IPO News

Seven Selected from UMass Amherst to Receive Prestigious 2023 24 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Awards

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Seven UMass Amherst faculty, researchers and administrators have been selected to receive prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar Awards for the 2023-24 academic year.

Established by Congress in 1946, the Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship program of international educational and cultural exchange. The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program annually offers over 400 awards in more than 135 countries for U.S. faculty, administrators, and researchers to teach, conduct research, and carry out professional projects around the world.

“At UMass, we are incredibly lucky to have a rich depth of experience with this program,” says Associate Provost for Faculty Development Angela de Oliveira. “Faculty come from all parts of campus and have engaged in exciting projects with deep and lasting impacts all over the globe. This is exactly the type of work we should be supporting as a public university.”

Recipients include:

Kirby Deater-Deckard, professor of psychological and brain sciences. He will be a Fulbright Scholar in Finland at the University of Turku and a research director fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. He will be collaborating with psychological and brain scientists at the Universities of Turku and Helsinki to investigate cross-cultural and individual differences in children’s and adolescents’ psychological and behavioral development through the FinnBrain Study, the Center for Learning Dynamics and Intervention Research, and the Parents and Adolescents Across Cultures Study. “I’m so excited to be able to collaborate with this group of outstanding psychological and brain scientists in Finland and eight other countries around the world, as we test competing models of child and adolescent development in distinct cultural and geopolitical contexts,” says Deater-Deckard.

Karen Giuliano, professor of nursing and co-director of the Elaine Marieb Center for Nursing and Engineering Innovation. Her Fulbright research project in Scotland will be based at the Edinburgh Napier School (ENU) of Health and Social Care, the largest school of health and social care in Scotland.  Of particular relevance to Giuliano’s research, ENU has a specific focus on both innovative and applied research and has identified the area of healthcare technology as a key area for strategic development. “The best and most cost-effective outcomes for patients are most likely to be achieved when you combine the technical expertise of engineers with the clinical expertise of nurses to solve real-world problems at the front lines of care,” says Giuliano.

Li-Jun Ma, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology. Ma’s Fulbright project in Serbia is based on an established connection with faculty at University of Novi Sad to address an emerging apple rot disease that has created great concerns in yield losses and toxin-contaminated apples. “This Fulbright award aligns with my research goals of deciphering the molecular mechanisms of fungal-host interaction and solving agriculturally important problems,” says Ma. “This experience will help me to develop a world-embracing vision and prepare me to be a better scientist, a more compassionate teacher, and a proud world citizen.”

Martín Medina Elizalde, associate professor of earth, geographic and climate sciences. The goal of Medina Elizalde’s Fulbright project in Uruguay at the Universidad de la República is to advance research in the underlying drivers of climate change along the Río de la Plata estuary during the last millennia and promote graduate student research and educational exchange. Medina Elizalde developed the project to foster environmental stewardship, paleoclimate reconstruction, and climate change education, noting “It is ultimately by empathizing with the natural world and each other that we can develop a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of our actions and their impact on the planet.”

Lincoln Nemetz-Carlson, affiliated scholar, architecture, College of Humanities and Fine Arts. He will be hosted by the Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction to research Azerbaijani Brutalist architecture from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. His project includes preparation of a publication and materials for a public exhibition that he plans to bring back to UMass. “Azerbaijan contains some of the most diverse and fascinating architectural legacies in the entire world, says Nemetz-Carlson. “I look forward to creating and fostering relationships between Azerbaijani historians and architects and our organization, UMassBRUT, which advocates for the Brutalist architecture of the University of Massachusetts system.”

Luke Remage-Healey, professor of psychological and brain sciences. As a Fulbright Scholar in Germany, Remage-Healey will conduct research at the Ludwig Maximilian University Division of Neurobiology in Munich. He will collaborate with neuroscientists there on a project investigating the contribution of fast, direct ion flow between neurons in the auditory system of songbirds. “This fellowship is an opportunity to learn about whether these poorly understood ‘gap junctions’ between neurons contribute to the way animals process and store memories for sounds, like song and speech,” says Remage-Healey. “I’m looking forward to this focused time to work on this question with an international group in Munich.”

Kalpen Trivedi, vice provost for global affairs. Trivedi’s time in France will be spent visiting French higher education government and research facilities as well as making connections with university and industry partners in the Paris and Grenoble regions with a view to forging new collaborations for UMass Amherst and increasing UMass’s visibility and impact in France. “I am delighted and honored to be chosen as a Fulbright Scholar and I look forward to building partnerships in France that will continue to support our faculty and students to meet their international goals,” says Trivedi.

In addition to these seven Fulbright U.S. Scholars, Tilman Wolf, professor of electrical and computer engineering, senior vice provost for Academic Affairs, and associate chancellor for space and capital planning, is currently in Gambia through a Fulbright Specialist Program Award to complete a project at the Ministry of Higher Education Research Science and Technology.

UMass Amherst faculty receive support with the application process through the annual Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Workshop offered jointly each spring semester by the International Programs Office, Office of Faculty Development and the Office of Research & Engagement.