BOONE — Appalachian State University is the nation’s top producer of Fulbright scholars among master’s institutions in 2019–20, according to the U.S. Department of State and Institute of International Education. A total of six Appalachian faculty plus one administrator received the prestigious award during this award cycle, a record number for the university.

This is the fourth time Appalachian has placed in the top 10 list for Fulbright U.S. Scholars among master’s institutions. Last year, the university tied for first place with College of Charleston, with four scholars each.

Fulbright is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program.

The faculty recipients from Appalachian are:

  • The Reich College of Education’s Paul Wallace in the Department of Leadership and Educational Studies, who is spending the full 2019–20 academic year in Russia engaging in cross-cultural collaboration to prepare international leaders.
  • The College of Arts and Sciences’ Richard Gray in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, who is spending the full academic year teaching astronomical spectroscopy and conducting research at the University of the Free State in South Africa.
  • The College of Arts and Sciences’ Mark Powell in the Department of English, who is teaching contemporary U.S. literature at Ovidius University of Constanta, in Romania, during the spring semester and conducting research for his seventh novel.
  • The College of Arts and Sciences’ Christina Verano Sornito-Carter in the Department of Anthropology, who will conduct research in the Philippines in August at the University of the Philippines Visayas on heritage conservation and disaster management movements related to island dwelling in the 21st century.
  • The Beaver College of Health Sciences’ Dave Williams in the Department of Nutrition and Health Care Management, who is in Austria this spring teaching health care management to a diverse group of international students at Management Center Innsbruck (MCI). He is also conducting research on Austrian and other central European biopharmaceutical ecosystems.
  • The College of Arts and Sciences’ Alexandra Sterling-Hellenbrand, professor of German and global studies in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, who is teaching interdisciplinary courses this spring at the University of Graz in Austria.

A former administrator also received a Fulbright to visit India in March 2019 in relation to the recruitment of international students.

Appalachian’s Office of International Education and Development and Office of Research encourage and support faculty applications for Fulbright awards because of what they see as the program’s global benefits. These include faculty sharing academic knowledge with colleagues and students in other countries, and then bringing the knowledge they learn from this exchange back to the Appalachian students, faculty and staff. They, in turn, develop stronger intercultural communication skills, a better understanding of others and stronger empathy skills for other cultures.

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