The University of South Florida is the 2018-19 top producer of Fulbright Scholars with 12 recipients, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. The accomplishment places the institution among top research schools like Michigan State University, UCLA, and Notre Dame.
Dr. Roger Brindley, the Vice President for USF World, stated the accolade is not only a positive reflection on the faculty members, but also on USF’s commitment to teaching from a global perspective.
“To be number one (in) Fulbright, which is such a prestigious, internationally renowned award, speaks volumes to the University of South Florida’s global footprint,” he explained. “It speaks to our commitment to graduate globally competent students who can take multiple perspectives and understand the world that they are moving their careers into. It speaks greatly to the skill and experience and enthusiasm of our faculty who at every opportunity want to be globally minded in the way they do their work.”
The recipients include 11 faculty members and an administrative professional. They represent each of USF’s three campuses and the USF College of Health.
Fulbright Scholars have the opportunity to travel abroad to teach and conduct research. The USF recipients will be studying on four continents, covering such issues as breast cancer, entrepreneurship, mental health and family law reform.
For example, Muma College of Business dean Moez Limayem worked on Japan-United States higher education relations.
Creating an environment where students learn from different world perspectives, stated Brindley, fosters qualities that employers value in the workplace. This, he said, gives USF students a unique advantage when applying for jobs after graduation.
“Those are the skills such as empathic listening, being able to take the position of another, being problem solving and solution-oriented and thoughtful and inquisitive and innovative in your thinking," he explained. “It doesn’t really matter what sector of the economy you’re looking to get a job in. Those are skills that employers simply love to see. Being a global citizen prepares you for those skills.”
The Fulbright Scholarship, said Brindley, is just one of the many efforts the university uses to help students expand their worldview. Bringing in a wealth of international students to study among American students is also a factor.
“In the United States today, only 42-percent of U.S. citizens own a passport. So if we are going to take the idea of graduating globally competent citizens seriously, we have to bring the world to Tampa, Sarasota and St. Petersburg.”
Learn more about the 12 USF Fulbright Scholars, where they’re studying and what they’re working on below.
Anol Bhattacherjee is a professor at USF teaching Information Systems and serves as the Exide Professor of Business Ethics. Bhattacherjee is currently at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur with the focus of improving digital innovations.
Chih-Chin Chou oversees the Rehabilitation & Mental Health Counseling (RMHC) Program as the Program Director. Chou is conducting research on social support for indigenous people with disability and chronic illness at the National Dong Hwa University in Taiwan.
Tara Deubel is an assistant professor in USF’s Department of Anthropology. Deubel is at Ibn Zohr University in Morocco researching the impacts of family law reform.
Victor Fung is a Professor of Music Education within the College of the Arts at USF. Fung researched the impact of music participate on senior citizens in Japan at Meiji Gakuin University.
Timothy Heath is a professor within the Department of Marketing in the Muma College of Business. Heath is in Austria focusing on cross-fertilizing U.S. and European innovation approaches at the Vienna University of Economics.
Abdelwahab Hechiche is a professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies. Hechiche is currently at the University of Prishtina in Kosovo researching peace and reconciliation in the Balkans.
Moez Limayem is Dean of the Muma College of Business. Limayem traveled to Japan for the Japan-United States Educational Commission and observed higher education practices.
John Skvoretz is a Distinguished University Professor within the Department of Sociology. Skvoretz is researching social interaction in diverse societies at the Polish Academy of Sciences.
Glenn Smith is an associate professor in the College of Education at USF. Smith in currently in Slovenia at the University of Ljubljana researching the use of teen text and talk games in web eBooks.
Sajeev Varki is an associate professor within the Muma College of Business. Varki lectured about big data at Belarusian State University.
Constance Visovsky is an associate professor as well as Associate Dean for the College of Nursing. Visovksy is researching breast cancer at the University of Panama.
Solomon Weldegirma is a Senior Instructor and Organic Chemistry Lab Coordinator in the College of Arts and Sciences. Weldegirma’s research is focused on green chemistry education in Ethiopia at Bahir Dar University.