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KNOXVILLE — Five University of Tennessee professors have been awarded 2007-2008 Fulbright Scholar grants that will allow them to lecture or conduct research around the world.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the program seeks to broaden worldwide understanding of political, economic, educational and cultural institutions.

The five professors are among approximately 800 faculty and professionals who will travel abroad from the United States through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program during this academic year. Most UT award recipients will or have devoted up to a semester working in a university department or institute engaged in teaching and research.

The recipients were chosen for their academic or professional achievement and demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

“We are proud of our talented faculty members who have been given the opportunity to represent the university on college campuses in Japan, Ecuador, Germany and Bulgaria,” said UT Provost Bob Holub. “Not only will they benefit professionally, but the university community, and particularly our students, will benefit by the knowledge they will share from their experiences.”

The recipients are as follows:

• Detelin Serafimov Elenkov, an associate professor in the College of Business Administration, will travel to Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski in Bulgaria to lecture on “Developing Leadership and Cross-cultural Competencies in Future Leaders of Bulgaria.” He will spend several months in Bulgaria teaching and conducting research as well.

• Catherine Anne Luther, an associate professor in the College of Communication and Information, has spent the past few months at the University of Tsukuba in Japan conducting research on “Anti-terrorism Legislation, Press Coverage and Public Opinion on the Curtailment of Civil Liberties in Japan.”

• G. Kurt Piehler, an associate professor in the Department of History in the College of Arts and Sciences, will travel to Kobe University in Japan to lecture on the “Study of the United States.” He will spend several months at Kobe University teaching and conducting research.

• Jon Daniel Shefner, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences, will travel to Simon Bolivar Andean University in Quito, Ecuador, to conduct research on the “Economic Stabilization and Political Change: Lessons From Ecuador.”

• David Gerard Tompkins, an assistant professor in the Department of History in the College of Arts and Sciences, traveled to the German-American Fulbright Commission in Berlin, Germany, to conduct a seminar titled “Fulbright German Studies Seminar” in June. He spent two weeks meeting with prominent politicians, political activists and scholars to discuss issues related to the seminar’s theme, “Germany and European Unification.”

Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided approximately 279,500 people with the opportunity to promote a mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries. Administered by the Council for International Exchange, it operates in 150 countries worldwide.

Contact: Karen Collins (865-974-5186 or 865-216-6862,