Four Clemson faculty members receive Fulbright Scholar Awards

May 28, 2024

Four Clemson University faculty members have received prestigious Fulbright Scholar Awards, which provide international lecturing and research opportunities that advance careers while benefiting host institutions and countries.

Upon return from their Fulbright experiences, scholars are uniquely able to infuse curricula with cross-cultural perspectives and facilitate international research and engagement opportunities on campus.

Congratulations to our colleagues on these impressive accomplishments. Research and teaching are central to Clemson University’s land-grant mission, and I am excited to see how our newly announced Fulbright Scholars will positively impact both Clemson and their academic disciplines in the future,” Robert H. Jones, Clemson University Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

Fulbright Scholars

Kelly Caine, Iceland (Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure) – Kelly Caine is a professor in the Human-Centered Computing Division of the School of Computing and Dean’s Professor in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences. She will live in Reykjavik, Iceland from August 2024 to May 2025 with her husband, Micah, and son, Bash. In the fall, Caine will co-teach a class at the University of Iceland on usable cybersecurity and give a public lecture on on her co-authored book, “Understanding Your Users.” Additionally, she plans to focus on research in the spring. Her research interests include usable security and privacy, human-computer interaction, human factors, health informatics and designing for special populations.

Laura R. Olson, Italy (Political Science) – Laura R. Olson is the Thurmond Professor of Political Science and affiliated faculty in Religious Studies. Her research focuses on contemporary religion and politics with emphases on public opinion and civic engagement. Olson’s research project is a revision of one the pandemic prevented her from completing in 2020 and focuses on the relationship between religious variables and attitudes towards migrants in post-pandemic Italy. She will teach two courses at the University of Bari Aldo Moro in Bari, Italy.

Matthew Rhodes-Purdy, England (Political Science) – Matthew Rhodes-Purdy, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, has earned a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award to study the challenges and successes of contemporary-era democracies in Manchester, England. He will join the University of Manchester in 2025 for the spring and summer terms. Specifically, Rhodes-Purdy will spend six months analyzing the Manchester Labour Party’s successful use of grassroots democratic practices, evaluating how the party interacts with society in a positive and effective way. The project will investigate how the Labour Party motivates its members, mitigates challenges and connects with other organizations to ensure collective action over time.

Kumar Venayagamoorthy, South Africa (Electrical and Computer Engineering) – Kumar Venayagamoorthy is the Duke Energy Distinguished Professor of Power Engineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering. He will be with the University of Pretoria in Pretoria, South Africa, from July to December 2024, to contribute to the transition of the South African electricity infrastructure to a sustainable grid while working with University of Pretoria faculty members. His long-term international collaboration in research and education in South Africa will focus on research education and innovation in smart grids, artificial intelligence and climate change.

According to Sharon Nagy, Clemson’s Fulbright Liaison, Clemson has had at least 88 Fulbright Scholar and Senior Scholar Awardees since 1950 representing many disciplines and countries. As the Fulbright program has diversified the opportunities for U.S. scholars and researchers, she noted that more Clemson faculty have been applying, especially from the STEM disciplines.

“In addition to the Scholar Awards that tend to span a semester or longer, we see between three and five of our colleagues accepted to the Fulbright Specialist Roster, which allows them to engage in up to two short term projects over a three-year span,” said Nagy.

To learn more about the various Fulbright opportunities or connect with any of the Fulbrighters on campus, contact Sharon Nagy at [email protected].