Two students win Fulbright Hays awards

Mon, 12/16/2013

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Alison Watkins
International Programs
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LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas is the only institution in the state to receive Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Awards.

Joshua Homan, a doctoral student in anthropology, will study the social life of the Pastaza Quechua in Peru.

Jacob Longaker, a doctoral student in political science, will use his award to study how gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Brazilians achieve substantive representation in public policy. They will receive a total of $77,352.

The graduate students are two of the 80 people at 34 institutions of higher learning who won more than $3 million from the U.S. Department of States’ Fulbright Hays International Education programs. 

“The selection of Homan and Longaker for the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Awards reflects the excellence of their research proposals. Both awardees have strong academic and experiential background, as well as the language skills necessary to fulfill their goals in Peru and Brazil,” said Sue Lorenz, director, Fulbright Programs & International Agreements in the Office of International Programs.

Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad grants are part of the larger competitive Fulbright-Hays Program, which dates to 1961 when the late U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright sponsored legislation for several programs that aim to increase mutual understanding between America and the rest of the world. Since the program’s inception in 1946, 445 KU students, including these two awardees, have been awarded Fulbrights. 

Homan earned a master’s degree in summer 2011 and a bachelor’s degree in 2006 from KU. He is a Salina Central High School graduate. This fall Homan assisted in the Field Museum of Natural History’s Rapid Inventory program, working with Shawi indigenous communities in the Peruvian Amazon.

Longaker earned a master’s degree in political science in 2013, a graduate certificate in women, gender and sexuality studies in 2012, and a bachelor’s degree in political science and international studies from KU in 2009. He is a De Soto High School graduate. Currently he is a doctoral research fellow at the KU Institute for Policy and Social Research.



This past week, new Jayhawks moved in and started their first semester at KU. Madisen Pool, a freshman in computer engineering, captured one of his first sunrises on the Hill. With a fresh start, and a feeling of accomplishment for starting college, Pool thought this view was a great reminder to enjoy life. We asked Pool what his advice would be to his fellow new Jayhawks and he said, "make your time here at the university memorable. Have fun, do something you’ve always wanted to do, meet new people, and most importantly get the most out of your experience and shape your life the way you want it to be. Rock Chalk!" We couldn't agree more. Rock Chalk, Madisen! Show us your new experiences with the hashtag, #exploreKU.

KU student tricks monkey flower into growing protective ‘hair’ Thanks to a KU Undergraduate Research Award (see more at http://ugresearch.ku.edu/student/fund/ugra), Sukhindervir Sandhu, a KU junior in biochemistry, figured out which genetic button to push to get a monkey flower, or Mimulus guttatus, to grow protective trichomes, or plant hair. Sandhu was able to track it down to a gene called SKP-1. By silencing SKP-1, he discovered that gene regulates plant hair growth in monkey flowers.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
1 of 9 public universities with outstanding study abroad programs.
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46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
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$260.5 million in externally funded research expenditures
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