Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) has been recognized as a Fulbright Top Producer by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for being one of the colleges and universities with the highest number of faculty and administrators selected for the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Two scholars from KCAI were selected for Fulbright awards for the academic year 2023-24. KCAI becomes the first art college in Missouri to hold the prestigious title, joining an illustrious list of higher education institutions that value global connection and support members of their campus communities to pursue international opportunities.

“Fulbright’s Top Producing Institutions represent the diversity of America’s higher education community. Dedicated administrators support students and scholars at these institutions to fulfill their potential and rise to address tomorrow’s global challenges. We congratulate them and all the Fulbrighters who are making an impact the world over,” said Lee Satterfield, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The two KCAI Fulbright Scholars for the 2023-2024 academic year are professors Laura Berman and Cyrus Console-Soican, studying in Australia and Romania, respectively.

Professor Laura Berman is faculty in the Printmaking Department at KCAI. Just last month, Laura began her work at the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research at the University of Canberra in Australia researching the materials she works with and the stories they tell. Her work is inspired by a course she developed at KCAI called Color in Printmaking which looks at color through the materiality of ink, historical, cultural, and psychological approaches, and how ink functions. During her six months abroad, Laura will be meeting artists, making artwork, and researching ways Australian artists approach ink and color in printmaking.

“Receiving a Fulbright is the pinnacle of an artist’s career, and it’s exciting to have the opportunity to do my research through a new cultural lens,” Berman said.

Cyrus Console-Soican is a Professor in the Liberal Arts Department at KCAI. Thus far, Cyrus has spent the 2023-24 academic year writing and translating contemporary Romanian poets and teaching at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University (UAIC) in Iași, Romania. Cyrus is the author of “Brief Under Water” (Burning Deck, 2008), for which he received a Fund for Poetry award, “The Odicy” (Omnidawn, 2011), and “Romanian Notebook” (FSG, 2017). His third book of poetry, “The Wayfarer”, will be published in fall 2024.

“The Fulbright Award is an opportunity to build cultural bridges between the U.S. and Romania generally, and between KCAI and UAIC specifically. I'm excited to represent the Kansas City Art Institute and the American literary community as part of the U.S. Scholar program,” Console-Soican said.

The Fulbright Scholar Program offers over 400 awards in more than 135 countries for U.S. citizens to teach, conduct research and carry out professional projects around the world.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government's flagship international academic exchange program. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided over 400,000 talented and accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds with the opportunity to study, teach, and conduct research abroad. Fulbrighters exchange ideas, build people-to-people connections, and work to address complex global challenges.

“Fulbright Awards are incredibly prestigious and having two faculty members from KCAI being chosen is a testament to the talent, creativity, and commitment of our faculty. Experiences like this stretch the conventions of traditional learning and allow scholars to bring back new knowledge, techniques, and connections to benefit our students. Recognition as a Fulbright Top Producer is an honor and a true testament to the caliber of faculty we have at KCAI,” Allison Puff, Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs at KCAI said.

KCAI’s mission of artistic excellence and commitment to international learning is made possible by generous donations from the public. Every donation, no matter the size, helps to sustain the institution. Consider making a financial contribution to KCAI to support scholarships, facilities, and educational programs by visiting www.kcai.edu/give.

About KCAI

Founded in 1885, the Kansas City Art Institute is one of the oldest and most respected art and design colleges in the United States. KCAI is a premier private, fully accredited four-year college of art and design awarding the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 13 majors. The mission of KCAI is to prepare students to transform the world creatively through art and design. Learn more at kcai.edu.

About the Fulbright Program

Fulbright is a program of the U.S. Department of State, with funding provided by the U.S. Government. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program. Fulbright alumni work to make a positive impact on their communities, sectors, and the world and have included 41 heads of state or government, 62 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 80 MacArthur Fellows, and countless leaders and changemakers who build mutual understanding between the people of the United State and the people of other countries. For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit https://fulbrightprogram.org/