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Three faculty members named Fulbright Scholars

Nov. 21, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Three Western Michigan University faculty members will be working overseas as Fulbright Scholars during the 2008-09 academic year, while three foreign Fulbright Scholars will be working at WMU.

The Fulbright Scholars Program has awarded grants to a total of 23 Michiganders to conduct research or lecture overseas. Twenty-one are faculty members at 12 of the state's universities and colleges and two are not affiliated with a higher education institution. Among Michigan's research universities, only the University of Michigan, with five, has more faculty members named Fulbright Scholars this year. WMU and Wayne State University have three each and Michigan State University has two.

WMU's Fulbright Scholars

  • Dr. Michael J. Barcelona, professor of chemistry, who left in September to work on an environmental sciences project at the University of Alcala de Henares in Spain and will return in January 2009. Barcelona is researching freshwater resource damage as well as ways to mitigate seawater intrusion in Mediterranean coastal aquifers.
  • Dr. Stephen G. Covell, associate professor of comparative religion and director of WMU's Soga Japan Center, who will be working on a religious studies project at the University of Tokyo from May 2009 to May 2010. Covell will be researching the activities of Yamada Etai, a leading Buddhist priest in postwar Japan, particularly as they relate to new religious movements, the Vatican and the Chinese Buddhist Association.
  • Dr. Wilson Jerome Warren, associate professor of history, who left in September to lecture on American history at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan and will return in July. Warren is lecturing on using authentic approaches to understand U.S. working-class history.

Fulbright Scholars visiting WMU

  • Dr. Happy Siphambe, associate professor of economics at the University of Botswana, who began working with the Department of Economics in October and will leave in April 2009. Siphambe, a WMU alumnus, is researching the impact of HIV/AIDS on the labor market.
  • Dr. Yingjing Wang, associate professor of economics and management at Nanjing University of Science and Technology in Nanjing, China, who began working with the Department of Economics in September and will leave in July 2009. Wang is researching the cultural path of dependence by doing a comparative study of the entrepreneur incentive mechanism between China and the United States.
  • Dr. Patricia L. Zoungrana, lecturer at the University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta), who began working with the Department of Mathematics in September and will leave in February 2009. Zoungrana is researching restricted lie triple algebras.

The Fulbright Scholar Program is the U.S. government's flagship academic exchange effort, on behalf of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the program's purpose is to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries.

During its 59 years in existence, thousands of U.S. faculty and professionals have studied, taught or done research abroad, and thousands of their counterparts from other countries have engaged in similar activities in the United States. Recipients are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and because they have demonstrated extraordinary leadership potential in their fields.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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