May 3, 2019

Purdue breaks its record with faculty Fulbright Scholars

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Eight Purdue University faculty members this year won Fulbright U.S. Scholar Awards, more in a single year than ever before.

These 2019-20 Fulbrighters will be conducting research, teaching or a combination of both in Europe, South America, Africa and Asia. Two of them are among only 20 nationwide to win Global Scholar awards, for which they will spend their time in more than one host country.

Christopher Lukasik, associate professor of English and American studies and provost fellow for Fulbright faculty awards, has been helping faculty navigate the application process since his position was created two years ago. Himself a Fulbright Scholar who spent his time in the Philippines, Lukasik said the experience broadened his horizons.

"This experience impacted how I approach teaching, which is especially important with Purdue's large international population," Lukasik said. "Faculty who have lived abroad also are more likely to encourage our U.S.-born students to travel and study abroad, which will be important for many of their careers in our global economy."

Recognizing the importance of Fulbrights to the faculty, students and the university, the Provost's Office not only created Lukasik's position but also has begun to address obstacles that may prevent faculty from applying to the award program. For example, it recently began working with the colleges to ensure that, should the Fulbright stipend fall short, award winners still will receive the equivalent of their Purdue salary and health benefits while gone.

Linda Nie, associate professor of health sciences, and David Purpura, associate professor of human development and family studies, are the Global Scholars.

Nie, from the School of Health Sciences, College of Health and Human Sciences, titled her project “Synchrotron Micro-x-ray Fluorescence Technology in Health Sciences.” Her host institutions are Deutsches Electronen-Synchrotron Research Center in Germany and the Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea.

Purpura, from the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, College of Health and Human Sciences, named his project “Language Foundations of Early Mathematics Learning: Learning and Applying Knowledge Across Multiple Cultural and Language Context.” His host institutions are KU Leuven, in Leuven, Belgium, and the University of Johannesburg in Soweto, South Africa.

The other six awardees are:

  • Erica Carlson, 150th Anniversary Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Science, who will head to Paris. Her project is called “Electronic Fractals in Strongly Correlated Quantum Materials.” She will conduct 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, who will live in England researching “The ‘LSD Block’ and the Therapeutic Alliance: The Rise and Fall of Psychedelic Medicine in the UK.” Her host is the University of Birmingham.
  • Nana Gletsu Miller, associate professor of nutrition science, Department of Nutrition Science, College of Health and Human Sciences, who will go to Ireland. Her project is titledDietary Supplementation Using High Dose Iron and Effects of Glucose Metabolism in Patients Undergoing Bariatric Surgery.” She will do her research at the University College of Dublin.
  • Phillip Sanger, professor of engineering technology, School of Engineering Technology, Purdue Polytechnic Institute, who is heading to 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, who are headed to 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.”

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State through its Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. Its goal is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. In 2018-19, Purdue had five Fulbright U.S. Scholars. The year before, Purdue had two.

Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has awarded more than 380,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in many fields, including 59 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 82 who have received Pulitzer Prizes and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program offers nearly 470 teaching, research or combination teaching/research awards in more than 125 countries. To be eligible, a faculty member must be a U.S. citizen. The lengths of most grants range from three to 12 months.

The deadline for applying to the Fulbright 2020-21 competition is Sept. 16. For more information, visit and contact Lukasik at

Media Contact: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, 

Source: Chris Lukasik, 765-494-6002,

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