OSU faculty, students awarded prestigious Fulbright fellowships
Monday, June 5, 2023
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Oklahoma State University continues to produce top scholars and students with four faculty members and four students being awarded Fulbright fellowships. They will join more than 800 U.S. citizens who will teach or conduct research abroad for the 2023-24 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.
"Oklahoma State University is proud to have these outstanding faculty and students selected as Fulbright scholars," OSU President Kayse Shrum said. "As a land-grant institution, OSU stewards a timeless responsibility to extend critical knowledge and expertise to our state, the nation and the world. This prestigious recognition in international education amplifies our scholars' work to advance research and academic pursuits that impact society."
Fulbright U.S. Scholar Fellowships (faculty) were awarded to:
- Dr. Anne-Marie Condacse, professor of vocal studies — Austria
- Dr. Michael Yough, associate professor and program coordinator of the educational psychology program — Colombia
- Dr. Paul Tikalsky, professor of civil & environmental engineering and dean of the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology — Uzbekistan
- Dr. Ramesh Sharda, regents professor of management science and information systems and Spears School of Business vice dean for research and the watson graduate school of management — Finland
Fulbright U.S. Student Grants were awarded to:
- Grant Currier, English Teaching Assistant Award — Hungary
- Sarah Kirk, English Teaching Assistant Award — Germany
- Abigail Lesnick, English Teaching Assistant Award — Germany
- Calvin Schaefer, Open Study/Research Award — Morocco
“The Fulbright program is universally recognized as one of the premier intercultural exchange programs in the world, and Fulbrighters typically use their experience to contribute to a better, more peaceful world, as well as to gain in their own professional and academic careers,” said Dr. Randy Kluver, dean of OSU Global. “OSU’s increasing success in getting these awards demonstrates the incredibly high quality of the students and faculty at OSU.”
Fulbrighters engage in innovative research and expand their professional networks, often continuing research collaborations started abroad and laying the groundwork for forging future partnerships between institutions.
“OSU students and faculty stand out in the pool of other Fulbright applications because of our unique position as a land-grant university in middle America,” said Cara Menasco Eubanks, associate director of development at the OSU Foundation and former academic programs coordinator at the School of Global Studies. “OSU students, especially those from Oklahoma and surrounding states, provide unique American experiences and insights that foreign audiences are not typically exposed to.
“Any time the State Department can expose foreign audiences to glimpses of often untold American experiences, it drastically helps them understand (maybe even like) America better. This is citizen diplomacy.”
For Yough, the Fulbright program is an opportunity that presents a puzzle and a problem to solve, he said.
“I really saw it as a challenge,” Yough said. “I think most of what I do in my job I see as a challenge to overcome — I like a fun challenge or a puzzle to solve — and I think getting the Fulbright certainly was part of that. But honestly, I want to do some work. What an opportunity to do that in Colombia.”
Yough believes that humans are in good spaces when they look to grow and develop, he said.
“I really don't think that anybody ever has to stop developing,” Yough said. “But I think the opportunity just to have different experiences really helps to make me who I am. And this definitely is a means to do that.”
Yough is planning to work in Barranquilla, Colombia, partnering with teachers to understand how they relate to their students or understand student perspectives and the impact that has on student success.
“The idea is that teachers who are really good perspective takers can better support their students, and can better assess where their students are,” Yough said. “But ultimately, that's kind of hard to determine whether a teacher is good at that or not, right? Ultimately, the student is the judge.”
Yough and his collaborators hope to start by talking to students and observing teachers, then they plan to take what they learn from that and develop a workshop so other teachers can implement the strategies and best practices they discover.
“We would hope that teachers would then develop their own study to assess their own effectiveness in classrooms,” Yough said.
But during his time in Colombia, and for all the Fulbrighters, there is more than just research and teaching happening. At its core, Fulbright is a diplomacy tool, Eubanks said.
“It's great for OSU to get Fulbright awards, but being a Fulbrighter impacts more than OSU,” she added. “As a Fulbrighter, you are essentially serving as an ambassador to your home institution, your home state, and most importantly, your country.”
OSU Fulbright Scholars greatly impact the people they work with and talk to during their time overseas.
“Every interaction you have with foreign audiences has a reaction,” Eubanks said. “Something as simple as talking to foreigners about OSU and your experiences here can lead to more international students enrolling at OSU and building a stronger OSU reputation globally. “
Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 400,000 participants from over 160 countries — chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to challenges facing our communities and our world.
Notable Fulbright alumni include 89 Pulitzer Prize recipients, 78 MacArthur Fellows, 62 Nobel Prize laureates and 41 who have served as a head of state or government.
The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is supported by the people of the U.S. and partner countries around the world.
The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the program. In the U.S., the Institute of International Education supports the implementation of the Fulbright U.S. Student and Scholar Programs on behalf of the U.S. Department of State, including conducting an annual competition for the scholarships.
Learn more about the Fulbright Program here.