U.S. Embassy Celebrates Exchange Program Awards

Riga, June 15, 2017 – Today, Sharon Hudson-Dean, Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Riga, will honor this year’s exchange program recipients for the Fulbright, Humphrey, and Benjamin Franklin fellowships, as well as the Studies of the United States Institute (SUSI), Baltic American Freedom Foundation Fellowships and Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program.

Fulbright fellowships are being awarded to four students and two scholars from Latvia to study and conduct research in the United States. In addition, one mid-career professional will receive fellowship to study in the United States through the Humphrey fellowship. SUSI will send two undergraduate students to the U.S. this summer, 21 individuals will receive Baltic American Freedom Foundation fellowships to conduct research, participate in an internship, and Summer Leadership Academy in the United States and 14 high school students will receive Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) fellowships. (Please see the attached fact sheet for this year’s recipient names, affiliations, and U.S. host institutions.)

U.S. government-funded exchange programs in Latvia include:

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship academic exchange program, which has provided more than 300,000 participants worldwide with the opportunity to exchange ideas and observe each other’s cultures and political and economic institutions.  Since 1991, the United States has offered Fulbright fellowships to more than 196 outstanding scholars and students from Latvia. Fulbright Foreign Student Fellowship recipients undertake graduate studies at U.S. universities. Fulbright Visiting Scholar Fellowship recipients conduct research and lecture in the United States.

The Humphrey Fellowship is a mid-level professional program that includes graduate studies at U.S. universities and a professional internship.

The Benjamin Franklin Fellowship is a program in which recipients take part in a four-week seminar for high school students from across Europe focused on leadership development and the fundamentals of U.S.-EU relations.

The SUSI Fellowship is a scholarship which provides in a four-week exchange program for undergraduate students.

The FLEX Fellowship is a year-long academic exchange program for secondary students who study in U.S. high schools and live with American families.

The Baltic American Freedom Foundation (BAFF) mission is to enrich the ties between the United States and Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, through education and exchange programs centering on economic growth and democratic processes.  BAFF offers various scholarship opportunities in the United States to residents of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.  Current American scholarship opportunities include: the Professional Internship Program for university students and recent graduates; the Research Scholarship Program for professors and others in academia and Summer Leadership Academy for high school students.

The U.S. Embassy encourages students, scholars, and professionals in Latvia to apply for 2018 fellowships. The deadline for the Humphrey Fellowship Program and the Fulbright Student Fellowship applications is September 4; the deadline for the Fulbright Scholars program is November 14. Application forms and more details for Fulbright and Humphrey fellowships and other exchange programs are available on the U.S. Embassy Riga’s website https://lv.usembassy.gov/

FACT SHEET: Fulbright, Humphrey, SUSI, Benjamin Franklin, TEA, FLEX and BAFF Grantees for Academic Year 2017-2018.
Fulbright Visiting Scholars:
  • Prof. Ineta Balode, Professor at Germanic Studies Department, University of Latvia will conduct research at University of California, Berkeley on “Sociolinguistics – a Bridge between Times, Cultures and Languages”.
  • Dr. Jānis Zaķis, Senior Researcher at Riga Technical University will conduct research at University of Wisconsin, Madison on “Research, development and implementation of advanced control methods in grid connected impedance source based power electronic converter”.
Fulbright Student Fellowship recipients:
  • Ms. Anna Žabicka, EU education project specialist, Association Eurofortis will work towards her MA in Anthropology at Wayne State University.
  • Mr. Jānis Sarāns, Lawyer at Law firm Vilgerts will work towards his master’s (LLM) degree in Law at Pepperdine University.
  • Ms. Agnese Gerharde, Senior Desk Officer of International Law Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs will work towards his master’s (LLM) degree in Law at Fordham University.
  • Mr. Ivars Šteinbergs, Journalist from news portal Delfi will work towards his master’s degree in Comparative Literature at State University of New York, Binghamton.
Humphrey Fellowship recipient:
  • Ms. Līva Liepiņa, Consultant at State Chancellery of the Republic of Latvia will study Human Resource Management at Syracuse University.
Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows:
  • Ms. Kristiana Kalniņa, Student from Jelgava Spīdola Gymnasium, will travel to Wake Forest University to participate in the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship program for high school students.
Study of the United States Institute (SUSI) Fellowship recipients:
  • Ms. Diāna Bukēviča, Student from Riga Graduate School of Law, will travel to University of South Carolina to participate in the SUSI on Environmental Issues.
  • Mr. Jānis Bērziņš, Student from Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, will travel to University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to participate in the SUSI on Social Entrepreneurship.
FLEX Students:
  • Ms. Ligita Ābele, Student from Ķegums Commercial Secondary School will study at Edwardsville High School, Edwardsville, IL.
  • Ms. Herta Bagante, Student from Ķekava High School will study at A.C. Davis High School, Yakima, WA.
  • Ms. Ramona Inta Eizentāle, Student from Rīga State Gymnasium No. 3.
  • Ms. Elizabete Sanda Eze, Student from Rīga French Lyceum.
  • Ms. Anete Jodzeviča, Student from Rīga Secondary School No. 25.
  • Ms. Benita Helēna Kauliņa, Student from Rīga State Gymnasium No. 3 will study at Wekiva High School, Apopka, FL.
  • Mr. Gustavs Atis Klāvis, Student from Āgenskalna State Gymnasium.
  • Mr. Roberts Niklāvs Muskars, Student from Zvejniekciems Secondary School.
  • Ms. Paula Niedinga, Student from Mārupe High School.
  • Ms. Rasma Ormane, Student from Daugavpils State Gymnasium.
  • Ms. Margarita Pashnina, Student from Rīga Classical Gymnasium.
  • Ms. Anna Siline, Student from Priekule High School will study at Chenango Valley High School, Binghamton, NY.
  • Ms. Anna Paula Spriedēja, Student from J.Čakstes Liepāja City Secondary School 10 will study at Grand Haven High School, Grand Haven, MI.
  • Ms. Beāte Sprindžuka, Student from Daugavpils State Gymnasium.
BAFF Fellows:

For Research:

  • Ms. Inga Spriņģe will create a syllabus for “New media Management Course” in the University of Columbia.

For professional internships:

  • Mr. Dmitrijs Brizgalovs will focus on corporate finance.
  • Ms. Anete Kalniņa will focus on construction engineering.
  • Mr. Helmuts Kleins will focus on international commercial arbitration.
  • Mr. Kaspars Purmalietis will focus on IT product management.
  • Mr. Jānis Skrīveris will focus on financial analysis.
  • Ms. Kristīne Zolnere will focus on food technology.
  • Mr. Aldis Zaļaiskalns will focus on road construction.
  • Mr. Vladimirs Krupeiņikovs will focus on road and bridge design.
  • Mr. Aivars Andris Vītols will focus on risk management.
  • Ms. Sabīne Skarule will focus on fashion design management.

Leadership Academy:

  • Mr. Rodijs Ronis, Student from Āgenskalna State Gymnasium.
  • Ms. Alīna Anete Birnika, Student from Ogre Secondary School No. 1.
  • Ms. Marta Paula Vinerte, Student from Rīga English Gymnasium.
  • Mr. Indriķis Rusovs, Student from Rīga State Gymnasium No. 1.
  • Ms. Maija Ziemele, Student from Liepāja State Gymnasium No. 1.
  • Mr. Roberts Kustavus, Student from Rīga State Gymnasium No. 1.
  • Mr. Oskars Ludbārzs, Student from Rīga State Gymnasium No. 1.
  • Mr. Lauris Zalva, Student from Jēkabpils State Gymnasium.
  • Mr. Egils Arvids Skruzmanis, Student from Viesīte Secondary School.
  • Mr. Mārtiņš Kaukulis, Student from Valka Jāņa Cimzes Gymnasium.