Seven Rutgers professors have received Fulbright Scholar grants for research and teaching abroad next year at institutions in Austria, Brazil, Iceland and India.
The Rutgers scholars join 1,100 faculty and professionals nationwide awarded Fulbright grants for the coming year. Operating in more than 155 countries, the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government to increase international collaboration.The projects and activities of Rutgers faculty span diverse disciplines including molecular biology, evolutionary biology, public law, U.S. history, Latin American and Caribbean history, philosophy and human nutrition.
Neuroscience and cell biology professor Federico Sesti in the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School will travel to Bangalore, India, to find out how to slow down mental decline as the body ages. Sesti, a leader in aging research, believes that organisms age because cells accumulate oxidized material – including potassium.
Sesti‘s work will help researchers make strides in treating diseases like Alzheimer’s and other causes of dementia found in the elderly.
He will also teach courses on his methods to Indian students.
African studies and history professor Kim Butler in the School of Arts and Sciences is in Brazil studying a 1970s era when black popular culture and the global black power movement in Salvador, in the Brazilian state of Bahia, helped transform the region into a flourishing African cultural capital.
As part of her assignment, she is collecting oral histories from individuals involved with this movement for a new book, Black Power in Brazil, Blocos Afros and Global Black Politics in Salvador, Bahia.
Two professors from the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences will also do their Fulbright-sponsored research in Brazil. Eric Lam in plant biology and pathology will continue his work on improving biofuel production by enhancing plant sources. Daniel Hoffman in nutritional sciences will lead seminars and teach courses that promote an interdisciplinary approach to global health research and education, bridging nutrition and public health with economics, engineering, women's studies and urban planning.
Rutgers University-Newark law professor Mark Weiner will travel to Austria to teach courses in U.S. constitutional law and produce a series of documentary videos about Austrian conception of law. Philosophy scholar Martin Lin, in the School of Arts and Sciences, will travel to India to study classical Indian philosophy and its relation to 17th century Dutch philosophy on a unified underlying reality. And biology professor Daniel Shain in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University-Camden will conduct evolutionary biology research in Iceland.
The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is part of the larger Fulbright Program, established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. It has given more than 318,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, scientists and other professionals the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
In addition to sending scholars abroad, Rutgers has hosted 77 Fulbright scholars from overseas institutions since 2010. Eight will come to Rutgers in 2015.
In a related Fulbright program that provides grants to graduating seniors and young professionals, Rutgers students and alumni last year received 26 grants, a record number for the university. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, which administers the grants, reported that this ties Rutgers for third place among research universities nationwide.