KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Two University of Tennessee, Knoxville faculty members have been selected to be Fulbright Scholars for the 2022-23 academic year. Neelam Chandra Poudyal and Kimberly Wolbers will both have the chance to go abroad and gain enhanced skills, new connections and greater understanding.

The Fulbright Program, managed by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State, offers over 400 awards in more than 130 counties for U.S. citizens to teach, research or complete professional projects around the world. College and university faculty and administrators, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, independent scholars and others are eligible.

Neelam Chandra Poudyal (Photo via UT)

Poudyal, an associate professor in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries, is heading to the Institute of Forestry on the Pokhara Campus of Tribhuvan University in Nepal. He plans on collaborating with the institute’s faculty to research ways to sustain the coexistence of humans and wildlife in the fringe areas of Nepal’s national parks. UT said the work can be applied to other protected areas.

“Human-wildlife conflict is an enduring issue for biodiversity conservation around the world,” said Poudyal. “By evaluating and disseminating knowledge about the decades-long experience of Nepal’s unique park revenue sharing program, which is not yet widely known in other countries, I expect to generate new knowledge from Nepal’s distinctive approach to inform human-wildlife conflict management around the world.”

He also plans to create workshops to train Institute of Forestry students on the best ways to write successful research grants and publish their work in peer-reviewed journals across the world.

Kimberly Wolbers (Photo via UT)

Wolbers, a professor of theory and practice in teacher education, will spend 10 months in Johannesburg, South Africa at the Centre for Deaf Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. While there, she will help advise postgraduate students’ research, offer professional development to community schools, and teach two courses on writing and language instruction for Deaf students.

“I have an amazing opportunity to continue to grow as a researcher and educator who works in partnership with the Deaf community to advocate for accessible and equitable education for Deaf children,” said Wolbers.

UT says the center is one of Africa’s leading institutions for Deaf studies, and it works to foster equal opportunities through a teacher education program that is multilingual, multicultural and equity-minded. Its Deaf education programs have doubled in size over the past five years.

In addition to the two faculty members, 13 UT students have received and accepted Fulbright Awards. These students will have the opportunity to carry out their grant-funded work while they live, work and learn with people of their assigned host country.

“UT student scholars continue to establish our Volunteer community and university as a top institution for producing Fulbrighters and being a leader in higher education for study, research, and teaching,” said Amber Williams, vice provost for student success. “We are honored to celebrate these Vols as Fulbrighters and student scholars who exemplify the Volunteer spirit.”

To learn more about the students who received the grant and the Fulbright Program, click here.