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UC Davis tops the list of 'top producers' of Fulbright Scholars

By Dave Jones on January 2, 2013 in University News


A national leader in the Fulbright Program is scheduled to visit UC Davis in May to give “The International Perspective” in the Provost’s Forums on the Public University and the Social Good.

The speaker, Allan E. Goodman, is president and chief executive officer of the Institute for International Education, which manages the Fulbright Program and several related programs for the U.S. State Department.

Goodman’s talk is scheduled from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, in the AGR Room at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center, with a reception to follow until 6 on the Moss Patio.

UC Davis sits at the top of the list of U.S. research institutions recognized as “top producers” of Fulbright Scholars for 2012-13 — academics chosen to go abroad to teach and do research in the U.S. government’s flagship program for international educational exchange.

Only two other research institutions matched UC Davis with six scholars each: UC Berkeley and Pennsylvania State University at University Park.

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program for this academic year includes the following UC Davis participants: Mark Mascal, chemistry; Richard Mines, research economist; Pamela Ronald, plant pathology; Henry Spiller, music; Ruxandra Vidu, chemical engineering and materials science; and Yin Yeh, applied science. Mascal and Ronald received awards in the Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program, appointments that are viewed as among the most prestigious in the Fulbright Scholar Program.

They are carrying on a tradition that began in the aftermath of World War II. The year was 1945, and J. William Fulbright, a new senator from Arkansas, proposed an exchange program as a much-needed vehicle for promoting “mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries of the world.” President Harry S. Truman signed the program into law in 1946.

Nearly seven decades later, “We strongly believe that the Fulbright Program offers UC Davis faculty, staff and graduate students important international research, teaching and outreach opportunities to complement our global agenda,” said William B. Lacy, vice provost of University Outreach and International Programs.

Lacy’s office administers the Fulbright Program at UC Davis, working not only with our scholars who go abroad, but also with foreign scholars who come here on Fulbright grants. See who’s here this year.

Since its inception, the Fulbright Program has sponsored more than 300,000 “Fulbrighters” at home and abroad. UC Davis records show that the university has hosted 154 scholars since 1997 and sent 47 scholars abroad since 1998.

UC Davis’ 2012-13 “Fulbrighters,” those selected to go abroad, are listed here. Each listing includes position at UC Davis, position abroad and host institution, Fulbright project title, and the time frame for the Fulbright assignment.

• Mark Mascal — At UC Davis: associate professor, Department of Chemistry. Abroad: lecturer and researcher, as the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Alternative Energy Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden. Project: “Efficient Conversion of Waste Biomass into Fuels and Chemicals.” August 2012-May 2013.

• Richard Mines — At UC Davis: research economist, Division of Social Sciences Research Service Center. Abroad: lecturer and researcher, Center for Research and Advanced Studies in Social Anthropology (CIEAS-Occidente), Guadalajara, Mexico. Project: “The Impact of Migration on Environment and Labor Conditions in Agro-Export Mexican Agriculture.” August 2012-July 2013.

• Pamela Ronald — At UC Davis: professor, Department of Plant Pathology and Genome Center. Abroad: lecturer and researcher as the Fulbright-Tocqueville Distinguished Chair, Montpellier II University, Montpellier, France. Project: “Elucidation of the Molecular Basis of Plant Pathogen Interactions.” July 2012-January 2013.

• Henry Spiller — At UC Davis: associate professor, Department of Music. Abroad: researcher, Indonesia University of Education, Bandung, Indonesia. Project: “Entangled in Bamboo: Music and Place in West Java, Indonesia.” February-July 2013.

• Ruxandra Vidu — At UC Davis: associate adjunct professor, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. Abroad: lecturer and researcher, Bucharest Polytechnic University, Bucharest, Romania. Project: “Interdisciplinary Network in Solar Energy Materials and Technologies.” October 2012-July 2013.

• Yin Yeh ­­­— At UC Davis: professor emeritus, Department of Applied Science. Abroad: researcher, Chang Gung University, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan. Project: “Use of Ultrahigh Sensitivity Label-Free Methods to Probe the Dynamics of the Initial Aggregation Steps of Amyloid Beta Protein on Membrane Biomimetic Constructs.” October 2012-April 2013.


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Media contact(s)

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,