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Five University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa faculty members earned Fulbright U.S. Scholar fellowships for the 2024–25 academic year. Fulbright Program scholars are expected to engage in cutting-edge research and expand their professional networks, often continuing research collaborations started abroad and laying the groundwork for future partnerships between institutions.

“These Fulbright fellowships awarded to our UH Mānoa faculty members are a testament to their exceptional scholarship and dedication to global collaboration,” UH Mānoa Provost Michael Bruno said. “Their groundbreaking research will not only advance their fields but also strengthen international academic partnerships.”

Fulbright U.S. Scholars from UH Mānoa in 2024–25

  • Jan Brunson, an associate professor of anthropology in the College of Social Sciences, will study cesarean sections in Nepal. Collaborating with Suman Raj Tamrakar, head of obstetrics and gynecology at Dhulikhel Hospital, Brunson aims to understand the social, economic and systemic factors influencing c-sections. Her research focuses on balancing the life-saving potential and risks of c-sections by examining the experiences of women and healthcare practitioners. Brunson hopes to enhance reproductive knowledge and agency among women, ultimately improving maternal health outcomes.
  • Peter Fuleky, a professor of economics and research economist with the UH Economic Research Organization in the College of Social Sciences, will head to Budapest, Hungary to develop forecasting infrastructure for large-scale econometric models in the R statistical computing environment. In a user guide, he will describe best practices for time series data manipulation. He also plans to quantify the economic impacts of extreme weather events and use simulations to predict the impacts of climate change on economic conditions in the future. Fuleky hopes that his research will inform decision makers about the cost of taking no action, a baseline against which planned interventions can be evaluated.
  • Bruce Howe, a professor in the Department of Ocean Resources and Engineering in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, will head to Portugal to advance the SMART seafloor cable system linking Portugal with the Madeira and Azores archipelagoes. SMART systems integrate sensors into telecommunications cables to monitor climate change, earthquakes and tsunamis. In addition to the Portuguese Atlantic CAM, he will work on the New-Caledonia-Vanuatu Tamtam SMART cable system, and collaborate with UN agencies and global partners to develop similar systems. His efforts aim to enhance disaster risk reduction and support sustainable coastal infrastructure, ultimately saving lives.
  • Monica Smith, an associate professor in the College of Education, will work as a visiting scholar at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, supporting faculty in primary and secondary education. Smith will collaborate with Chilean scholar Malba Barahona Durán on a study examining pedagogies and lesson feedback in multilingual classrooms. She will also co-teach courses on teaching English to primary students and guiding doctoral research. This opportunity will enhance her understanding of promoting multilingualism and allow her to build a professional network between Hawaiʻi and Chile.
  • Joseph Tanke, a professor of philosophy in the College of Arts, Languages & Letters, will travel to Budapest, Hungary to work on his fellowship “The American Scholar in the Age of AI,” which studies artificial intelligence from the vantage point of critical social philosophy and involves teaching American philosophy and art at Károli Gáspár University. Inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “The American Scholar,” the project aims to explore how technologies like ChatGPT impact human thought and action, emphasizing the significance of philosophical inquiry for understanding AI‘s role in today’s world.

Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 400,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research abroad. Notable Fulbrighters include 62 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 80 MacArthur Fellows, 41 heads of state or government, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and non-profit sectors. Fulbright is a program of the U.S. Department of State, with funding provided by the U.S. Government.

The Fulbright Scholar Program is supported at UH Mānoa through Fulbright program advisors William Chapman, interim dean of the School of Architecture; Kristen Connors, fellowships, scholarships and professional development coordinator; and Betsy Gilliland, Department of Second Language Studies associate professor. For more information about the Fulbright Program at UH Mānoa, visit the Fulbright Program website.

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