Full of Fulbrights

Fulbrights offer unique experiences to faculty and grads

4/4/2008 - By: Zanny Marsh

Fulbright award winners map

Four University faculty members have been awarded prestigious Fulbright grants during the 2007-08 academic year including Kate Berry, Andrei Derevianko, Pauline Filemoni and Bob Ives. Recipients have demonstrated academic or professional achievement and leadership potential in their field.

“I communicate with people from around the world, but brief interactions are not a substitute for experiencing a culture first hand,” said Filemoni, an adviser in the Office of International Students and Scholars. “If we truly want our students to be global citizens, we must encourage them to travel abroad and immerse themselves in other cultures, and we should continue to open our doors to international students because our campus reflects the diversity of the world.”

A Fulbright grant is supporting Berry’s research as she examines instances of participation in water governance in India’s western Rajasthan state and in Israel's Jordan River basin. She is an associate professor of geography.

Berry is currently in Rajasthan for three months followed by three months in Israel, where the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies is located.

“Not only is this a great opportunity to pursue international work, but I’m very pleased that Fulbright supports family travel so my son will accompany me,” Berry said. “I look forward to some fascinating cultural and research experiences.”

Ives, an assistant professor of educational specialties, is teaching, performing research and consulting on three projects in Romania. He is helping the country’s public schools standardize broad-based intelligence tests to determine eligibility for special education services.

Ives is also participating in a study assessing textbook-readability indexes and formulas. The results will help teachers determine work assignments and contribute to textbook development.

In addition, he is also collecting oral histories from Romanian families — and mothers in particular — who have either adult or preschool children with developmental delays. These families have developed their own private programs to provide services for their children that are not available through public programs.

Derevianko, an associate professor of physics, will carry out his project, “Variation of Fundamental Constructs of Physics.” His work in Australia is analyzing recent data on the supposed variation of fundamental constants of nature over time and space.

“My Fulbright will facilitate a critical examination of data and methods, and may confirm or refute (the claim that if this constant was off from its present-day value, we, as humans, may not have come into existence),” he said.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs sponsors the Fulbright Program, America’s flagship, international educational exchange program. The program operates in more than 150 countries.


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