Three faculty members at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, are Fulbright Scholars for the 2021–22 academic year—Kelli Wood, David Fox, and Melissa Cardon.
Their research projects range from exploring how Europe and Asia were connected through trade routes during the Renaissance; bridging the gap between hand drawing and digital literacy; and studying the experiences of entrepreneurs in Australia feeling lonely and socially isolated.
The Fulbright Program is administered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State. About 1,200 US scholars receive awards each year to teach, research, or complete professional projects abroad. College and university faculty and administrators, as well as professionals, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, independent scholars, and others are eligible.
Kelli Wood, Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Kelli Wood, assistant professor of art history in the School of Art, will travel to Goa, India, to explore the ways in which Europe and Asia were connecting during the Renaissance by following the artisan crafts moving along established trade routes. This new line of research is related to her earlier work with Renaissance games and gaming practices.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, Goa was a thriving metropolis connecting trade routes from Japan to Europe. Indigenous makers and artists used shells and shellcraft in work that ultimately contributed to the visual dynamic of the baroque period across Europe.
“One of the ultimate aims of this project is to take an ecological approach to exploring the entire process, soup to nuts, of how these shells were crafted into beautiful and highly sophisticated pieces of furniture,” said Wood, “and how artisans and crafters and makers living in India in the 16th and 17th centuries contributed to the global style of the baroque from their special knowledge of using these natural materials.”
Wood joined UT in the fall of 2019. This is the second Fulbright award of her career, and she credits the School of Art with providing the supportive and creative environment that made it possible for her to pursue a new line of research so soon after joining the faculty.
David Fox, Associate Professor, College of Architecture and Design
David Fox, associate professor of architecture, will embark on his Fulbright experience at the Cracow University of Technology in spring 2022. He will take his years of experience of teaching foundational courses to Poland to help bridge the gap between two aspects of design that often are polarized: hand drawing and digital literacy.
“Learning digital platforms must not be at the expense of traditional media such as ink, graphite, and charcoal,” Fox said. “Drawing with one’s hands and eyes is a powerful asset that must adapt to the time demands that technology exerts on learning curves and now assume a new role in the creative process.”
Originally scheduled for spring 2021 but deferred due to the pandemic, Fox will teach a foundation-level class in spring 2022 that combines digital machine-built models and simulation software with freehand drawing, creating a model for the revision of Cracow University’s first-year design courses.
Fox’s goal is to help students become digitally fluent in using simulation software to envision space in ways previously not possible at an early level. Hand drawing accesses the imagination by making images that represent a space, while simulation software directly engages the senses to perceive a space.
Melissa Cardon, Haslam Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Haslam College of Business
Melissa Cardon, Haslam Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Haslam College of Business, was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. She will study the experiences of entrepreneurs in Australia related to loneliness and social isolation.
For her, the project hits close to home—literally.
“My parents founded a business when I was seven years old,” said Cardon. “I grew up with that business and watched it go through two partner breakups, many expansion and contraction cycles, and ultimately the sale of the firm over 25 years later.”
Since then, she has been fascinated with the psychological aspects of entrepreneurship, both for the entrepreneurs engaged in their startups and the stakeholders around them such as their families, customers, investors, and partners.
Cardon said entrepreneurs in Australia might find these feelings more pronounced due to the high levels of loneliness reported in the general population. She and Pia Arenius, professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at the RMIT School of Management, hope to help entrepreneurs understand their loneliness, prevent it, and cope with it going forward.
Due to pandemic-related travel restrictions in Australia, Cardon’s Fulbright project has been delayed until 2022.
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