Fulbright Scholars Highlight Wide Range of UAlbany Academic Excellence
Fulbright Scholar David Andersen, right, visiting the pyramids outside of Mexico City with UAlbany alum Luis Luna, Ph.D., is studying how NAFTA policy influences supply chains. (Photo Deborah Lines Andersen)
ALBANY, N.Y. (September 15, 2010) --
Six distinguished researchers at the University at Albany will bring their academic expertise to Europe, Mexico and Africa after being named Fulbright Scholars for 2010-2011. Representing the College of Arts and Sciences, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, the College of Computing and Information, the School of Education, and the School of Public Health, UAlbany's Fulbright Scholars join a select group of higher-education faculty and professionals from around the nation who travel abroad in an effort to help build mutual understanding between the citizens of the U.S. and other countries.
"The University at Albany is home to some of the best and brightest scholars in the world and we are honored to have five of our colleagues recognized as Fulbright Scholars," said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Susan D. Phillips. "Their dedication and recognition enhances the University's reach and reputation as one of the top research universities in the United States."The 2010-2011 Fulbright Scholars are:
- Distinguished Service Professor David A. Andersen, Department of Public Administration and Policy, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy;
- Associate Professor Deborah Andersen, Departments of Information Studies and Informatics, College of Computing and Information;
- Professor Mark Blum, Department of East Asian Studies, College of Arts and Sciences (Fulbright-Hays Scholar);
- Distinguished Teaching Professor Stephen M. North, Department of English, College of Arts and Sciences;
- Associate Professor Carol Rodgers, Department of Educational Theory and Practice, School of Education;
- Professor Lawrence Schell, Department of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Director, Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities.
David and Deborah Andersen
David and Deborah Andersen's project takes them to Puebla, Mexico and Montreal to study supply chain dynamics associated with the production and distribution of coffee as a commodity within the North American Free Trade Alliance (NAFTA) region. Since many products consumed within the NAFTA trading zone are produced and distributed through cost-effective distribution networks that typically do not reveal certain types of information to end consumers, it becomes difficult for customers to assess the quality of the products. This gives producers incentives to offer consumers products that are of low quality or products that have been manufactured in low wage or environmentally unfriendly ways.
The Andersens aim to develop a proposal for an information policy that might lead to an improvement in the market share of fair wage and environmentally sustainable trade within the NAFTA region. The policy might also lead to an increase in the competitiveness of NAFTA players by supporting trade practices that would be attractive to other trading partners, such as the European Union.
In addition, Deborah Andersen is conducting research on public library policy, specifically how language affects collection development, in both Montreal and Puebla.
David Andersen has been awarded the Jay W. Forrester Prize for the best published work in system dynamics. He is the co-author of Introduction to Computer Simulation: The System Dynamics Modeling Approach and Government Information Management as well as over forty other edited volumes, journal articles, and book chapters dealing with system dynamics, public policy and management, and information systems. He is also a past president of the System Dynamics Society.
Deborah Andersen received her Ph.D. from the University at Albany in 1996. Her research interests include electronic information access technologies and their users, and public libraries. She teaches statistics and research methods and is the author of "Benchmarks," an opinion column she wrote while serving as executive editor of the Journal of the Association for History and Computing.
North will be teaching research writing and academic argument in Ternopil, Ukraine, beginning in February 2011. In preparation, North is studying Ukrainian and is conducting research on the teaching/learning context for Ukrainian culture in general. North previously served as a Fulbright Professor of English at Turku University and Abo Akademi in Turku, Finland during 1996–97.
A nationally renowned scholar in the fields of rhetoric, composition, and literacy studies, North has published two books, seven book chapters and 15 articles in refereed journals. He founded and served as editor of the National Council of Teachers of English’s Refiguring English Studies book series. His first book, The Making of Knowledge in Composition: Portrait of an Emerging Field, was published in 1987 and for many years was required reading in graduate writing programs throughout the United States.
Blum is researching and writing a history of one form of religious practice that is particularly prominent in East Asian Buddhism (China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam) called nianfo in Chinese and nenbutsu in Japanese. This is the most common form of Buddhist ritual in China and Japan today. Blum will trace the practice from its origins as a form of deep trance meditation in India to its transformation in medieval China into a recitation ritual and then how it developed in Japan into various forms of painting, music, dance, and theater. The study will involve a theoretical analysis of how Buddhist scriptures were interpreted, and then a socio-cultural analysis of how and why some of those interpretations suggested artistic expressions by monastics and lay believers alike, ultimately reflecting the basic ways of thinking about the human condition in China and Japan.
Blum is a specialist in Buddhist thought and culture in the Department of East Asian Studies at UAlbany. He has also lectured on fundamentalist religion and is currently writing a book on the appeal of fundamentalist ideology in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism, and its social and spiritual implications.
Associate Professor Carol Rodgers, third from left, shown here in Senegal in the late 1970s, is returning to Africa for the first time since serving in the Peace Corps. She will teach at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
Rodgers will travel to South Africa to teach at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) where she will be based in the Faculty (School) of Education to work with the University on its "Humanizing Pedagogy" project. Rodgers will teach students as well as carry out faculty development both in the School and the University. Rodgers' appointment is from January through December 2011.
Rodgers has previously taught in Senegal, West Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1977-1979, been a master teacher in the refugee camps of Indonesia from 1981-1983, and consulted in Pakistan, Japan, Thailand, and the United States. Her publications include "Defining Reflection: Another look at John Dewey and reflective thinking," Teachers College Press (2002), which was given the AERA Award for Exemplary Research in 2004.
Schell will travel in January 2011 to Florence, Italy, where he will conduct research for a book on cities and human health. Part of Schell's book will look at the Middle Ages in Europe, where there is a fair amount of documentation about health, epidemics, and city organization. Since Florence is fairly well preserved and remnants of early city life are evident, it provides on-the-ground examples for Schell's research.
Schell's plan for the book is to follow a largely chronological organization, beginning just before the invention of agriculture, which was a starting point for the growth of cities. The research in Florence will fill out the part of the book dealing with the period when cities were growing as trade centers but before industrialization.
Schell's research focuses on biological responses to urban environments. In particular, Schell studies the health of people exposed to different features of the urban environment. In 2004, Schell spearheaded the University's efforts to establish the Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities, and has served as its director since it opened in 2005. Through the Center -- which looks at the health of people living in smaller cities and communities in New York State -- Schell has led work that seeks to address the growing concern about the effect of certain pollutants on sexual and physical development. His work includes a study of how PCBs may affect physical and sexual development during adolescence. This study is conducted in partnership with the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne in upstate New York.
Additional Fulbright Recognition
Along with the UAlbany's five Fulbright Scholars, three other members of the University's community have been recognized through Fulbright programs:
- Rockefeller College Public Service Professor Paul Castellani, Department of Public Administration, has a received Fulbright Specialist fellowship to teach at Leiden University in the Netherlands.
- Doctoral student Winston Scott from the Department of Anthropology is studying Mayan culture through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.
- Recent UAlbany graduate Audrey Schneider has been awarded an assistantship to teach English in Mongolia.
The Fulbright Program
Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Scholar program is designed to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. Every year, about 800 U.S. faculty and professionals receive Fulbright Scholar awards to lecture and conduct research abroad, joining nearly 100,000 scholars who have received a Fulbright award since the program's inception.
The Fulbright Scholar program, America's flagship international educational exchange activity, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars. Award recipients are chosen on the basis of academic or professional achievement and because they have demonstrated extraordinary leadership potential in their fields.
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