Alumna Rachel Yoho Named to Fulbright Specialist Roster

I was recently named to the Fulbright Specialist roster for my expertise in biology, environmental, and science education. As a Fulbright Specialist, I am looking forward to a potential match with an international program at some time during the next three years.

According to the program’s website, “the program pairs highly qualified U.S. academics and professionals with host institutions abroad to share their expertise, strengthen institutional linkages, hone their skills, gain international experience, and learn about other cultures while building capacity at their overseas host institutions.” Additionally, “specialists, who represent a wide range of professional and academic disciplines, are competitively selected to join the Fulbright Specialist Roster based on their knowledge, skill sets, and ability to make a significant contribution to projects overseas. Those individuals that have been approved to join the Fulbright Specialist Roster are then eligible to be matched with approved projects designed by foreign host institutions from over 150 countries and other areas. Once abroad, Specialists partner with their host institution to conduct project activities in support of the host institution’s priorities and goals.”

According to World Learning, “Fulbright Specialists spend two to six weeks assisting host institutions with curriculum improvement, faculty development, institutional planning and related issues in a wide range of fields including agriculture, economics, education, and public health, among others. These projects support critical priorities identified by the institutions and supported by U.S. embassies and binational Fulbright Commissions abroad. The Fulbright Specialist Program encourages participation of university faculty as well as highly experienced professionals in other fields, including legal experts, business professionals, artists and journalists.”

The Fulbright Specialist program is a part of the overall Fulbright Program and is a program from the U.S. Department of State, with funding from the U.S. Government and partner countries worldwide, and administered by World Learning.

I am very excited to have been named to the Fulbright Specialist roster. At this time, I am working with a host institution abroad that is interested in hosting me for the term of the Fulbright Specialist. We are discussing very exciting plans to advance science education, increase access to and diversity in the STEM disciplines, and provide opportunities for underserved populations. In the coming months, I hope to have more concrete plans for this potential placement.

My work as a graduate student in the Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology sparked my interest in environmental and interdisciplinary concepts in science education. I began researching the presentation of climate change and energy technologies in undergraduate education while working in the Center. In collaboration with Center Director Dr. Bruce Rittmann, we recently published a paper in Environmental Communication focused on these topics in undergraduate science textbooks. From this early foundation, I am looking forward to expanding my research and collaborations through the Fulbright program with international partners.