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Four Idaho State University faculty, Bajracharya, Blanton, Cole and Schou, receive Fulbright Awards; will head to Germany, Canada, Nepal and New Zealand

Posted June 5, 2014

Four Idaho State University faculty have been selected for Fulbright Scholar and Specialists awards this spring.

They are geomatics Professor Rajendra Bajracharya, dietetics Assistant Professor Cynthia Blanton, physics Professor Philip Cole and informatics Professor Corey Schou. They will be going to Nepal, Canada, Germany and New Zealand, respectively.

“This is the first time Idaho State University has had four faculty selected as Fulbright scholars in the same year,” said Laura Woodworth-Ney, ISU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “It is a testimony to the quality of this University as a whole that we have four individuals selected from a diverse set of academic fields.”

The four Fulbright award recipients for the 2014-15 academic year are:

Rajendra BajracharyaRajendra Bajracharya, professor and coordinator geomatics technology in the College of Technology, has received a Fulbright Scholar award to Kathmandu University, Nepal.

His research in Nepal will focus in the area of geodesy, which is the science of accurately measuring and understanding the Earth’s geometric shape, orientation in space, and gravity field. He will be making a number of sophisticated geodetic measurements and analyzing data for the Nepalese government.

Bajracharya’s other focus areas will include teaching and assisting with Geographic Information System (GIS) science; Earth observation and remote sensing and land administration; supervision of department faculty, formulating proposals, collaborating with national and international to increase faculties for students and survey professionals; and if needed, teaching of an assigned geomatics engineering course at Kathmandu University.

Cynthia Blanton, associate professor, Division of Health Sciences, dietetics program, earned a Fulbright Scholar Award in nutrition to Canada.

Blanton will be a visiting chair in Health and Food Safety at the Institute for Nutriscience and Health in University of Prince Edward Island. Her project title is “Enhancing blueberry’s health effects with probiotics” and its purpose is to determine whether the blood pressure-lowering effect of blueberry consumption is improved by co-ingestion of probiotics, beneficial live bacteria.

Blueberry consumption provides protection against hypertension, which affects approximately 30 percent of adults in Canada and the United States and can contribute to death from cardiovascular and cerebrovascular (blood flow to the brain) diseases. Non-pharmaceutical treatments are attractive options for the 55 percent of North Americans with hypertension who do not take medication because of high cost and adverse side effects.

Philip ColePhilip Cole, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Science and Engineering, has received a Fulbright Scholar Award in physics to Germany.

His teaching and research project will take place at the Physics Institute of the University of Bonn at ELSA (Electron Stretcher Accelerator) in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Cole will investigate the nature of the strong force as mediated by the quark subdegrees of freedom in protons and neutrons and how quanta of light interact with quarks through the kind of force particles that are exchanged.

ELSA is one of the few nuclear physics laboratories in the world that has a high-energy, linearly-polarized photon beam facility. Cole will also mentor doctoral students at ELSA and teach one specialty research-focused course to be team taught with a senior University of Bonn physicist.

Corey SchouCorey Schou, professor of informatics and director of the ISU Informatics Research Institute (IRI), has been selected for a Fulbright Specialists project in New Zealand at University of Waikato during June/July 2014. Schou will work with developing international cooperation between University of Waikato and Idaho State University by presenting lectures at the graduate and undergraduate level, leading computer security workshops for industry, academia and government institutions. As part of his outreach, he will work with interested parties in conducting needs assessments, surveys, and development of institutional and programmatic research.

Schou’s work in information assurance through the IRI and the National Information Assurance Training and Education Center (NIATEC) at ISU has been recognized worldwide for its innovative application of visualization and remote simulation to the computer security profession. He will also work with the University of New South Wales on a cooperative program based on the Cyber-Security Range at NIATEC to expand the joint capability in critical infrastructure protection and cyber terrorism.

Schou is one of just 400 U.S. faculty and professionals who travel abroad through the highly selective Fulbright Specialists Program. The program allows short-term academic opportunities for prominent U.S. faculty and professionals around the world.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” With this goal as a starting point, the Fulbright Program has provided almost 300,000 participants — chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Under a cooperative agreement with the Bureau, the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) assists in the administration of the Fulbright Scholar Program for faculty and professionals.