GVSU ties for first for Fulbright Scholars

Kurt Ellenberger is pictured with his daughter in Europe. He is teaching and conducting research in Austria after receiving a Fulbright Scholar award.
Kurt Ellenberger is pictured with his daughter in Europe. He is teaching and conducting research in Austria after receiving a Fulbright Scholar award.
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Grand Valley has tied for first place for the number of Fulbright Scholars for similar-size institutions, according to a list from the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Three faculty members from Grand Valley earned Fulbright Scholar awards for 2013-2014. That number ties Grand Valley with nine other master’s institutions in the U.S. In last year’s ranking, Grand Valley was tied for second place, also with three Fulbright Scholars.

Kurt Ellenberger, associate professor in the Meijer Honors College, earned a Fulbright to conduct research and teach a jazz theory course in Austria at the Kunstuniversität Graz (KUG).

Ellenberger said his Fulbright experience is different from sabbatical research, a time when faculty largely work alone on research. “With the Fulbright, you really become part of a new community, not just academic, but also part of the local community,” he said.

The other faculty members who earned Fulbright Scholar awards are Rich Jelier, professor of public, nonprofit and health administration, who will teach and conduct research at Moscow State University in Russia; and Sylivia Mupepi, associate professor of nursing, who is at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana, teaching and researching cervical cancer, the No. 1 killer of women there.

The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is the country’s flagship international education exchange program, designed to provide opportunities for faculty members to teach and conduct research abroad.