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Awards and Honors

Engineering faculty members among 2024-25 Fulbright Scholars

This year’s cohort will study methods to mitigate wildfires and educate the public about nuclear energy, among other academic and research pursuits around the world.

NC State's Global Courtyard includes an art installation that resembles a globe

Eight NC State faculty members will be thinking and doing across the globe during the upcoming academic year following their selection as 2024-25 U.S. Fulbright Scholars. 

Fulbright Scholar Awards are prestigious and competitive fellowships that provide unique opportunities for recipients to teach and conduct research abroad. Fulbright Scholars also play a critical role in U.S. public diplomacy, establishing long-term relationships between people and nations. Alumni of the program include 62 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 80 MacArthur Fellows and thousands of leaders and world-renowned experts across the private, public and non-profit sectors. 

Earlier this year, NC State was recognized as one of only 12 schools named as a Fulbright Top Producing Institution for U.S. Fulbright Scholars and Students. The Office for Faculty Excellence (OFE) supports faculty members seeking these types of awards with a dedicated Fulbright Week every March and a Fulbright Pathfinder mini grant program, which empowers faculty as they navigate the Fulbright application. The OFE also highlights recent recipients each November during International Education Week. 

For more resources and information about how to apply for Fulbright awards, visit NC State’s Fulbright website.

Meet NC State’s 2024-25 Fulbright Scholars

Sarah Bowen, Fulbright Global Scholar Program

Bowen is a sociology professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and she was recently named associate dean of research and engagement for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, effective Jan. 1, 2025. As a Fulbright Global Scholar, Bowen will study geographical indications (GIs) — place-based labels that designate traditional products from a community or region — in Spain and Colombia. She will work with two host institutions, the Institute of Economics, Geography and Demography at the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid and the School of Social Sciences at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá. The project aims to outline whether Colombia’s GIs reproduce or subvert colonial power relations. It also will inform ongoing debates about whether GI policies can be reformed to benefit Indigenous producers and communities in the Global South.

Lauren Brooks, Germany

Brooks is an assistant teaching professor in the Department of World Languages and Cultures. She will use her Fulbright Scholarship for a project that will help her develop a course on the Black German diaspora, which will be taught in spring 2026 at the University of Münster in Germany. Brooks’ area of research is foreign language pedagogy, project-based learning and universal design for learning as a form of feminist pedagogy. She also studies contemporary German media and literature with a focus on marginalized artists. 

Diane Chapman, France International Education Administrators (IEA) Program

Chapman is executive director and associate vice provost for faculty development at the Office for Faculty Excellence and a teaching professor in the College of Education. Chapman will use her IEA award to explore study abroad and collaborative online international learning opportunities for NC State students, based on an existing partnership she developed with Université Côte d’Azur in Nice. The award will also allow her to continue her studies in French culture, heritage and regional differences. 

Fernando Garcia Menendez, Canada

Garcia Menendez is an associate professor in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering. As the Fulbright Canada Distinguished Chair in Environmental Science, Garcia Menendez will spend the academic year at Carleton University in Ottawa. During his visit, he will study the impacts of air pollution from Canadian wildfires and work with Canadian researchers to explore strategies to mitigate them.

Jia Hou, Italy

Hou is an associate professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering. The objective of his Fulbright project is to enhance the public understanding of nuclear energy by developing a basic principle open-source nuclear power plant simulator, designing hands-on learning materials, and holding seminars and interactive educational workshops. He will work with Politecnico di Milano in Italy. Hou is an advocate of nuclear energy, and the mission of his research is to promote nuclear energy primarily by advancing scientific understanding of advanced nuclear reactor technologies.

Praveen Kolar, Italy

Kolar is a professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. The goal of  his award is to enhance research collaborations between NC State and the University of Bologna, Italy, through a joint project focused on the value-addition of agricultural wastes to positively impact public health, the environment and agricultural sustainability. Kolar’s current research interests include the conversion of agricultural wastes into energy and value-added products, including heterogeneous catalysts and adsorbents.

Adriana San Miguel Delgadillo, Portugal

San Miguel Delgadillo is an associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. The research she will carry out at the Universidade do Algarve in Faro, Portugal, is a collaborative project with the goal of using C. elegans as a novel model for studying aberrant stress granule formation in the context of neurodegenerative disease. Her area of expertise includes computer vision and microfluidics to study aging, stress and neurodegeneration in C. elegans.

Intae Yoon, South Korea

Yoon is an associate professor in the School of Social Work. Through his Fulbright award, he will collaborate with the Migration Research and Training Center, a governmental think tank under South Korea’s Ministry of Justice, to understand the emerging trend of reversed immigration from the United States to Korea, to enhance the well-being of these immigrants and to address population challenges in Korean localities. The results will be used to advocate for policies that improve social safety nets in both countries. Yoon’s research focuses on economic independence for low-income families, economic justice, social safety net programs such as Social Security and Medicare, community assets and community development.

This post was originally published in NC State News.