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Two UW Professors Selected for Fulbright Scholars Program


February 4, 2010 — Two University of Wyoming professors are among educators worldwide selected for the Fulbright Scholars Program.

Professors Jose Rosa, Department of Management and Marketing, and Gus Plumb, Department of Mechanical Engineering, will conduct five months of research work in the countries for which they were selected. Rosa will work at Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Columbia, and Plumb at the University of Botswana in Gaborone, Botswana. Both will be at their respective colleges from February through late June.

The Fulbright Program, the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the United States government, is designed to increase mutual understanding between the U.S. and the people of other countries.

The fellowships provide 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.

Rosa will conduct research for two projects at Universidad de los Andes, a well-regarded private university that is sometimes referred to as the Harvard of Colombia.

His first project seeks to identify characteristics of scavenger innovators in stable subsistence populations.

"Scavenger innovators are individuals who derive a living wage from scavenging artifacts and raw materials from landfills and trash dump sites and reusing or reselling recovered artifacts and raw materials," Rosa says. "Stable subsistence populations are those who have been living in poverty for more than 12 months and have acclimated to marginal living conditions and persistent levels of need."

Rosa's second project will investigate how the pursuit of hope and having hope by subsistence (economically poor) individuals influences their innovativeness.

"Yearning for outcomes influences the individual's appraisal of current circumstances, which in turn generates hope or despair," he says. "The study will induce hope or despair in poor consumer innovators and track the unfolding of beneficial or detrimental experimentation and motivated reasoning."

Plumb will collaborate on developing a new interdisciplinary master's degree program affiliated with the recently established Centre of Study in Renewable and Sustainable Energy at the University of Botswana.

"The new center focuses on renewable and sustainable energy and I will be working with them to help establish the research and educational programs that will fall under the umbrella of this center," Plumb says. "This will include developing an interdisciplinary M.S. degree in renewable and sustainable energy, workshops for professionals and assisting them to make contacts in the U.S. to help form collaborative research relationships."

Plumb also will develop renewable energy short courses for practicing professionals.

The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by then-Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Approximately 294,000 "Fulbrighters" -- 111,000 from the United States and 183,000 from other countries -- have participated in the program since it began. The Fulbright Program awards approximately 7,500 new grants annually and now operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.


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