UGA faculty receive Fulbright Scholar grants

UGA faculty receive Fulbright Scholar grants

Athens, Ga. – Four UGA faculty members, Karen Burns, Valerie Havill, Thomas Mote and Jaroslav Tir, have received Fulbright Scholar grants to travel abroad during 2007-2008 to lecture and conduct research.

Burns, an adjunct faculty member in the department of anthropology, has been lecturing at the University of the Andes in Bogota, Colombia since August. Her project is called “Building Forensic Anthropology Capability in Colombia.”

“I hope to gain more knowledge of Colombia,direct experience with a Colombian university and its students, and greaterfacility with the Spanish language. I amalso working with a Colombian non-governmental organization dedicated to helping families of the disappeared through forensicand psychosocial services,” said Burns. “My work at the university is directly related to providing better forensic services. In the long run, I also hope to create a reciprocal agreement between a U.S. university and the University of the Andes.”

Havill, a former assistant research scientist in UGA’s Institute on Human Development and Disability, will be lecturing and doing research at the University of Ljubljana in Ljubljana, Slovenia from February to August. Her project is called “Including Families and Children with Disabilities in Education, Research and Social Communities.”

“My hope is to extend research on personality development to include families with children with disabilities,” said Havill. “The second goal is to have parents, teachers and others in the community to recognize the strengths and abilities of children with disabilities. We all lose when people with disabilities are not fully included in community settings.”

Mote, a professor in the department of geography, will be lecturing and doing research at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil from March to July 2008. His project is called “Climate Change/Variability Impacts on South America.” He will be working with the Center for Antarctic and Climate Research to study the influence of climate change in Antarctica on the climate of South America.

“It’s interesting and important work,” said Mote. “We know there are climactic changes occurring in Antarctica, but we’re not sure how those changes affect other places. Hopefully, this work will show how the Antarctic affects South America, which may tell us a lot about how the climate changes worldwide.”

Tir, an associate professor in the department of international affairs, will be lecturing and doing research at the University of Zagreb in Zagreb, Croatia from February to July. His project is called, “Investigating the Dynamics of Secession: Croatia and the Peaceful Versus Violent Secession Options.” While at The University of Zagreb, Tir will conduct research on Croatia’s decision to withdraw from the Yugoslav federation in the early 1990s.

“The Fulbright provides me with the opportunity to contribute to Croatia’s efforts to modernize its system of higher education by introducing teaching methodologies and standards used in the U.S., and allows me to conduct research that will enhance my expertise and teaching at UGA. This is a win-win situation,” said Tir.

Additionally, four scholars have come or will be coming to the University of Georgia to work. Yi-Feng Huang, an associate professor in the department of public administration at Tamkang University in Taipei, Taiwan conducted a research project from August to October on the “Competency and Development for the U.S. Senior Executive Service and its Implications for Taiwan.” Peliwe Penelope Lolwana, CEO of the Council for General and Further Education and Training Quality Assurance in Pretoria, South Africa, studied “Technical and Adult Education in the United States” from July to December. Voahangy Lalao Ratsimba-Razafimahefa, coordinator of the direction of fundamental education for the Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research in Antananarivo, Madagascar is researching a project called “Developing an English Curriculum and Supporting Materials for the Primary Level in Grade 6.” He has been at UGA since September and will stay until January. Last, Galina Vydryakova, a researcher in the Institute of Biophysics at the Russian Academy of Sciences – Siberian Branch in Krasnoyarsk, Russia plans to research a project called “Detection of Genetic Determinants of Luminous Bacteria Symbiosis and Pathogenesis” at UGA from January to July.

Since 1946, the U.S. Government-sponsored Fulbright Scholar Program has provided faculty and professionals with an unparalleled opportunity to study and conduct research in other nations.

These faculty members are among the more than 270,000 American and foreign university students, K-12 teachers, and university faculty and professionals who have participated in one of the several Fulbright exchange programs. Recipients of Fulbright Scholar awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and because they have demonstrated extraordinary leadership potential in their fields.

For more information, see the CIES (Council for International Exchange of Scholars) Web site at http://www.cies.org/.