Current Scholars

András Cunningham

Program: HF Communications Intern

Year: 2024

Host Institution: Hungary Foundation

Quote: “I am grateful for this opportunity to help the Hungary Foundation by managing the social media platforms of the HuGo application. It offers me an insight into how to efficiently handle social media accounts and create appealing content.”

Read his introduction here: hungaryfoundation.org

András Cunningham is a Hungarian American who grew up in Bucharest, Romania, and attended the Ady Endre Preschool. Currently, he is a high school senior enrolled in the Visual and Performing Arts Program at Albert Einstein High School, Kensington, MD. Additionally, he is a member of the National Honors Society and has studied digital and studio art throughout high school. Moreover, he will begin his studies at the University of Maryland in the College Park Scholars program his major in Immersive Media and Design.

András’ passion for the digital arts developed when he first opened Adobe Photoshop and began to experiment with the tools within the program.

András speaks Hungarian, English, and Spanish. He has been spending his summers in Central and Eastern Europe to visit family and friends.

In his spare time, he enjoys fishkeeping, fishing, and skateboarding. He is interested in developing a career in digital art and design.

The Hungary Foundation is a solely charitable 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The Foundation pursues its mission and goals by supporting Hungarian-American organizations and by supporting programs that strengthen interaction and cooperation between Hungarian and American citizens and institutions. In particular, the Foundation is focused on supporting cultural, educational and scholarly activities. The Foundation does not participate in political activities, political or election campaigns.

James Carrabino

Program: Budapest Fellowship Program

Year: 2023/24

Host Institution: Committee of National Remembrance

Research Focus: Perceptions of the U.S.A and U.S.S.R in Hungary During the Cold War

Quote: I immediately welcomed the opportunity to continue my intellectual interests in international security in a country that was close to my heart.

Read his introduction here: hungaryfoundation.org

Born in London to an American father and an Australian mother, James has a multicultural background that is defined strongly by his mother’s Hungarian roots. James’s maternal grandparents met en route to Australia in a Hungarian refugee camp in 1952/1953. Their story has inspired James’s interest in the strong presence of Hungarian communities in the English-speaking world, including the impressive rate of representation that people of Hungarian origin enjoy at the highest levels of international industry, academia, and the performing arts.

James completed his undergraduate degree at Yale University, where he double-majored in Global Affairs and Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations. He also studied Piano Performance at the Yale School of Music. James has a particular interest in American foreign policy and international law, and while at Yale he spent summers interning at embassies and think tanks in Washington D.C. In his final year at Yale, he completed a project on the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, which ignited his desire to study the politics of Central Europe more closely. It was through his participation in the “War Studies Program,” hosted jointly by the Hertog Foundation and the Institute for the Study of War in Washington D.C., that James was introduced to the Budapest Fellowship Program.

 

 

The Committee of National Remembrance was established by the Parliament of Hungary, based on the Paragraph U), Section (3) of the Hungarian Constitution, by passing the Act on the Committee of National Remembrance (2013. CCXLI). The Committee’s role under the law is to preserve memory of the communist dictatorship, exploring the operation of power in the communist dictatorship, and to cooperate with the prosecutors in the detection of the circle of perpetrators of imprescriptible crimes, committed during the communist dictatorship.

Meg Hansen

Program: Budapest Fellowship Program

Year: 2023/24

Host Institution:  Danube Institute

Research Focus: The symbolic stories of Hungarian identity-making in the media and arts

Quote: I feel blessed to embark on this important journey of discovery and reflection with the support of my husband and anchor. Rick and I anticipate this immersive cultural experience to be transformational and are grateful that Isten hozott ide minket. [God brought us here].

Read her introduction here: hungaryfoundation.org

Born to a family on the move, Meg grew up in Dallas, Texas, and the Middle East. Raised with a deep appreciation for knowledge and American tradition, she has had the fortune of living many lives. She began her professional career by training as a medical doctor (in an M.B.B.S. program) only to realize that she was called to serve with the pen – not the scalpel.

After graduating with an M.A. in the humanities from Dartmouth College, Meg actively engaged with New England politics. She has held progressively responsible leadership positions in the center-right public policy sphere, most recently serving as president of the Ethan Allen Institute in Vermont.

Meg created a politics-focused local television program called “Dialogues with Meg Hansen,” and has been a frequent columnist in regional newspapers. She owns a communications firm, which promotes civic engagement through multimedia initiatives and innovative art. Her love of aesthetics led her to earn a Master’s degree in material culture studies from the Polimoda Institute of Design in Florence, Italy along with work experience in the European sustainable fashion industry. She is a published poet and Romantic at heart.

The Danube Institute exists to provide an independent center of intellectual debate for conservatives and classical liberals and their democratic opponents in Central Europe. The Institute promotes its aims through two main programs: the publication of studies on issues of public controversy and through seminars, debates, and public lectures. Activities, however, go beyond a purely economic or political agenda to address the cultural and moral topics which increasingly shape attitudes to public policy issues

John Wesley Reid

Program: Budapest Fellowship Program

Year: 2023/24

Host Institution: MCC School of Law

Research Focus: Free Speech and Religious Freedom

Quote: “After hearing about Hungary’s history and how much resilience the people of Hungary have, there was no segue in interest. I was quickly very interested in learning more, and eventually, it led to my participation with the Budapest Fellowship.”

Read his introduction here: hungaryfoundation.org

John Wesley Reid is a native of Southern California who never took interest in a political career as a youth. But after studying political science at Biola University and theology at Liberty University just south of Washington D.C., he realized the imperative need for Christians in the political sphere.

In 2017, John moved to Washington D.C., as a producer with the Christian Broadcasting Network. In this capacity, he focused on the Supreme Court, free speech, and the intersection of faith values in legislation. In his journalism career, John has covered landmark Supreme Court cases such as Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado, Dobbs v. Jackson Whole Women’s Health, 303 Creative v. Elenis, and several more. John has interviewed many members of Congress and political influencers such as Ben Shapiro, Michael Knowles, Megan Basham, Andrew Klavan, and Kristen Waggoner, among many others.

As a community of law students and lawyers who are open to the world and ready to take action, the MCC School of Law strives to prepare students with extensive social connections and social commitments for a successful career in law. They operate a multi-year, comprehensive professional training and talent development system that delivers a meaningful and exciting academic experience.

Thomas Paul Moran

Program: Budapest Fellowship Program

Year: 2023/24

Host Institution: Youth Research Institute

Research Focus: Hungarian Literature and Society

Quote: “I am thrilled and determined to learn about Hungary’s rich literary history, and to do my part in advocating for this nation.”

Read his introduction here: hungaryfoundation.org

Paul’s education includes a bachelor’s in English at Liberty University, an experience which deeply changed his life for the better and brought him on the path to the Fellowship in the coming years. While at Liberty, he was a part of several mission trips to Romania, which eventually led him to develop an interest in Eastern and Central Europe. He later went to the Czech Republic for several months to obtain a TEFL degree.

The Youth Research Institute was established in 2021 in cooperation between Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC) and Nézőpont Institute. MCC is committed to the mission of community building, and understanding generations, especially young people, is a key element to this. As a 25-year-old institution for talent development, MCC has always been involved in social research, but the focus on youth research has been brought even more into focus. The newly created institute has been involved in the educational activities of MCC, and it also intends to have an impact on the professional community through publications, the development of professional partnerships and well-planned, regular media appearances. They also plan to regularly publish research outcomes in peer-reviewed international journals and to build international relations with institutes with a similar profile. The Youth Research Institute seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the mindset of the young generation that is in the focus of the activities of MCC.
The Institute currently has six staff members, led by Levente Székely, a sociologist who also directs the work at the MCC Center for Sociology.

Miklós Leszkó

Program: HF-Quinnipiac Hungarian American Business Leaders Scholarship

Year: 2022/23

Host Institution:  Quinnipiac University

Quote: With the theoretical background which I get from this program and hands–on work experience from American companies, I can improve my skillset and live up to the task to build a better world. I believe in delivering value in every possible way. The American culture of hard work and deep belief in the future can help us to deepen our nations connection both economically and culturally.

Read his introduction here: hungaryfoundation.org

Miklos Leszko obtained a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Obuda University in 2020. During his bachelor studies, he gained experience in development and project management roles at KnorrBremse Fékrendszerek Kft and Vincotech Hungára Kft. At the end of his bachelor studies he earned a Campus Mundi Erasmus Scholarship at Hochschule Esslingen University of Applied Sciences and spent a semester in Esslingen am Neckar, Germany. After finishing his degree, he worked fulltime as a sales support engineer at Reynaers Aluminium Kft in Hungary. He started his Master’s studies as a fulltime Mechanical Engineering Modelling student at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics parallelly with his fulltime job. He obtained his degree in Mechanical Engineering Modelling in 2022.

His technical skillset and interest in business drove him to take a role as an Aftersales Zone Manager at Ford Motor Company where he worked till he joined the Hungarian American Business Leaders Scholarship Program.

Zsolt Jakó

Program: HF-Quinnipiac Hungarian American Business Leaders Scholarship

Year: 2021

Host Institution:  Quinnipiac University

Quote: “Being part of such a wonderful leadership program like the HABL I would like to leverage this opportunity to the fullest and I look forward to giving back to the community that brought me here. I would like to see Hungary at the forefront of change, driving innovation in the industries that matter the most to our future. I hope that the education and work experience I acquire during my time in the US will help elevate the overall competitiveness of my home region.”

Read his introduction here: hungaryfoundation.org

Zsolt was born in Marosvásárhely and completed his High-School education at Bolyai-Farkas Elméleti Líceum there. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from Babeș-Bolyai University

After receiving his Bachelor’s Diploma, he set out to reach new heights in his educational and professional career and started preparing for the HABL Program. In the meantime, he took up Corporate Financial Management Masters to deepen his financial knowledge. He also started pursuing his personal passion, real-estate renovation.

Mónika Palotai

Program: HF-Hudson Visiting Research Fellow

Year: 2021

Host Institution: Hudson Institute Center for Religious Freedom

Research Focus: Religious and Minority Repression in China – protecting religious freedom and promoting democratic sovereignty in Europe

Quote: “I believe in lifelong learning. Whether it is for a career or for personal gratification, the mind and what it is filled with is assuredly one of the most precious assets. And that journey is not only books and schools but family, friends, and experiences as well. Just as Plutarch said ’The correct analogy for the mind is not only a vessel that needs filling but wood that needs igniting.”

Read her introduction here: hungaryfoundation.org

Mónika Palotai started her professional career working as a correspondent for Hungarian media outlets covering worldwide events such as the 2004 Presidential elections in the United States. She obtained her BA degree in 2006 in Communication and Media at the Budapest Business School, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Hungary. After graduating, she relocated to the United Arab Emirates, the Middle East, and began working in international business development. To complement her education and to be more efficient in doing business in the region, she immersed herself in Arabic Language and Culture and Sharia and Islamic Studies at the University of Sharjah.

She developed a passion for the aviation industry that she consulted globally. Her field of expertise includes improving business processes and finding weak spots and value-added solutions. Returning to Budapest, Hungary, she graduated at master’s level in 2018 as an Expert in International Public Service at the University of Public Service, Hungary. Subsequently, she continued her studies at the Ph.D. program of the Doctoral School of Public Administration Sciences as a Hungarian state scholarship holder.

Hudson Institute

Founded in 1961 by strategist Herman Kahn, Hudson Institute challenges conventional thinking and helps manage strategic transitions to the future through interdisciplinary studies in defense, international relations, economics, health care, technology, culture, and law.

Hudson guides public policy makers and global leaders in government and business through a vigorous program of publications, conferences, policy briefings, and recommendations.

Kristóf Veres

Program: Andrássy National Security Fellowship

Year: 2021

Host Institution: Center for Immigration Studies

Research Focus: The current Central American migration crisis utilizing the ongoing European migration crisis as a comparative framework

Quote: “Apart from climate change, mass migration is the single greatest challenge that modern societies face in the 21st century. It keeps you up at night because there is no simple solution that could be universally applied for this complex phenomenon. That’s exactly why modern mass migration is an attractive field of research for me.”

Read his introduction here: hungaryfoundation.org

Kristóf obtained his Philologist in history (BA) diploma in 2014 at the Faculty of Humanities of Eötvös Loránd University. The same year he enrolled in the archivist MA program and joined the History Workshop of Eötvös József Collegium. In 2015 he won the early medieval Hungarian history section of the National Scientific Students’ Associations Conference. After graduating at the master’s level in 2016, he continued his studies at the Auxiliary Sciences of History Ph.D. program as a Hungarian state scholarship holder.

After years of volunteer work, in August 2017 the college of curators of the Trefort-kert Foundation elected him to become the secretary of the institution. His duties included administering and coordinating the day-to-day operation of the Foundation, but also drafting the yearly budget as well as long-term financial and operational planning.

From 2018 Kristof focused his attention on his Ph.D. studies, his research was the 13th-century institutional development of the Hungarian royal chancery whose main function was to execute the sovereign’s will. His research was supported by various grants, most notably the Scholarship of the Republic, and the New Excellence Program of the Ministry of Human Capacities. During his Ph.D. studies he gave conference presentations in English, French, and Hungarian, his papers and reviews were published in anthologies as well as in Hungarian national academic journals. He defended his Ph.D. dissertation summa cum laude in February 2021.

The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit, research organization. Since our founding in 1985 by Otis Graham Jr., they have pursued a single mission – providing immigration policymakers, the academic community, news media, and concerned citizens with reliable information about the social, economic, environmental, security, and fiscal consequences of legal and illegal immigration into the United States. Our staff has testified before Congress over 130 times.

They are the nation’s only think tank devoted exclusively to the research of U.S. immigration policy to inform policymakers and the public about immigration’s far-reaching impact. The Center is animated by a unique pro-immigrant, low-immigration vision which seeks fewer immigrants but a warmer welcome for those admitted.

Dr. Lilla Nóra Kiss

Program: Post-Graduate Visiting Research Fellowship

Year: 2021

Host Institution: Antonin Scalia Law School of George Mason University

Quote: “I firmly believe that my research – focusing on the different approaches and attitudes towards social media regulation in the USA and in the EU – may facilitate the improvement of the Hungarian-American professional relationships. Therefore, it will support the mutual understanding of the different viewpoints of Hungarian-European and US professionals.”

Read her introduction: hungaryfoundation.org

Lilla Nóra Kiss is a Post-Graduate Visiting Research Fellow at the Antonin Scalia Law School of George Mason University. Lilla completed her JD in 2015 at the University of Miskolc, Hungary. During her doctoral studies, she undertook the General and Juridical Mediator course and immersed herself in several international law programs (the Regional Academy on the United Nations (RAUN); the Academy of European Law (AEL) summer schools at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.

Lilla completed her doctorate in 2018 and defended her thesis on the legal issues of Brexit in 2019. In 2020, she completed her third degree in European and International Business Law LLM at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary. In addition to her academic studies, Lilla conducted lectures and seminars on European law, in both English and Hungarian.

She also served as a senior counselor specializing in EU law at the Ministry of Justice, State Secretariat for European Union Affairs in Budapest. As such, she has provided legal advice on institutional matters between the EU and the Member States, on the Future of Europe Conference, and some special topics including social media, which inspired her to apply to the Hungary Foundation’s Liberty Bridge Program. During her one-year post-doctoral research she will undertake a comparative analysis on how the US and the EU approach regulating social media.

The Antonin Scalia Law School is located just a few miles from downtown Washington, D.C., the nexus for the creation of the world’s most important legislation and jurisprudence.

During the past decade, the law school has been in the forefront of curricular innovation. Recognizing the rapid changes that are occurring in legal practice and the legal profession, Scalia Law School has been a pioneer in providing its students with an unique curriculum that gives students correspondingly unique advantages in today’s competitive employment market.

 

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