Seven Penn State faculty receive Fulbright Scholar awards

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Seven faculty scholars university-wide have received Fulbright awards for the 2014-15 cycle, which continues Penn State’s strong representation in that program.

The Fulbright awards were established in 1946 to promote mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries. The program is sponsored by the Department of State and administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, a division of the Institute of International Education.

“The faculty is the heart of the university enterprise,” said Michael Adewumi, vice provost for Global Programs. “Hence, the quality and reputation of the institution hinges on the faculty. Fulbright Scholar awards are another indicator of the high quality of our faculty.”

This year, Penn State Fulbright scholars and professionals will conduct advanced research and teach in their host countries while gaining knowledge of the cultures in which they are immersed.

“Most scholars are able to continue with their research after their Fulbright programs, leveraging the connections they established in their host countries,” said Sylvester Osagie, faculty Fulbright adviser in Global Programs.

The following faculty members are recipients of the 2014-15 Fulbright grants:

  •  Steven Bonta, Penn State Altoona, instructor in the linguistics department of the Division of Humanities; will travel during the first half of 2015 to begin documentation of Sri Lanka Gypsy Telugu, a dialect of the Telugu language.
  •  Charles Elavsky, University Park, associate professor of communications in the Department of Film-Video and Media Studies, lecturing grant at Masaryk University, Czech Republic.
  •  Semih Eser, University Park, professor and director in the Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering, lecturing grant at Izmir Institute of Technology, Turkey.
  •  Gregory McMillan, Penn State Abington, associate professor in the Department of Social Sciences, lecturing grant at the University of Malta, Malta.
  •  Raja Ramani, University Park, professor emeritus, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, lecturing grant at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India.
  •  Kai Schafft, University Park, associate professor in the Department of Education Policy Studies, research grant at the Central European University, Hungry.
  •  Julio Urbina, University Park, associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, lecturing grant at the National University of Engineering, Peru.

The Fulbright Scholars Program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs section of the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES). Penn State supports the efforts of its faculty to participate in Fulbright through the office of Global Programs.

Applications for the 2015-16 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Core Competition are now open and the deadline for submission is August 3, 2015. For more information on Fulbright opportunities visit

For more information about the application process, contact Sylvester Osagie, director of campus engagement and faculty Fulbright adviser, at 814-867-4276 or [email protected]; or Kristine Crassweller, program assistant, at 814-863-4168 or [email protected].