The U.S. embassy in Ulaanbaatar organized the pre-departure orientation for the 2011 new Mongolian Fulbright grantees on Wednesday, June 23, 2011 in conjunction with the Mongolian Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.
The event was opened by Mongolian Minister of Education, Culture and Science Mr. Otgonbayar who noted that what Mongolia needs most is open-minded, internationally competent, and caring professionals and said to the grantees that the Ministry and the Government of Mongolia will be looking forward to welcoming them back upon the completion of their studies in America and seeing them contributing to Mongolia’s development. U.S. Ambassador Jonathan Addleton and the former Public Affairs Officer (PAO) Ms. Marissa Maurer took part in the event and the Ambassador congratulated the new Fulbrighters and wished them the best of success as they pursue their studies in America. This year marks the first Mongolia and America joint Fulbright program. Upon the 16th anniversary of the start of the Fulbright program in Mongolia, the government of Mongolia signed a contract with the Fulbright Foundation to sponsor 10 Mongolians to study in the U.S. on the Fulbright program in the year of 2011. Thus, this year, with the contribution of the Mongolian government, total of 16 Mongolians are granted the prestigious Fulbright scholarship and are leaving to the U.S. to pursue masters degrees.
Additionally, Ms. Ariuntsatsral and Ms. Uurtsaikh were invited to the event to share their experiences as former Fulbrighters to assist the new grantees in adapting to the new academic and social environment in the U.S. once they embark on a journey in a country widely known as “the land of freedom and opportunity.”
Yo. Otgonbayar, Minister of Education, Culture and Science handing certificates to Fulbright students
The event held a very pleasant surprise. After presenting the grant certificates to the new Fulbrighters, Mr. Otgonbayar announced that the Government of Mongolia is awarding a state honor of “Outstanding Cultural Contribution” to the PAO Marissa Maurer for her work and contribution to advance cultural and educational programs between the two countries during her three years of service in Mongolia. Marissa, after working as a PAO at the U.S. Embassy for three years, 2008-2011, left Mongolia to continue her work with the State Department in Washington D.C and the Embassy and the Public Affairs Section is delighted to welcome its new Public Affairs Officer Ms. Allyson Algeo.
Fulbright Department of State students at the briefing, at Embassy