Newsletter

This is the October 2005 issue of the Fulbright Forum, an electronic bulletin produced by the Fulbright Academy of Science & Technology - an international network of scientists, executives, and scholars established by alumni of the Fulbright Exchange Program.


Thank You For Your Support

Last month we sent out a note, asking you -- our members and subscribers -- to tell your friends and colleagues about the Fulbright Academy and our work.

Because of your help, we have increased our audience nearly 5%. It would be wonderful if we could have a similar increase this month -- just click the "reply" button on your email and then add the names of friends and colleagues who you think would benefit from the Fulbright network and the information we provide.

Or click here and tell us about Fulbrighters you know


A FAST Project on Soils, Nutrients and the Environment

The Fulbright Academy is pleased to announce a new research and science literacy partnership. The US National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded a three-year $500,000 grant to the University of Wisconsin, Madison and Indiana University, Bloomington, with the Fulbright Academy as a subcontractor on the Indiana University portion of the grant.

The NSF-sponsored research examines the critical role that soil microbes play in the cycling of elements and maintaining an environment that is friendly to life. The Fulbright Academy will help address some of the broader impacts of the overall research project. The Academy will work with the two principal investigators and other Fulbright grantees and partners in the US and overseas to create educational modules that will increase the public's level of scientific literacy and help the public better understand the positive role that bacteria play in the environment.

The principal investigators in the research on microbes and the cycling of iron and nitrogen in soils are Dr. Flynn Picardal, an associate professor in the School of Public & Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, and Dr. Eric Roden of the University of Wisconsin's Department of Geological Sciences. In 2001, Dr. Picardal received a Fulbright grant to the Max-Plank-Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen to conduct research on interactions of geochemical and biological processes in the immobilization of toxic metals in sediments. In 2002, he and his department hosted the Chair of the Biology Department from the leading university in Kazakhstan.

The principal investigators hope that the project will serve as a model for other science literacy projects conducted as a partnership between the Fulbright Academy and researchers in the US and abroad. If you or your colleagues are submitting a grant proposal for a major research project, please contact the Academy so that we can discuss opportunities for you to partner with the Academy or with its members. It may increase your chance of getting the grant.

Click here if you want to be involved in this or similar projects.


An Update on the Berlin Conference

“Fulbrighters in Science" will be held in Berlin, Germany on the weekend of March 4-5, 2006. The program will include a dynamic mix of keynotes, plenaries, interactive sessions, and opportunities for participants and speakers to network with each other. It will also feature several optional sessions, including tours of local institutions, postconference seminars, and a special evening program.

Here is an update on some of the presenters and programs.

A Fulbright scholar to the Middle East, Dr. Glenn Markoe will talk about the science and engineering aspects associated with conserving stone images and sculptures. Dr. Markoe is curator at the Cincinnati Museum of Art in Ohio and was guest curator for the current exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in New York that explores the history, art and culture of Petra – an ancient city carved into the mountains of Jordan.

Dr. Thomas Schnalke, the director of the Berlin Medical Historical Museumm will take a group of conference attendees on a special tour of the collection, which includes a unique collection of deformities. Berlin is home to one of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe, the Charite Hospital, and because of the hospital's long history of providing care to government officials and the citizens of Berlin, the hospital has a wonderful museum.

A second tour will be led by Dr. Oliver Guenther, Director at the Humbolt Institut für Wirtschaftsinformatik and also affiliated with the Institute for Software and Systems Engineering (ISST). The ISST is part of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, a nationally-funded network of centers that employs over 13,000 researchers.

Registered attendees for the conference include Dr. Karl Reinhard (Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska School of Natural Resource Studies), Mr. Christian Strik (Founder of Strik & Dunnewijk attorneys at law in the Netherlands); Dr. Ulrich Schuster (Research Assistant at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), Ms. Irene Latschar (Computer Science Program at the Universitat Koblenz), and Dr. Harold McKone (Professor of Chemistry at St. Joseph College in Connecticut). Please visit our website for an updated list of individuals who have expressed interest in attending.

Our program is designed for people in the natural and social sciences, economics, engineering, and technology, and for those whose personal or business interests relate to those fields. We look forward to your participation.

The program is being done in collaboration with the German-American Fulbright Commission and with additional financial and organizational support from other partners and sponsors. If you or your organization would like to be a sponsor, please contact us for details.

An early-bird discounted registration is 125 Euros ($152) for those who register before Wednesday October 12. Current (2005-06) Fulbright grantees should visit the website for information on their discounts. For accommodations, you can reserve your room at the Park Inn Hotel through the Academy. Our discounted rate is 100 Euro/night (single or double).

If you would like to present at the conference, please submit an abstract via email at your earliest convenience. Conf@FulbrightAcademy.org

Click here for information on sponsorships or to register


On the Road with the Fulbright Academy

Our Fulbright Forum in Belgium was hosted by the Laboratory of Plastic Surgery and Tissue Engineering Research at the KLU Leuven University Hospital. The program included visits to operating theaters where we observed three tissue transplants being performed on patients (skin, fat & intestinal). Many thanks to Dr. Vranckx for hosting this fascinating tour.

The Moroccan Fulbright Alumni Association held their second annual conference on 24 September in Rabat, with discussions on “Turning Brain Drain into Brain Gain for Morocco.” While there, we met with the head of the commission and directors of international science collaborations. Close to 100 Fulbrighters and other guests attended, including deans of local universities, alumni in the business community and repesentatives of other national alumni groups.

The Academy’s second annual program in Cambridge, Massachusetts is being held in conjunction with the 15th Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony and Lecture Series. The Ig Nobel Prize recognizes scientists and scientific research that is fun, interesting, and unusual. (www.ignobel.com) The Ig Nobel Prizes will be awarded on Thursday, and FAST is co-host of the Ig Nobel Prize Lectures from 1:00-3:00 on Saturday, October 8 at MIT.

We regret that Dr. Roy Glauber of Harvard will not be attending the ceremony. He has particpated in past years, but he (and two others) were awarded the real Nobel on Monday for his research on lasers. Happily, our dinner guests include Dr. Graham Simpson, a Fulbright postdoc at the MIT Chemistry Department -- the academic home of Dr. Richard Schrock who was co-recipeint of the real Nobel in Chemistry on Tuesday for discoveries that let industry produce drugs and advanced plastics more efficiently and with less hazardous waste.

For information on Fulbright Forums


Institutional Relations

World Learning has joined as an institutional member. Founded in 1932 as The U.S. Experiment in International Living, World Learning is the only international organization with both academic and project capabilities dedicated to promoting international education, social justice, and world peace. Through distinctive educational methods based on experiential learning and the integration of theory and practice, the programs of World Learning build knowledge, develop leaders in education and management, contribute to global development, and effect change. Its two main programs are the School for International Training (SIT) and The Experiment in International Living.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has joined as an institutional member. UNL is the state's intellectual center and the primary research and doctoral-degree granting institution in the state. Founded in 1869, Nebraska was the first university west of the Mississippi to establish a graduate college (in 1896). Today, UNL is one of the top 50 American universities in the number of doctoral degrees granted annually. The University of Nebraska boasts dozens of Fulbright Scholars, 22 Rhodes Scholars and three Nobel laureates among its alumni.

Booz Allen Hamilton, a global strategy and technology consulting firm, has joined as an institutional member. BAH provides services to major international corporations and government clients around the world. The firm's major areas of expertise include strategy, organization, operations, and technology. With more than 16,000 employees on six continents, the firm generated annual total sales of over $3 billion in FY2005.

The Fulbright Academy is a proud cosponsor of the 5th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth conference, to be held in Denver, Colorado on January 26-28, 2006. The conference theme is “Building Safe, Healthy and Livable Communities.” The Academy is also pleased to announce the “3rd International Conference on Deep Sea Corals,” in Miami on Nov 28-Dec 2, 2005. A member of the FAST Board of Directors, Dr. Robert George, is one of the lead organizers of the conference.

Click here for information on institutional memberships


Fulbright Activities Around the World

Namibian Minister of Education Nangolo Mbumba and the U.S. Ambassador to Namibia Joyce A. Barr met with some two dozen Fulbright, Humphrey and International Visitor Leadership Program to launch the Namibian-United States Alumni Association (NUSAA) in September. The NUSAA hopes to hold a major alumni seminar in early December to explore how alumni can best contribute to Namibia’s future, in areas such as education, health, democracy, and economic growth. The meeting plans also include producing an action plan that NUSAA can follow to make the association sustainable and enable it to contribute to Namibia in meaningful ways. Minister of Education Mbumba, who got his masters from the University of Connecticut, said, "I expect every Namibian Fulbrighter to distinguish yourself in your profession."

After the recent election in Japan, some 40 alumni of State Department exchange programs are now members of the 483-seat House of Representatives of the Japanese Diet, including five Fulbright alumni. The general election was a landslide victory for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and his party's reform agenda.

In Mexico, US Ambassador Garza celebrated the 15th anniversary of the U.S.-Mexico Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange (COMEXUS) with over 150 current and former Fulbright scholars. Attendees included Dr. Pedro Aspe, ex-Minister of Finance, and Dr. Herminio Blanco, ex-Secretary of Commerce. Ambassador Garza used the opportunity to underscore the program's and the grantees' contribution to promoting mutual understanding and closer ties between the two countries. In return, the President of the Fulbright Alumni Association announced alumni interest in making some kind of contribution to the victims of Hurricane Katrina as a way to express their gratitude to the people of the United States for the opportunity they received.

In August, the Fulbright Commission in India hosted the 11th Vidvatva in collaboration with the Kri Foundation. Calling upon the expertise of visiting and resident Fulbright fellows, Vidvatva is a forum for Fulbright scholars to interface with the public. The event was chaired by Fulbright alumnus Subir Gokarn, the Executive Director of Credit Rating Information Services of India Ltd. and was attended by about 70 people, including academics, representatives of environment groups, and the general public. Indian Fulbright alumnus Dr. Shreekant Gupta of the Delhi School of Economics spoke of his ongoing research in Jhabua, a less developed district in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh in Central India, and described links between environmental degradation and poverty in rural India. The animated discussion following Gupta's talk further emphasized the need for policy makers to mainstream environment into poverty alleviation initiatives.

The Portuguese-US Fulbright Commission has posted information about the current Fulbright grantees from Portugal to the US. Most of the grantees are in natural and social sciences. Grantees include Dr. Raul Bettencourt (research at the Marine Sciences Research Center, SUNY-Stony Brook); Dr. Maria Rovisco (research at the Center for Cultural Sociology, Yale); Dr. Afonso Alho (research at the Department of Geography and Anthropology, CSU); Maria João Santos (PhD research in environmental policy, UC, Davis); Ana Veríssimo (PhD research on deep sea sharks, College of William & Mary); Luís Pinto (PhD research in Finance, USC); João Nogueira (PhD research in mathematics, UTX–Austin); Tiago Castela (PhD research in architecture, UC, Berkeley); Nuno Filipe (PhD research in management of information systems, UTX-Austin; and Tiago Alves (MBA in telecommunications management and policy, USF). The full list is posted on their website: www.ccla.pt.

(Source: Alumni.State.Gov & Fulbright Commissions)

For links to selected alumni newsletters


Fulbrighter Stories & Accomplishments

Senator Fulbright's face on the cover of Time Magazine was a symbol of his achievements. Here are some updates about Fulbrighters in science & technology fields who are successful and doing interesting work today.

Dr. Peter Phillips is associate professor of biology at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. In summer 2004, he was a Fulbright scholar at the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra, Santiago, Dominican Republic where he facilitated a series of water quality workshops for school teachers and community environmental activists via the university’s Department of Basic Sciences. He developed Spanish-language workshops materials including computer presentations of water pollution and stream health, and Spanish-language methodologies for stream and water pollution parameter analyses. He also gave a public lecture: Bioremediation: Techniques for Environmental Decontamination at the university. His work on eutrophication in the Yaque del Norte River watershed parallels his work on the Catawba River watershed in North and South Carolina.

As a Fulbright scholar, Academy member Louise Shaxson completed her MS degree at Cornell in Agricultural Economics, focusing on international development. She then worked for the UK's international development agency as a micro-economist and program manager. Following a career break, she is now freelancing, mainly at the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, where she leads a project which supports the development of their Evidence and Innovation Strategy. She was recently published in the new Journal of Evidence & Policy (Bristol University Press) on how to think about robustness in the evidence base for policy, particularly where the evidence is interdisciplinary and cross-cutting.

A Fulbright Story:

Dr. Sara H. Schweitzer, an Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology & Management at the University of Georgia submitted the following story about her experiences in Bulgaria. This story, and others like it, will soon be posted on the Academy's website as part of a project funded by the Sloan Foundation to collect a history of Fulbright's influence on the development of science, engineering and business.

During my Fulbright appointment in Bulgaria (September 2002 – March 2003), I was very fortunate to be assigned a teaching appointment in the Department of Ecology and Environmental Protection, Faculty of Biology, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski,” and research appointment in the Institute of Zoology, Bulgarian Academy of Science (BAS). These assignments allowed me to conduct research on Bulgaria’s history of natural resource management and current initiatives, as well as teaching and interacting with students (from Ph.D. candidates to sophomore undergraduates) from the Department of Ecology and Environmental Protection and BAS. The students and their colleagues from NGOs exuded enthusiasm for restoration, conservation, and sustainable use of Bulgaria’s wildlife and habitats. This enthusiasm, in the midst of financial difficulties and transition to a new parliamentary democracy, was inspiring.

In 2004, Bulgaria published their National Ecotourism Strategy and Action Plan; one of the first of its kind in all of Europe. It is an encompassing and ambitious plan, but parts of it have been accomplished and have set the stage for future achievements. Much of the motivation behind this plan was development of sustainable small businesses in rural areas. Pilot projects and studies were conducted in two small towns, each adjacent to a National Park. Business incubators; craftsman, small business (e.g.., bed and breakfasts, restaurants, etc.), ecotourism associations; and visitor centers were developed during 2002-2003.

During June 2005, I returned to Bulgaria on a grant from the University of Georgia to initiate a study abroad / service learning course focusing on natural and cultural resources tourism and the pilot projects initiated 2-3 years before. I was pleased to see the success of the small businesses in Kalofer and the interpretive trails established in Central Balkans National Park. Most tourists visiting Kalofer are Bulgarians with others from Russia, Germany, Italy, and Great Britain. Kalofer is a small, rural town that has seen most of its young people leave for Sofia or elsewhere and not return. The businesses, however, have been successful and new festivals have been developed to attract more people for longer stays. The officials with the CBNP are enthusiastic about the increased attention to the park, but are also worried that without foresight and regulation, overuse might harm the soils, water, plants, and wildlife. Problems associated with inflexible or complex regu lations and loans from banks hinder development of small businesses. There are other small towns near CBNP that seek to replicate the success seen in Kalofer. One of my colleagues from UGA and I will investigate and provide solutions to these and other problems Bulgarians are encountering, with the assistance of students who participate in our study abroad course.

My Fulbright appointment allowed me to work with, teach, and learn from people in Bulgaria who have ambitions and ideals that will lead to successful, sustainable use of natural resources. There is much we can learn from their tenacity, planning, and pride of Bulgaria’s natural resources. I was very fortunate to have been part of the Fulbright program that gave me the opportunity to continue my work in Bulgaria.

(Source: personal submissions - send us your story)


Background on the Fulbright Academy (FAST)

The Fulbright Academy is a non-profit membership-based organization that serves scientists, executives, and scholars worldwide. We receive organizational and financial support from institutional and individual members, selected Fulbright alumni groups and commissions, corporations, foundations, and other entities interested in developing an international network of leaders in science and technology. Our definition of science is quite broad -- it includes social, natural and life sciences as well as disciplines/professions that require or use scientific knowledge. We are not affiliated with the US State Department, the US Fulbright Association or the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

FAST uses the expertise of our network of Fulbright alumni and other leaders in science to address critical problems in education, scientific innovation and economic development. We interact with thousands of Fulbrighters and scientists around the world.

Some of our recently renewed members are Dr. Susan Rasmussen, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Houston; Dr. Maurice Weinrobe, Professor of Economics at Clark University in Worcester, MA; Dr. Anna Nagurney, Professor and Director of the Virtual Center for Supernetworks at the Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst MA; Dr. James S. Clegg, Former Director of the Bodega Marine Laboratory, Bodega Bay, CA; Dr. Myrdene Anderson, Associate Professor and Chair of the Sociology & Anthropology Department, Purdue University, West Lafayette IN; Dr. Paula Levin Mitchell, Associate Professor of Biology, Winthrop University Rock Hill, SC; and Dr. Jean Pierre Boon of the Phyiscs Department at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium.

Academy projects are funded by contracts, grants, sponsorships, and donations from those who share our mission. Membership income is an important part of our annual budget; if you or your institution is not a member, please join today. Individual memberships start at $15, and institutional/corporate memberships start at $250.

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