KUIA awards 31 grants for research and collaboration abroad

LAWRENCE — KU International Affairs has awarded more than $58,000 in travel grants to 23 University of Kansas faculty members and eight graduate students to support research and collaboration abroad.   

These competitively awarded funds were dispersed among faculty and students in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the schools of Architecture & Design, Business, Education & Human Sciences, Music and Social Welfare. Through these funds, faculty and students will travel to 19 countries on four continents to conduct research, access archives, collaborate with colleagues, and develop or maintain international partnerships.  

All funds prioritize projects that expand the influence of KU research, further student success, or promote healthy and vibrant communities. 

Recipients will use the funds between now and June 30, 2025.  

Faculty grants 

South, Southeast and East Asia Fund 

The South, Southeast and East Asia Fund supports the development or maintenance of institutional partnerships, exchanges and academic collaborations between KU and counterparts at selected postsecondary institutions within Asia. This fund also supports faculty research projects.

Phillip Drake, associate professor of English, will travel to Indonesia for ethnographic fieldwork that examines the disappearance of police presence from public spaces and perceptions of security in the region. 

Linda Galvane, assistant professor of Japanese language & culture, will travel to Japan to research modern Japanese literature and culture through the unique lens of excremental history. 

Kyoungchul (KC) Kong, professor of physics & astronomy, will travel to South Korea to continue collaborative research beyond the standard model of elementary particle physics to understand how the universe works at its most fundamental level. 

Jun Ho Lee, assistant professor of entrepreneurship & management, will travel to South Korea to investigate how late-generation-led family firms engage in corporate social responsibility activities to seek legitimacy from stakeholders. 

Yoonmi Nam, professor of visual art, will travel to Hong Kong to make new creative works inspired by archival research at the Hong Kong Open Printshop. 

Kapila Silva, professor of architecture, will travel to Indonesia to research vernacular architecture in Bali and to develop a partnership with the Department of Architecture at Udayana University. 

Ingrid Stölzel, associate professor of composition, will travel to Kazakhstan to work as a guest composer for the Astana Philharmonic. 

Daniel Tapia Takaki, professor of physics, will travel to Taiwan to further establish and strengthen a new institutional partnership between KU and National Sun Yat-sen University. 

Claire Willey-Sthapit, assistant professor of social welfare, will travel to Nepal to research the extent to which service providers understand domestic violence and the strategies used by families, communities and organizations to address it. 

Latin America Fund 

The Latin America Fund supports the development or maintenance of institutional partnerships, exchanges and academic collaborations between KU and counterparts at selected postsecondary institutions within Latin America. This fund also supports faculty research projects.

Bryan Mann, associate professor of educational leadership & policy studies, will travel to Paraguay to research the effects of the Brazilian diaspora on Santa Rita schools from the perspective of long-term schoolteachers. 

Margaret Marco, professor of oboe; Ellen Sommer, associate professor of the practice in piano; and Daniel Velasco, associate professor of  flute; will travel as a trio throughout Mexico to perform recitals and give master classes in Mexico City, Xalapa and Guadalajara. 

Christophe Royon, Foundation Distinguished Professor of Physics, will travel to Mexico to research high-energy nuclear physics in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Sonora. 

International Travel Fund for Humanistic Research 

The International Travel Fund for Humanities Research supports KU faculty pursuing international interdisciplinary humanistic research abroad.

Hannah Britton, professor of political science and women, gender & sexuality studies, will travel to South Africa to research the influence of election laws on women’s political representation in the region. 

Bartholomew Dean, associate professor of anthropology, will travel to Peru to research the visual anthropology of violence and the cultural politics of memory and reconciliation associated with the country’s internal war between 1980 and 2000. 

Elizabeth MacGonagle, associate professor of history and African & African American studies, will travel to Benin and Nigeria to research historical and cultural connections between West Africa and the Americas first forged during the era of the transatlantic slave trade. 

Mehrangiz Najafizadeh, associate professor of sociology, will travel to Azerbaijan for archival research on gender issues in the country under Czarist Russia during the late 1800s and early 1900s. 

Silvia Park, assistant professor of English, will travel to Japan and South Korea to conduct research for her next climate fiction novel.  

Patrick Ploschnitzki, assistant teaching professor of German literature & culture, will travel to Germany to research the re-establishment of an interdisciplinary study abroad program in Eutin, Lawrence's sister city. 

Stacey Vanderhurst, associate professor of women, gender & sexuality studies, will travel to Nigeria to research feminist activism, resistance against police brutality and the criminalization of sexual violence. 

Maria Velasco, professor of visual art, will travel to Morocco to research construction mechanisms found in Islamic geometric art and to create a new body of work under a competitive international artist residency at Culture Vultures. 

Nathan Wood, associate professor of history, will travel to Poland for archival research on the history of transportation. 

Graduate Grants 
International Enhancement Travel Grant 

International Enhancement Travel grants support semester or summer-long internationally focused academic or training opportunities that do not duplicate opportunities or course work at KU in Africa or Latin America. 

Lorena Victoria Mosquera Aguilar, graduate student in Spanish, will travel to Tepoztlán, Mexico, to participate in "Indigeneities: Land, Labor, Desire," where she will have access to research and scholars in Indigenous histories, cultures and literatures. 

Saiful Islam Apu, graduate student in geology, will travel to Ecuador to attend a sail program in the Galapagos that will explore marine geophysical and ocean bottom seismology.    

Emmanuel Sithole, graduate student in history, will travel to Zimbabwe to attend an immersive TshiVenda language program at the Catholic University of Zimbabwe.  

Pre-Dissertation Travel Grant 

Pre-Dissertation Travel Grants support six- to eight-week trips for preliminary dissertation field activities in Africa or Latin America.

Adesoji Adedipe, graduate student in history, will travel to Nigeria to locate archival sources that explore the relationship between residential segregation and health outcomes within urban spaces. 

Ridwan Aribidesi Muhammed, graduate student in history, will travel to Nigeria to investigate sources that explore reproductive health challenges and their intersection with gender, race and class in Black Atlantic spaces. 

Syed Muhammad Omar, graduate student in social psychology, will travel to Ghana to begin investigating sources and fieldwork opportunities on decolonizing research on psychological well-being. 

Kip Perry, graduate student in history, will travel to Mexico City to locate published and unpublished primary sources on colonial Mexican history.  

Sergio Alicea Román, graduate student in theatre studies, will travel to Mexico City to investigate sources available on the performance of ethnic and cultural identity within the world of professional wrestling. 

More information on international travel grants can be found on the KUIA website.

Thu, 05/02/2024


Whitney Denning

Media Contacts

Christine Metz Howard

International Affairs