The University of Iowa

Four UI students and alumni receive Fulbright fellowships for 2011-12

June 15th, 2011

From University News Services

Four University of Iowa students and alumni have been awarded Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarships to conduct research or teach English internationally in 2011-12, according to a recent announcement by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

This year’s UI recipients are Sangeeta Tandon, Luke Juran, Lia Yoon and Sarah Viren.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. It is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by providing participants the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Partnering governments, corporations, foundations and academic institutions in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.

Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic merit and leadership potential. The Fulbright Program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide and has provided funding to approximately 310,000 participants since it was established in 1946.

For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, visit

UI International Programs and the University Honors Program both provide assistance to UI students wishing to pursue Fulbright fellowships. Undergraduate students interested in pursuing Fulbright fellowships should contact Kelly Thornburg, UI Honors Program scholarship director, at UI graduate and professional students and alumni should contact International Programs at

Following are this year’s recipients listed alphabetically by hometown, with Iowa hometowns first.


BETTENDORF: Sangeeta Tandon, who earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2011 from the UI College of Pharmacy, received a Fulbright fellowship for 2011-12. She will become a professor at the University of Lomé in Togo. In addition, she will conduct ethnopharmacology research on diabetes and cholesterol medications and conduct field research to see the Togolese view on medication adherence. Her French skills will help her communicate with a country that has a 60 percent literacy rate.

DYERSVILLE: Luke Juran, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Geography in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), received a Fulbright fellowship for 2011-12. His research in India will explore post-disaster reconstruction and the extent that water and sanitation infrastructure were considered, given that they are critical for reducing the impacts of future disasters and fostering public health. Juran studied Tamil through the Autonomous Language Learning Network at the UI and is a Crossing Borders Fellow.

JOHNSTON: Lia Yoon, who earned her Master of Science in Nursing (Clinical Nurse Leader) degree in 2010 from the UI College of Nursing, received a Fulbright fellowship for 2011-12. She will travel to Natal, Brazil to study the risk factors of preeclampsia in pregnant women with low socio-economic status.


TAMPA: Sarah Viren, who earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (Nonfiction) in 2011 from CLAS, received a Fulbright fellowship for 2011-12. She will travel to Colombia with an English Teaching Assistantship grant. In addition to English language instruction, she will focus on improving her own understanding of best practices in second-language acquisition, as well as continuing research for a writing project on scavenger communities.