will be posted to our Facebook page soon.