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KU among top universities for 2015-16 Fulbright Scholars; Director Chris Brown one of six

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas is among the top universities in the nation for 2015-16 Fulbright Scholars, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Six KU faculty and administrators are U.S. Fulbright Scholars for this academic year, which places KU among a group of universities ranked fourth in the Chronicle. The award enables recipients to teach and conduct research overseas as well as exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions with international peers.

“The University of Kansas’ mission is to educate leaders, build healthy communities and make discoveries that change the world,” Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said, “and this year’s Fulbright Scholars embody that mission through their teaching, service and research. We can be proud that KU’s continued success in the Fulbright Scholars program benefits not only the individual researchers, but also the state we serve and the students we educate.”

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 360,000 participants with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Over 1,100 U.S. college and university faculty and administrators, professionals, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers and independent scholars are awarded Fulbright grants to teach and/or conduct research annually.

All-time, KU faculty members and administrators have earned 317 Fulbrights. This year’s fourth-place ranking is KU’s highest since 2011, when KU was ranked No. 2 nationally behind only Harvard University.

KU’s 2015-16 Fulbright Scholars:

J. Christopher Brown, professor, jointly appointed in the Department of Geography and Atmospheric Science and the Environmental Studies Program, conducted research at the State University of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil, on his project titled “Building Greater University of Kansas-UNICAMP Interaction Through Studies on Food vs. Fuel Production.”

Renee Frias, a program coordinator in the Office of Study Abroad with expertise in international education, participated in the International Education Administrators (IEA) program in South Korea. During the Fulbright IEA seminar, she learned about South Korea’s educational system and visited 13 Korean universities.

Kiran Jayaram, formerly a lecturer in KU’s African and African-American Studies department and now a researcher with York College of the City University of New York, will travel to the State University of Haiti to work on a project titled “Consequences of Mango Cultivation for Contemporary Haitian Agriculturalists.”

David Petr, professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, will travel to Graz Technical University in Austria for a combined teaching/research project titled “A Novel Approach to Signals and Communications; Networking Performance Analysis.”

Clifton Pye, associate professor in the Department of Linguistics, traveled to work with Barbara Pfeiler at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Merida, Yucatán, for a project titled “Expanding the Comparative Study of Mayan Language Acquisition.” This project continued an international collaboration documenting how children acquire the Mayan languages of Mexico and Guatemala.

Lance Rake, professor of design in the School of Architecture, Design & Planning, is currently at the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai to work on his project titled “Using Design Thinking to Create Sustainable Craft-Based Enterprise in India.”

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