KU Welcomes 12 International Fulbright Students and Teaching Assistants

Thu, 08/31/2023


Christine Metz Howard

LAWRENCE — This academic year the University of Kansas welcomed eight international students as part of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program and four Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants.

From Africa, Asia, Europe and South America, the Fulbright students and teaching assistants are joining programs in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the schools of Business, Education & Human Sciences and Engineering.

“Every year, our campus is enriched by Fulbright students and language teaching assistants from around the world,” said Rachel Sherman Johnson, director of internationalization and partnerships at KU International Affairs. “While at KU, they will not only pursue their research or teach courses, but they will also contribute to the foundational mission of the Fulbright program: building mutual understanding between nations, advancing knowledge across communities and improving lives around the world.”

The Fulbright Foreign Student Program enables graduate students, young professionals and artists from abroad to research and study in the United States for one year or more at U.S. universities.

The Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program allows young teachers of English as a Foreign Language the chance to improve their teaching skills and learn more about American culture while teaching foreign languages at a U.S. college or university.

The Fulbright Program, the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, offers more than 8,000 grants each year to U.S. and foreign students, scholars, teachers, artists, scientists and professionals.

Fulbright students visiting for the 2023-2024 academic year:

Rocio Arasy Chamorro Jara is a graduate education & social policy student from Paraguay. She holds a bachelor’s degree in literature, arts and cultural mediation from Federal University of Latin American Integration in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil. She is studying topics of language and cultural diversity in education.

Ina Fendel is a graduate computer science student from Germany. She holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the Free University of Berlin.

Israel Ignacio Herrera Rivera is a graduate petroleum engineering student from Bolivia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in petroleum and natural gas engineering from the Private University of Bolivia. He is researching hydrogen storage.

Moises Ruben Gualapuro Gualapuro is a doctoral computational biology student from Ecuador. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology from University San Francisco of Quito and a master’s degree in bioinformatics and systems biology from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. He is researching protein features to determine its catalytic activity.

Alexandra Celina Navarro Espinoza is a graduate global & international studies student from Honduras. She holds a bachelor’s degree in law from the Technological University of Honduras. She is researching migration and violence in Central America.

Janaina Reis do Nascimento is a graduate business analytics student from Brazil. She holds degrees in international relations from São Paulo State University and Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo. She is researching social and financial systems.

Zenia Patricia Ruiz Utrilla is a doctoral student in ecology & evolutionary biology from Mexico. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the Meritorious Autonomous University of Puebla and a master’s degree in natural resources and rural development from the College of the Southern Border. While at KU, she is using information available in repositories, GIS tools, the theory of the ecology of biological invasions and ecological niche modeling to propose a unified framework for prioritizing species and sites for invasive species management. 

Andres Felipe Salamanca Saavedra is a doctoral student in geology from Colombia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in geology and master’s degree in geophysics from the National University of Colombia. He is researching groundwater flow and contaminant transport.

Foreign Language Teaching Assistants visiting for the 2023-2024 academic year:

Begüm Çolpan, from Turkey, is teaching Turkish and working for the Center for Russian, Eastern European & Eurasian Studies. She graduated from MEF University in Istanbul.

Saidkhoja Mahmadiev, from Tajikistan, is teaching the Tajik language for the Department of Slavic, German & Eurasian Studies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English language instruction and a master’s degree in linguistics from Tajik National University.

Deniz Tozaraydin, from Turkey, is teaching Turkish for the Department of Slavic, German & Eurasian Studies. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English language literature from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul.

Muwayyid Abu Shaefah Mohammed, from Libya, is teaching Arabic for the Department of African & African-American Studies. He has a master’s degree in English from Tripoli University.

Photo: Incoming Fulbright students and teaching assistants gathered before the start of the academic year. Pictured front row, left to right: Alexandra Celina Navarro Espinoza, Zenia Patricia Ruiz Utrilla, Rocio Arasy Chamorro Jara, Moises Ruben Gualapuro Gualapuro and Janaina Reis do Nascimento. Back row: 2022 Fulbright student Hugo Daniel Malaga Vasquez, Israel Ignacio Herrera Rivera, Saidkhoja Mahmadiev, Ina Fendel, Deniz Tozaraydın and Andres Felipe Salamanca Saavedra. Not pictured are Begüm Çolpan and Muwayyid Mohammed.

Thu, 08/31/2023


Christine Metz Howard