February 10, 2020

Purdue receives recognition by Chronicle of Higher Education for Fulbright Scholars

nie-fulbright Linda Nie, associate professor in the Department of Health Sciences, conducting an experiment at the synchrotron facility at the Pohang (South Korea) Accelerator Laboratory. (Photo courtesy of Linda Nie) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — David Purpura, a Purdue University associate professor of human development and family studies, is working with colleagues in Belgium to better understand how language affects math development. He soon will do the same in South Africa.

Linda Nie spent six months at two internationally recognized research facilities in other countries.

Neither of the two could have done this work without the Fulbright Global Scholar awards. The same goes for six others on Purdue’s faculty, who received Fulbright U.S. Scholar awards.

Purdue has eight Fulbright Scholars for 2019-20. That has earned Purdue a place on the Chronicle of Higher Education’s annual list of “Top Producers of Fulbright U.S. Scholars and Students, 2019-20.”

The eight faculty Fulbrights are its most ever Purdue has had in one academic year. In 2018-19, Purdue had five recipients.

“Purdue is proud not just to have made this list, but also of the work and research conducted by the faculty members who were selected this year as Fulbright Scholars,” said Jay Akridge, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity. “Fulbright Scholar Awards are highly competitive academic awards that are often found on any major research university’s list of highly prestigious awards.”

The Fulbright Program was created to increase mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries. Through primary funding from the U.S. Congress appropriated to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, scholars are able to further their research in foreign lands significant to their work.

 “Many faculty speak of their Fulbright experiences as life-changing in the very best sense,” said Christopher Lukasik, associate professor of English and American studies and provost fellow for Fulbright faculty awards. “They return to the U.S. better informed to speak to students who not only are entering into a global economy, but also belong to a generation that must confront a series of challenges - global in scale - from climate change and immigration to food security and renewable energy.”

For Purpura, it was not only a chance to help children develop their math skills. It also provided him an opportunity to work with peers and gain experiences he could use to enhance his teaching and research.

 “The Fulbright experience provides us with opportunities to build international collaborative networks, get exposed to other theoretical perspectives and methods of graduate training, and expand the work that we're doing to be more internationally relevant,” he said.

 “Having faculty who have had the Fulbright experience can make Purdue more attractive to both undergraduate and graduate students because Fulbright scholars can bring their international experiences directly into the classroom through a more global perspective on research topics. For example, for me, it has helped me to better understand U.S. context specific to aspects of educational development that may not be internationally universal. We're also able to support and promote Fulbright, as well as study abroad programs, more generally, to our students and help them see these as realistic and exciting options for their advancement.”

Nie used her award to expand her research in an area that required synchrotron facilities not offered at Purdue. She spent four months at the DESY Research Center at Hamburg, Germany, and two months at the Pohang (South Korea) Accelerator Laboratory.

“It was a very exciting and rewarding experience, culturally and research wise,” Nie said.

Both Nie and Purpura said the support they received from Purdue was key in their successful applications.

Lukasik, himself a two-time Fulbright recipient, talks with faculty members from across all disciplines during the application process about research opportunities, goals and what to expect when a faculty member is accepted into the program. He also explains many of Purdue’s policies that can assist faculty during their Fulbright experience.

Also receiving Fulbrights were:

  • Erica Carlson, 150th Anniversary Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Science. Her project is called “Electronic Fractals in Strongly Correlated Quantum Materials.” She is currently conducting research at the Laboratoire de Physique et d’Étude des Matériaux at the L´Ecole Supèrieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la Ville de Paris.
  • Wendy Kline, the Dema G. Seelye Chair in the History of Medicine, Department of History, College of Liberals Arts. She researched “The ‘LSD Block’ and the Therapeutic Alliance: The Rise and Fall of Psychedelic Medicine in the UK” and was hosted by the University of Birmingham.
  • Phillip Sanger, professor of engineering technology, School of Engineering Technology, Purdue Polytechnic Institute. who is currently at the Kazan National Research Technological University in Russia. His project is titled “Project Management Innovation Curriculum and Multi-Cultural Team Dynamics.”
  • Lori Hoagland and Michael Gribskov are currently at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, in Bogotá, Colombia. Hoagland, associate professor of horticulture, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, College of Agriculture, calls her project “A Participatory Approach to Conserving Soil Biodiversity and Promoting Sustainable Agricultural Development in Colombia.” Gribskov, professor of biological sciences, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science, will explore “Genomics and Metagenomics in Colombia.”
  • Nana Gletsu Miller, formerly an associate professor of nutrition science, Department of Nutrition Science, College of Health and Human Sciences, and now with Indiana University. She is doing her research at the University College of Dublin in Ireland.

 “Purdue’s expanding interest and success in the program speaks to the commitment of the university and to the faculty’s interest in global research and international teaching,” Lukasik said.

Faculty interested in learning more about the Fulbright Scholars program can attend a presentation at 3 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 11) in the Honors College and Residences South, Room 1066, or contact Lukasik at clukasik@purdue.edu.

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has given over 390,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to important international problems.

Fulbright is active in more than 160 countries worldwide and partners with participating governments, host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the U.S. Many of these organizations also provide direct and indirect support. ECA sponsors the Fulbright program, and several nonprofit, cooperative partners implement and support the program on the bureau’s behalf. For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit eca.state.gov/fulbright.

Writer: Matthew Oates, 765-496-2571, oatesw@purdue.edu, @mo_oates

Sources: Chris Lukasik, 765-494-6002, clukasik@purdue.edu

Linda Nie, 765-494-2625, hnie@purdue.edu

David Purpura, 765-494-2947, purpura@purdue.edu

Related release:

Purdue breaks its record with faculty Fulbright Scholars (May 3, 2019)


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