UA Takes No. 2 Spot for Fulbright Scholars

With five UA faculty members being named recipients of the core U.S. Fulbright Scholar award, the University tied for second among institutions across the nation.

Nearly 800 faculty members and professionals were awarded under the core Fulbright Scholar program, the nation's flagship international educational exchange program. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the program is administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, a division of the Institute of International Education.

Other institutions sharing the No. 2 ranking include Rutgers University, the University of Washington and Arizona State University.

Institutions tied for first include the University of California at Berkeley and Pennsylvania State University.

"Look at the others on the list, we are in very good company," said Dale LaFleur, director of institutional relations for the UA Office of Global Initiatives.

The UA faculty members named 2012-2013 core Fulbright recipients are:

  • Thomas DeGomez of the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, who will conduct research in the Philippines. DeGomez is an expert in forest ecology and management and has worked to expand research around forest health and forest protection.
  • Grace Fielder, a professor in the Russian and Slavic Studies department, will conduct research on language, with specific attention to words and phrases, while in Bulgaria. A historian, Felder is an expert on Balkan and south Slavic linguistics.
  • A. J. Timothy Jull, a geosciences and physics professor, will conduct research in Hungary. Jull also directs the National Science Foundation-Arizona Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Laboratory. He will investigate small-scale applications of accelerator mass spectrometry.
  • Linda Lumsden, an associate professor in the School of Journalism, will conduct research in Malaysia. While abroad, Lumsden will study ways that the Internet has affected Malaysian politics.
  • Marcela Vasquez-Leon, an associate professor in the School of Anthropology, will conduct research in Mexico. Vasquez-Leon also has joint appointments at the UA's Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology and Center for Latin American Studies and has widely studied the interrelationship between human agency and large-scale structures.

Also, Norma González earned the García-Robles Border Scholar award. Under the grant, González, a professor in the teaching, learning and sociocultural studies department, will expand upon her existing research and continue working with scholars and researchers on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

"What's interesting to me is that the disciplines are so varied," said LaFleur, who also is the UA's Fulbright scholar adviser. "This demonstrates the wide range of expertise of our faculty. When you look at the history of recipients, that has always been the case.

LaFleur also noted that the faculty members are being recognized and awarded for work expected to have important and meaningful impact.

"These are top scholars; people who are engaged in their fields," LaFleur said. "There is a demand for what they are doing in a particular region or country and the benefit of their work goes beyond their own personal benefit. It is about promoting cross-cultural exchange and collaboration for the benefit of the world."

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