Two faculty members, one alumna receive Fulbright Scholar awards

at left, headshot of Cáel M. Keegan and at right, Bopi Biddanda stands in the AWRI facility
From left are faculty members Cáel M. Keegan and Bopi Biddanda; both received Fulbright Scholar awards.
Image Credit: University Communications

Two Grand Valley faculty members and an alumna received Fulbright Scholar awards to teach and conduct research during the 2021-2022 academic year.

Bopi Biddanda, professor of water resources, will be a senior Fulbright core research/teaching fellow at the University of Granada in Spain, beginning in the winter semester. Cáel M. Keegan, associate professor of women, gender, and sexuality studies, was selected as the Fulbright Canada distinguished research chair in arts and social sciences at Carleton University.

Hannah Gaff, who earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in theater and Classics in 2008, earned a Fulbright award to lecture about theater as a tool for community transformation at the Egyptian Academy of Arts in Giza.

Biddanda said his time in Spain will aid a collaborative study between Grand Valley and the University of Granada. The person who will be his host in Spain, professor Manuel Villar-Argaiz, was a visiting scholar and co-taught a class at GVSU in 2018, one year after Biddanda was on a sabbatical in Granada.

"This collaboration seeks to quantify the role of lakes in Earth’s water cycle through a combination of observational, experimental and meta-analysis of the world’s lakes including lakes of Spain and U.S., enabling a timely and critical reassessment of the global freshwater inventories and fluxes," Biddanda said.

Keegan said he wanted to apply for a Fulbright position in Canada, where there is growing interest in transgender studies, his research focus. At Carleton, Keegan will work with faculty and students in the university's Transgender Media Lab, supporting initiatives like research incubators. He will concurrently be serving as visiting fellow at the University of Victoria, conducting research at that institution's Transgender Archives.

The experience, Keegan said, will help him make LGBTQIA history come alive for Grand Valley students. "Working closely with media and cinema studies faculty at Carleton will enhance my skills in classroom media engagement, and will also expand my knowledge of transgender media history," he said.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program.