Campus News Society & Culture

UGA Fulbright scholars reach for the stars in Germany, explore the coast in Chile

Athens, Ga. – University of Georgia faculty participating in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 Core Fulbright Scholar and Fulbright Specialist programs evaluated the impact of rural nursing in Ecuador, brought research on telenovelas to universities in Chile, and will examine the coast and teach about invasive species in Chile, and examine the nature of galactic gas clouds and their relationship to the cosmic web.

“I extend my congratulations to the UGA faculty who were selected as Core Fulbright Fellows this year,” said Noel Fallows, interim associate provost for international education. “These internationally engaged scholars are through Fulbright strengthening research partnerships and enhancing the international reputation of the University of Georgia across all academic disciplines.”

The UGA faculty members and their destinations include:

Phaedra Corso, UGA Foundation Professor of Human Health and director of the Economic Evaluation Research Group in the College of Public Health. Corso traveled to Ecuador in the summer of 2015 on a Core Fulbright grant to teach and conduct research. Her host institutions were the School of Public Health at the University of San Francisco Quito and Quito Salud Pública. The projects Corso took on while in Ecuador surveyed the impact of a rural nursing intervention program and evaluating the cost-effectiveness of a Quito-based program called Salud al Paso. Several UGA graduate students participating in a master’s internship program accompanied Corso to help complete the data collection and evaluation.

James “Jeb” Byers, associate dean of administrative affairs and a professor of marine ecology in the School of Ecology, will travel to Chile in 2017 to initiate a project examining the ecology of the Chilean coast, and to teach a course on invasive species. His host institution is Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Robin Shelton, professor in the department of physics and astronomy, will travel to Berlin, Germany, in spring 2017 to work on galactic computer simulations. The simulations will help determine whether some of the enormous clouds of gas that astronomers have found to be falling into the Milky Way galaxy are related to the spiderweb-like structure of material that stretches across the universe, called the “cosmic web.”

Additionally, Carolina Acosta-Alzuru, an associate professor in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, traveled to Chile for one month in late spring 2015 on a Fulbright Specialist grant to teach and coordinate faculty development activities. Hosted by the Universidad de Chile, Acosta-Alzuru taught a graduate seminar on the links between telenovelas, culture and society. She also led a hands-on assignment in an undergraduate course about strategic planning and organizational communication, and led seminars at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and at the Universidad de los Andes.

“The Fulbright Scholar program adds an important international dimension to research and teaching at UGA, while also serving as an important tool to facilitate greater international cooperation and understanding,” said Brian Watkins, director of international partnerships and UGA’s representative for faculty and staff Fulbright recruitment.

Fulbright Scholar alumni and UGA faculty interested in applying for the 2017-18 Fulbright cycle are invited to a reception April 26, 4-5 p.m. in the Office of International Education building. Registration is required; for more details and to register, see

The Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 360,000 participants with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. For more information, see


About the Office of International Education
The Office of International Education supports the University of Georgia’s academic, research and outreach missions and strategic directions through the promotion of global learning experiences for students, the sponsorship and support of international students, scholars, faculty and staff, and the development of international research and instructional partnerships and collaborations. For more information, visit