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Educational Policy Studies News

Two from School receive prestigious Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Awards

October 19, 2018
by UW-Madison International Division communications

Seven students from across UW-Madison — including two from the School of Education — have been selected as recipients of the highly competitive Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Awards.

UW–Madison boasts the highest number of DDRA awardees of any university in the nation for 2018, according to information released by the U.S. Department of Education.

Fulbright-Hays DDRA Awards provide funds to doctoral students to conduct doctoral research outside the United States in foreign languages and area studies for up to 12 months. The awards are funded through the U.S. Department of Education’s International and Foreign Language Education office.

“These are prestigious awards that speak volumes about the caliber of the awardees and the strength of programming offered by the university,” said Guido Podestá, vice provost and dean of UW–Madison’s International Division. “These students will be developing expertise in area studies and languages that are vital for the state and nation. I am pleased they will have this exceptional opportunity.”

All seven UW–Madison DDRA recipients will begin their research in the coming year. The two student from the School of Education who received these awards are:

Diana Famakinwa, Nigeria (8 months), advised by Lesley Bartlett, Educational Policy Studies.

“Africa’s secret weapon — A case study of diaspora engagement in Nigerian higher education.”

Famakinwa will examine the engagement of the African diaspora in the development and internationalization of higher education in Nigeria and its implications for Nigeria’s place in the “global knowledge economy.”

Choua Xiong, Thailand (12 months), advised by Stacey Lee, Educational Policy Studies.

“Activating Hmongness in Thai Schools – Hmong Negotiation of Citizenship and Belonging in Northern Thailand.”

Xiong’s dissertation examines how HMoob (Hmong) youth navigate exclusionary educational practices of citizenship and belonging in Phetchabun Province, Thailand. Xiong will observe and participate in youth activities inside and outside of school spaces focusing on how students, teachers, and the HMoob community talk about culture, national belonging, and citizenship rights and responsibilities.

For more information about the Fulbright-Hays DDRA Award and everyone from across UW-Madison who is receiving this award, check out this International Division news release.

To learn about all Fulbright offerings at UW–Madison, contact Mark Lilleleht at

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