Olivia Noss, BFA Photography ’22, has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award for the 2023-2024 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
She will travel to Berlin to bring awareness to a lesbian burial ground in the Lutheran Georgen Parochial Cemetery through portraiture and audio archiving as part of her project Paying Homage: Queer Lineage, Legacy and Spiritual Remembrance. Noss plans to research the history of Berlin’s queer activism using the library and archives at Spinnboden and the Gender Studies library at Humboldt University and by conducting interviews with the Safia Association, a group of older lesbians that campaigned for the burial grounds, and younger members of Berlin’s lesbian community. The ensuing portraits will be developed and printed in the darkroom of Kulturwerk’s Druckwerkstatt of bbk Berlin and will be combined in a photobook to be displayed at the Schwules Museum and the Pratt Institute photography gallery.
“In showcasing this series in different ways, I intend to reach American and German queer youth alike, as well as people less immersed in queer politics,” Noss said.
Noss is one of more than 2,000 U.S. students, artists, and early career professionals who received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to study, teach English, and conduct research overseas.
Since Pratt began applying to the Fulbright Program in 1949, it has collectively received 55 grants and research scholarships for study in countries including Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Belize, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam.
In 2018, the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) began advising on Fulbright applications, and Pratt Institute has prioritized involving students in the program. This February, The Chronicle of Higher Education named Pratt among the “Top Producers of Fulbright U.S. Scholars and Students, 2022-23,” ranking it in the top ten of four-year special-focus institutions.
The Fulbright advisor at Pratt is Deborah Yanagisawa, associate director of career development and engagement. “We look forward to this year’s cycle which is now open for students and alumni to receive assistance with their applications,” she said. “We hope many will take this opportunity and apply.” Yanagisawa added that those interested in learning more can schedule an appointment by emailing her. The campus deadline for submissions is Sept. 11, while the final national deadline for submissions is Oct. 10.
Previous Fulbright recipients from Pratt include Diana Kokoszka, MArch ’15, for research in Mauritania in 2018; Ali Shrago-Spechler, BFA Painting ‘11, for research in Germany in 2020-2021; and T. Craig Sinclair, MArch ’16, for research in Norway in 2021-22. All Fulbright semifinalists are considered by the supervising agency or U.S. embassy in the host country, with finalists announced in the spring.