In 2006 Claire and Steven Schwartz established the Fulbright Gregory Schwartz Enrichment Grants in memory of their son Gregory Schwartz who had a love of history and a strong interest in the United States. I’ve been awarded this $1,250 grant to help enrich my Fulbright experience in the United States.
Update: My travels, thanks to the Gregory Schwartz Enrichment Grant, were more productive and beneficial than I could have predicted. I attended a conference, visited cultural and historical sites in New York and Washington, DC, and met with the staff of Senator Jay Rockefeller on Capitol Hill.
At the Annual Conference of the National Institute of Justice in Arlington, Virginia, I made contact with US academics in my field and fingerprint representatives from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The conference theme was broad, so attending was a good opportunity to see how my research fits with broader justice issues.
I travelled to Washington, DC, via New York and visited the NYU campus in Manhattan. In DC, I visited several cultural and historical sights. Because of Gregory Schwartz’s interest in history, I felt compelled to visit the National Archives and “Study the Past”, as inscribed on a sculpted figure standing beside the Pennsylvania Avenue entrance; I viewed the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in the Rotunda. Still on the tourist trail, I visited the Washington Monument, World War Two Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, National Air and Space Museum, National Gallery of Art, White House and Department of Justice. And, whilst touring George Washington University, I visited Fulbright Hall—renamed in his honour in 1996. These visits have enriched my US cultural experience.
The highlight of my trip was meeting with Senator Jay Rockefeller’s staff on Capitol Hill. Rockefeller is introducing a bill— the Forensic Science and Standards Act of 2012—to promote research and reform in the forensic sciences. The content of the bill is exactly aligned with my research agenda, and my Fulbright plans in particular. The staff asked for copies of my published research and asked me to formally comment on the legislation in preparation for Senate Committee markup. I was honoured to make a contribution and hope my suggestions make it into the next round!