University News

William Paterson University Ranks Among Top-Producing Institutions of Fulbright Scholars in the United States

Three faculty awarded Fulbrights for 2010-11 academic year.

William Paterson University in Wayne ranks among the top producers of Fulbright Scholars at master’s degree-granting colleges and universities in the United States, according to the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, a division of the Institute of International Education. The Fulbright Program is one of the most prestigious scholarship programs worldwide.

Three faculty at the University were awarded Fulbrights for the 2010-11 academic year. Top producers were named according to their type of higher education institution: research institution, master’s institution, community colleges, and bachelor’s institutions. William Paterson’s three Fulbright awards placed it among the top five master’s degree-granting institutions whose faculty received awards.

The three faculty who received awards include Aaron Tesfaye, assistant professor of political science, and Melkamu Zeleke, professor of mathematics, who have both returned to their native country of Ethiopia to teach and conduct research at Addis Ababa University, one of the largest institutions of higher learning in Africa. Maureen Martin, assistant professor of English, will teach English literature at the University of Nizwa in Oman during the spring 2011 semester.

William Paterson’s faculty currently includes 37 members who have received the prestigious awards.

“William Paterson University is very proud of these faculty members and our long tradition of participation in the Fulbright Program,” says Edward Weil, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “It is a tremendous opportunity to be engaged in the scholarly activity of an educational institution in another country, and to return to our campus and our students with new ideas and a broadened perspective.”

Tesfaye is expanding research he began in the early 1990s under a Fulbright Dissertation Grant, which resulted in the publication of his 2002 book Political Power and Ethnic Federalism: the Struggle for Democracy in Ethiopia. Tesfaye, who has been studying Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa for more than two decades, will conduct research for a new book focused on the experimentation and transition of new strategies of economic growth defined by underdevelopment and ethnic conflict. In addition, Tesfaye is teaching courses in comparative politics and international political economy and will contribute to the development of Addis Ababa University’s newly established doctoral program in political science and international relations.

Zeleke is teaching courses in graph theory and combinatorics to graduate students at Addis Ababa University who are specializing in discrete mathematics, as well as supervising master’s degree thesis projects. In addition, Zeleke is assisting the mathematics department there in reviewing its existing degree programs and development of new master of philosophy and doctoral programs in mathematics.

Martin will teach three courses in literature and conduct a seminar for faculty at the University of Nizwa in Oman, a six-year-old university with approximately seven thousand students, a majority of whom are women. She will also conduct a seminar for faculty at the university.

The Fulbright Program, America’s flagship international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Each year, the program sends approximately 800 U.S. faculty to faculty and professionals to 140 countries to lecture, research, or participate in seminars.