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>  News Releases >   2008 >   November

Seven Dartmouth professors win Fulbrights, and one Portuguese scholar studies at Dartmouth on a Fulbright

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 11/24/08 • Media Contact: Public Affairs • (603) 646-3661

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Christiane Donahue
Christiane Donahue
Ursula Gibson
Ursula Gibson
David Kotz
David Kotz
Ioana Chitoran
Ioana Chitoran
Jonathan Smolin
Jonathan Smolin
Pamela Jenkins
Pamela Jenkins
Michael Mastanduno
Michael Mastanduno

Seven Dartmouth College faculty members were recently awarded Fulbright scholarships to support innovative teaching and research activities abroad. Christiane Donahue, the new director of Dartmouth’s Institute for Writing and Rhetoric and associate professor of linguistics; Ursula Gibson, professor of engineering; Pamela Jenkins, associate professor of community and family medicine and of pediatrics at Dartmouth Medical School; David Kotz, professor of computer science; and Michael Mastanduno, the Nelson Rockefeller Professor of Government, were named Fulbright Scholars by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, which is part of the U.S. Department of State. Ioana Chitoran, associate professor of French and of linguistics and cognitive science, and Jonathan Smolin, assistant professor in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, each received Fulbright-Hays fellowships from the U.S. Department of Education.

Dartmouth is also hosting a Fulbright Scholar from Portugal. Carla Pimontel is a researcher with New University of Lisbon. She is working with Matt Ayres, professor of biological sciences, on studies of forest pest populations, global climate change, and the adaptive management of forests.

Chitoran received a Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship to fund a combined research trip to Azerbaijan and the Republic of Georgia. She will study the mechanism of a completed sound change in the history of the Georgian language by examining a similar sound change currently in progress in Lezgi, a Caucasian language spoken mainly in northern Azerbaijan and Daghestan.

“This approach allows me to test specific hypotheses about the historical change in one language by using the living laboratory of another language. I will be able to observe history in action,” says Chitoran. “Part of the fellowship will also fund a longer stay in Georgia and enrollment in a Georgian language course, which will help in my efforts to bring research of the languages and cultures of the Caucasus to Dartmouth. The Caucasus is one of the areas of the world with the highest linguistic diversity, and several unusual structural properties of its languages have significant implications for current linguistic theory.”

Donahue, who specializes in writing and linguistics, will study at the University of Charles de Gaulle, in Lille, France, which is in the Nord Pas de Calais region near the Belgium border.

“I will be pursuing a project that examines how different countries, specifically the U.S. and France, approach writing instruction at the university level,” says Donahue. “I’m looking into at different kinds of methods, and comparing challenges and interventions.”

Gibson ’76, a professor at Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering, received a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland in Espoo, Finland. A nanomaterials specialist, she is investigating the use of zinc oxide nanostructures as a way of imparting UV protection capabilities.

“My collaborators in Finland are interested in improved protection for wood products,” said Gibson, “but the work is more generally applicable to other materials. The use of nanostructures is important because they don't change the appearance of the underlying material. Zinc oxide is a particularly attractive material to use as a UV blocker because it absorbs a wide range of UV light, and doesn’t degrade as it does its job. I hope to connect this research to the timber industry in Vermont and New Hampshire.”

Jenkins received a Fulbright Scholar Program Lectureship Grant. She will be hosted by St. John’s Medical College in Bangalore, India, an institution that trains health care professionals primarily to serve the needy in rural areas. Jenkins will use her experience in the areas of safety, efficiency, cost, and evidence-based medicine to guide her students through practical improvement projects.

“Quality improvement has the potential to extend health care to underserved populations in India,” says Jenkins. “The goal is to do more with existing resources. My students will be faculty members from several medical schools in Bangalore, and the projects we work on will be specific to their needs. I expect to bring back to Dartmouth new insights to tackle the complexity of our own health care system. The Indian medical system can teach us a great deal about ways to extract simplicity and efficiency from that complexity.”

Kotz ’86, and the director of Dartmouth’s ISTS for three years, has been named a Fulbright Scholar, and he is working in the Department of Electrical Communication Engineering at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India. Kotz’s interests lie in wireless computer networks, and in India, he will contribute to the rapidly growing Wi-Fi research community there. He plans to pursue two research projects, one to deploy a wireless-network measurement system, the other to monitor wireless-network traffic and user mobility patterns to develop new models of how the network is used.

“This project has many benefits,” says Kotz. “For my host university and to India, I hope I will enhance their capability to experiment with Wi-Fi networks, which will ultimately lead to enabling the development and deployment of networks to better serve the rural population. For me, I’m excited to explore rural-broadband challenges in India, and learn more about new network-modeling methods.”

Mastanduno, also the associate dean for the social sciences, received his fellowship this past summer to participate in the Fulbright Specialists Program in Japan. He gave the keynote lecture at the annual American studies conference in Japan at Nanzan University in Nagoya, and he spoke at the U.S.-Japan Foundation of the University of Tokyo and at two Japanese public policy foundations. His lectures focused on U.S. foreign policy in the context of the then-upcoming presidential elections. Mastanduno studies American foreign policy, and economic competition among the U.S., the European Community, and Japan. He is also a scholar of international relations theory.

“It was great to get the perspective of a variety of Japanese scholars and citizens on the transition in the U.S. and what it would mean for U.S.-Japan relations and global politics.”

Smolin received a Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship to complete a book on the recent spread of police fiction in Moroccan society. He’ll be based in Rabat, Morocco, and will conduct research in the periodicals collection of the National Archives. He will also work with actors, directors, and producers in the television and cinema industries. Smolin’s interests range from modern Arabic literature, cinema, and mass media to police fiction and narratives of illegal immigration to Europe.

“I will write a book on the origins of Arabic police fiction in novels, newspapers, and television programming,” says Smolin. “In particular, I plan to explore the relationship between police fiction and recent large-scale changes in Moroccan society, such as improvements in freedom of expression and human rights. I hope that this research will benefit our growing Arabic language and culture program at Dartmouth as well as the Department of Comparative Literature, where I teach a course on the effects of globalization on international police fiction.”

Created in 1946 and sponsored by the United States Department of State, the Fulbright Scholar Program supports educational exchange projects in more than 150 countries. The goal is “to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and other countries, through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills,” according to the Fulbright website. Since its inception, approximately 300,000 people have participated in the program, which is overseen by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.

The Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship program supports the improvement of modern foreign language and culture studies in the U.S. by providing opportunities for scholars to conduct research abroad. This program provides grants to institutions of higher education to fund faculty to maintain and improve their area studies and language skills by conducting research abroad for periods of 3 to 12 months.

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