2 UA Faculty Named Fulbright Scholars

Note: The story was updated June 11, 2024 to reflect the addition of Dr. Tori Jessen as a recipient of the Fulbright International Education Administrator Award.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Two University of Alabama faculty members have received Fulbright awards for educators to teach and research around the globe.

Dr. Anwarul Haque, associate professor of aerospace engineering and mechanics, and Dr. Jaye Johnson Thiel, associate professor of early childhood studies, are UA’s latest Fulbright Scholars. In February, UA was recognized as a Top Producing Institution of Fulbright U.S. Students for the seventh time in nine years as well as a Top Producing Institution of Fulbright U.S. Scholars for the first time. UA was one of 12 universities in the nation to receive both designations.

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program offers over 400 awards in more than 135 countries for U.S. citizens to teach, conduct research and carry out professional projects around the world. College and university faculty, as well as artists and professionals from a wide range of fields can join over 400,000 Fulbrighters who have come away with enhanced skills, new connections and greater mutual understanding.

A headshot of Anwarul Haque

Haque was invited to teach a graduate course in solid mechanics at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He will also take part in developing a joint research program as well as organizing research seminars and workshops in collaboration with university faculty members.

Haque’s field of expertise is solid mechanics, structures and composite materials. His research focuses computational and experimental stress analysis, impact/high strain rate loading, additive manufacturing and advanced composite materials. Haque’s research projects are sponsored by U.S. government agencies such as NASA, the National Science Foundation, Army and Navy, and private companies 3M and Boeing.

A headshot of Jaye Johnson Thiel

Thiel has been awarded the Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Early Learning at the University of Calgary and Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Education at the University of Alberta. Her scholarship explores children and youth hobbies, art making and play to expand understandings of the constructions of childhood in the Southeastern U.S.

Through her Fulbright, Thiel will engage in a research project that focuses on the relationships between young people and their show animals at junior livestock showing events in rural Alberta, Canada. This project will contribute to a larger study, the Rural Southern Childhoods Project that was funded in part by the Creative Arts Research Initiative at UA.

A headshot of Tori Jessen

In addition to UA faculty, Dr. Tori Jessen, assistant director of international partnerships and scholarships with the Capstone International Center, was selected for a Fulbright International Education Administrator Award to Germany. Jessen will spend two weeks in Germany, alongside other U.S. university administrators, completing an intensive and immersive study of German higher education. Not only will these two weeks include visits to German universities, but the award is also structured to introduce participants to Germany’s leading educational figures and relevant government officials.

Jessen works with UA faculty and staff to create meaningful international partnerships, as well as acting as an advisor for Fulbright student awards. The IEA Fulbright award will allow Jessen to create important German connections that in turn will sustain future UA and German collaboration.

The UA Capstone International Center offers guidance to students and faculty on a variety of prestigious international awards including Fulbright Awards. The Capstone International Center website provides information for faculty members to learn about Fulbright awards as well as students interested in Fulbright and other awards.

Contact: Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, bryant.welbourne@ua.edu, 205-348-8325