June 2, 2021

Purdue faculty celebrated as Fulbright Scholar Award selections

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Improving Alzheimer’s disease treatments, understanding how brain trauma can lead to heart dysfunction and advancing K-12 STEM education are some of the research projects representing six Purdue University faculty who have been named U.S. Fulbright Faculty Scholars.

These faculty members will teach and conduct research at respected research hubs in India, the Philippines and throughout Europe. Projects selected for the award show promise for advancements in both health sciences and social welfare. These faculty winners represent Purdue’s third-largest number of awardees in a single year.

According to Purdue’s Office of the Provost, the Fulbright Scholar Award, one of the most prestigious national and international awards available to faculty, is considered a metric for measuring university performance while supporting the university’s efforts toward internationalization and intercultural learning. Fulbright faculty also enhance classroom learning at Purdue by bringing back diverse teaching methods and ideas.

Awardees, projects and destinations

Kingsly Ambrose, associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering, College of Agriculture and College of Engineering. Ambrose will live in India researching the “Nondestructive Quality Evaluation of Spices Using Particle-scale Data” and teaching agricultural and food engineering. He will be hosted by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India.

Brenda M. Capobianco, professor of science education and engineering education (courtesy), Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education. Capobianco will be living in Galway, Ireland, examining how science teacher candidates and their university instructors conceptualize and integrate engineering design while conducting action research on their own practice. The goal of the international collaboration is to advance STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning among K-12 students. She will be hosted by the National University of Ireland.

Craig J. Goergen, the Leslie A. Geddes Associate Professor, Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering. Goergen’s research will focus on “Retrospectively Gated Multispectral 4D Photoacoustic Cardiac and Brain Imaging.” He plans to work with collaborators in France to study cardiac remodeling after traumatic injury, with particular interest in how brain trauma can lead to heart dysfunction. His host institution is Université Montpellier.

Tamara Kinzer-Ursem, the Marta E. Gross Associate Professor, Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering. Her research project title is “Tau-Mediated Protein Dynamics: Computational and Experimental Approaches.” The goal of her research is to advance the design of effective treatment for those living with Alzheimer’s disease. Kinzer-Ursem will be hosted by Freiburg University in Germany.

Zoe Taylor, associate professor of human development and family studies, College of Health and Human Sciences. Taylor will live in Italy researching “Children on the Move: An Assessment of Resilience, Mental Health and Well-being of Migrant Children in Europe.” Taylor has been accepted as a senior fellow at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Office of Research in Florence, Italy. UNICEF works in over 190 locations to save the lives and defend the rights of children across the world, and Taylor will help UNICEF research the physical and mental well-being of migrant children in Europe.

Scott Bartholomew, formerly assistant professor of engineering technology,  Purdue Polytechnic Institute; now at Brigham Young University. Bartholomew’s research project title is “Elevating K-12 STEM Education through Teacher Training.” He will be hosted by the University of the Philippines-Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines.


Kathryn Siegfried-Spellar, associate professor of computer and information technology, Purdue Polytechnic Institute. Siegfried-Spellar’s research project is titled “Analyzing Online Grooming Strategies of Child Sex Offenders in Spain.”

Zoltan Machaty, professor of animal sciences, College of Agriculture. Machaty’s research project is titled “Identifying Regulators Of Nerve Cord Morphogenesis.”

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Each year, the U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program offers over 400 teaching, research or combination teaching/research awards in over 135 countries. 

The deadline for applying to the Fulbright 2022-23 competition is Sept. 15. For more information on the Fulbright Faculty Award Program, contact Christopher Lukasik, provost fellow for Fulbright faculty awards, at clukasik@purdue.edu.

Read more about the Fulbright US Scholar Award Program

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://purdue.edu/.

Writer: Christy McCarter

Media contact: Matthew Oates, 765-586-7496 (cell), oatesw@purdue.edu, @mo_oates

Source: Christopher Lukasik,  clukasik@purdue.edu.

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