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Five UT professors are serving as Fulbright Scholars this academic year—Micah Beck, Sarah Eldridge, Carol Tenopir, Krista Wiegand, and Songning Zhang.

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

Micah Beck
Micah Beck

Micah Beck, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science in UT’s College of Engineering, will head to Nairobi, Kenya, to conduct research and teach at Strathmore University.

There he will work with iLabAfrica to develop better network and data systems in the hopes of increasing connectivity between urban centers and rural schools, libraries, and research locations. The lessons learned during that work will help better connect rural areas to the modern world.

Leader of the Logistical Computing and Internetworking Laboratory, Beck’s research activities include computing and operating systems, networking, storage, and exploring the boundaries of both parallel and distributed computation.

Sarah Eldridge
Sarah Eldridge

Sarah Eldridge is an assistant professor of German in UT’s College of Arts and Sciences. She is a scholar of 18th- and early 19th-century German literature. Eldridge will spend three months at the State and University Library at the Technical University in Dresden, Germany.

Using the funding from her Fulbright award, she will focus on travel literature and novels from 1740 to 1790. She will explore how exposure to different cultures through an increase in the availability and ease of travel affected the development of characters and storylines in novels that recreate the everyday lives of common people.

Carol Tenopir

Carol Tenopir, a Chancellor’s Professor and the College of Communication and Information Board of Visitors Professor in the School of Information Sciences, has been selected as the Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair in Information and Communications Technologies for the 2016-2017 academic year.

The position is considered one of the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program. Tenopir will be working with colleagues at the Hanken School of Economics, Department of Management and Organisation in Helsinki, Finland. The Fulbright Nokia Chair position will offer Tenopir the opportunity to engage in international research collaboration and in writing joint research articles and grant proposals with her Finnish colleagues. While in Finland, she also will be teaching and lecturing as well as mentoring doctoral student research.

Krista Wiegand
Krista Wiegand

Krista Wiegand is an associate professor of political science and director of the Conflict Processes—Global Security Program at UT’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.

Wiegand will examine the foreign policy strategies of the Philippine government in its maritime dispute with China in the South China Sea. During her four-month stay in Manila, she will interview government officials, scholars, journalists and other experts about the 2016 international arbitration case, military relations with the United States to balance against Chinese aggressions, and public opinion about the dispute. She plans to write at least three papers based on the research she will conduct. One paper will be a collaborative effort with a Filipino scholar.

Wiegand’s research interests focus on territorial and maritime disputes, conflict resolution, mediation, ethnic conflict and Islamic terrorism.

Songning Zhang
Songning Zhang

Songning Zhang, a professor of biomechanics in Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies in UT’s College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, will head to Colombia in January 2017 to conduct research at the University of Rosario and team-teach a class on the biomechanics of human movements.

He will collaborate with the physical therapy faculty at the host university to study functional training and ultrasound treatment on patients with hip osteoarthritis.

Zhang’s research includes gait and movement and how they relate to preventing lower-extremity injuries, as well as the rehabilitation of people with these injuries. He also studies the benefits of different sport surfaces, different types of athletic footwear, and orthotics.


Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,