Fulbright Scholars arrive at Western Sydney University
Western Sydney University is proud to host two visiting scholars from the United States in 2018 as part of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship program.
Awarded inaugural Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarships which are sponsored by Western Sydney University, Victor Lopez-Carmen and Maureen Kessler will spend the next 10 months conducting research at the University.
Victor and Maureen were officially awarded their scholarships at the 2018 Fulbright Gala Presentation Dinner, which was held at Parliament House in Canberra. Both are pleased to have the opportunity to further their research at Western Sydney University and work with Australian peers.
Victor, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Health Sciences and Chemistry) from Ithaca College in New York State last year, will research Aboriginal socio-cultural health and wellbeing as part of his scholarship, specifically focusing on the social and cultural effects on Aboriginal parents who send their children to boarding schools in metropolitan cities, away from their communities.
Maureen, a PhD candidate who is studying ecology and environmental sciences at Montana State University, will research flying-foxes in Australia, to better understand the Hendra virus and its spread to horses and humans.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship foreign exchange program of the United States. First established in 1946, it has become the largest educational exchange program in the world, operating in more than 160 countries.
Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Barney Glover, said the Western Sydney University-sponsored Fulbright Scholarship enables postgraduate students from the U.S. to undertake research in fields that are important to the University, including the environment, public health, and the creative and performing arts.
“The University is pleased to support this postgraduate scholarship and help further educational and research ties and cultural exchanges between Australia and the United States,” said Professor Glover.
“We welcome Maureen and Victor as our first Western Sydney University Fulbright Scholars. We hope they enjoy their time here in Australia, and wish them the very best with their respective projects and look forward to their research outcomes.”
Thomas Dougherty, Executive Director of the Australian-American Fulbright Commission said the Commission was pleased for the award recipients.
"Maureen and Victor are exceptional scholars working in very unique fields, and the decision to accept both of them in 2018 speaks to the breadth and flexibility of the research facilities at Western Sydney University,” said Mr Dougherty.
"We look forward to following the individual journeys of these two fascinating Fulbright Scholars, and have great expectations for this program over the coming years."
Maureen Kessler’s research focuses on flying-foxes moving into urban environments and the potential for increased risk of Hendra Virus infection for horses in semi-urban areas.
Victor Lopez-Carmen is collaborating with Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver AM, who is Western Sydney University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Engagement and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership).