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Three UT professors are spanning the globe as Fulbright Scholars this year.

The Fulbright Program is a prestigious international exchange initiative that awards about 1,100 grants to American scholars each year. Funded by the U.S. government, Fulbright Scholars are chosen based on their leadership and academic merits and their abilities to teach, conduct research, and contribute to solutions for shared international concerns.

Wanda Costen, associate professor in Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant for the 2013 –2014 academic year. She is studying gender inequality, specifically the social closure barriers that prevent women’s upward career mobility, in the resort industry in Jamaica. In addition to her research, Costen is teaching in the Department of Management Studies within the Mona School of Business and Management at the University of West Indies –Mona. Upon her return, Costen plans to write a book explaining how the barriers to women’s career progression are socially constructed.

Scott Frey, professor of sociology and co-director of the Center for the Study of Social Justice, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant for the fall term of 2013. He is studying the adverse environmental, health, and socioeconomic consequences of pesticide use under export-focused rice production in Vietnam. In addition to his research, Frey is lecturing at the Vietnam National University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City on issues related to the environment and development. Frey is currently working on a book examining how and why hazardous products and wastes are displaced to the peripheral zones of the world economy.

Rebecca Klenk, lecturer in interdisciplinary programs and affiliated faculty member with the Anthropology Department and the Disaster, Displacement, and Human Rights Program, has been awarded a Fulbright grant for the spring term of 2014. She will lecture and work with graduate students in the Anthropology Department at the University of Delhi in India. Along with teaching, she will develop new research on global educational restructuring, and collaborate with colleagues in India to plan a project on community experiences of, and educational responses to, Himalayan climate change.

Timothy Young, a professor in the Forest Products Center at the Institute of Agriculture, also received an award for the fall term. Young is in Austria conducting research on cross-laminated timber and teaching graduate courses in design of experiments and statistical process control at Salzburg University of Applied Sciences.

Melanie Eldridge, formerly a research assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology,  received an award to carry out a research project in Brazil for the fall term of 2013. She recently accepted a position at another university.

Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 310,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach, and conduct research; exchange ideas; and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. The Fulbright US Scholar Program is administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, a division of the Institute of International Education.

For more information, visit the Fulbright program’s website.


Whitney Heins (865-974-5460,