Profs. receive Fulbright fellowships

by Elise Quinones | 11/25/08 3:51am

Seven Dartmouth professors received Fulbright scholarships on Monday to fund research abroad. Christiane Donahue, Ursula Gibson '76, Pamela Jenkins, David Kotz '86 and Michael Mastanduno were named Fulbright Scholars by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars and Ioana Chitoran and Jonathan Smolin received Fulbright-Hays Foreign Area and Language Training Program fellowships.

Assistant dean of faculty Jane Carroll, who aids faculty in the Fulbright admissions process, said that the process of naming scholars is very selective and "becomes even narrower especially in bad economic times." Fellowships and scholarships such as the Fulbright are a competitive, Carroll added, but Dartmouth usually does well.

"There are a limited number of places that fund pure research, and this is one," Carroll said. "It is a wonderful grant for someone who is trying to finish up a project or start a new one."

According to Carroll, the Fulbright Program is not "one-size-fits-all" and provides diverse opportunities for recipients. Some scholarships allow professors to teach in different countries while others function purely for research, she added.

Donahue, director of the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric and a linguistics professor, will use her scholarship to conduct research in France. Donahue plans to build on a previous study of student writing that she conducted in the United States. She and her team will use data from the surveys administered to students in three French universities, along with writings from students on a multidisciplinary level to study students' writing in the areas of linguistics, literature, history, psychology and education. Donahue's aim is to better understand students' writing processes, how their work differs between major and non-major courses and their level of growth between their freshman and senior years.

"I'm really excited about the fact that we will get a good inside look at what's going on in French universities," Donahue said. "Many studies involving writing at the secondary and doctorate level have been conducted, but very few people were paying attention to students' undergraduate writing."

Donahue said she is eager to participate in a movement connecting Dartmouth to the rest of the world.

"With the way that the world is going these days, to bring back to Dartmouth students the information about what students in universities in France are doing with their writings is a really exciting opportunity," Donahue said.

Chitoran, professor of French, linguistics and cognitive science, will use her award to study in Azerbaijan and the Republic of Georgia, according to a Dartmouth press release. She will explore the history of the Georgian language by analyzing the development of a separate language, Legzi, spoken in Azerbaijan.

Gibson, a professor at the Thayer School of Engineering, will study at the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, focusing on zinc oxide's protective properties against ultraviolet rays for wood products and other materials, according to the press release.

St. John's Medical College in India will host Jenkins, professor of community and family medicine and pediatrics at Dartmouth Medical School. Jenkins plans to find ways to efficiently employ medical resources and study Indian health-care system to gain a new perspective on the United States' model, the press release reported.

Kotz, director of the College's Institute for Security, Technology and Society, is currently working with the Department of Electrical Communication Engineering at the Indian Institute of Science. He plans to research both the operation of a wireless-network measurement system and user mobility patterns in order to create improved models, the release reported.

Mastanduno, associate dean of the faculty and a professor of government, received his fellowship last summer to participate in the Fulbright Specialists Program in Japan. He used his fellowship to lecture on American foreign policy as it related to the 2008 presidential election.

Smolin, professor of Asian and Middle Eastern studies, received a Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship to complete a book on the growth of police fiction in Moroccan society. He will conduct his work in Rabat, Morocco.

Gibson, Jenkins, Kotz, Mastanduno, Chitoran and Smolin could not be reached for comment by press time.