Biological Sciences Professor Steve Stephenson Travels to India on a Fulbright Specialist Award

View of a portion of the campus of Shoolini University, above. Steve Stephenson with P. K. Khosla, Vice Chancellor of Shoolini University, below.
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View of a portion of the campus of Shoolini University, above. Steve Stephenson with P. K. Khosla, Vice Chancellor of Shoolini University, below.

Steve Stephenson, a research professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, recently returned to Arkansas after spending two weeks at Shoolini University in India as a result of receiving a Fulbright Specialist Award.

Shoolini University is one of the newest universities in India, having been founded as India's first biotechnology university in September 2009. The university is located near the city of Solan in the Himalayan foothills of the state of Himachal Pradesh. 

During the two weeks Stephenson spent at Shoolini University, he presented a series of seminars and lectures to faculty members, graduate students and undergraduate students on subjects including global climate change, conservation, biotechnology, forest ecology and mycology.

In addition, Stephenson consulted with administrators and faculty, met with individual faculty members to discuss their research, and conducted workshops on scientific writing and how to prepare grant proposals. He also discussed possible collaborative research opportunities that might be established between faculty and students at Shoolini University and their counterparts at the University of Arkansas.

Stephenson is one of more than 400 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad this year through the Fulbright Specialist Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. The Fulbright Specialist Program, created in 2001 to complement the traditional Fulbright Scholar Program, provides short-term academic opportunities to prominent U.S. faculty and professionals to support curricular and faculty development and institutional planning at post-secondary academic institutions around the world.

This is Stephenson's third Fulbright award. He was previously a Senior Fulbright Scholar at Himachal Pradesh University in India in 1987 and traveled to Hanoi National University of Education in Vietnam in 2014 as a result of another Fulbright Specialist Award.

Over his academic career, Stephenson has also hosted seven different Fulbright Scholars from other countries.

Stephenson came to the U of A in 2003 after 27 years at Fairmont State University in West Virginia. His program of research, which has been supported by a series of grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society, has taken him to all seven continents and every major type of terrestrial ecosystem. Stephenson is the author or coauthor of 11 books and more than 360 book chapters and papers published in peer-reviewed journals.

He was accompanied to India by his wife Barbara Stephenson, who is an instructor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Fulbright College.


Steven L. Stephenson, research professor
Department of Biological Sciences

Andra Parrish Liwag, director of communications
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences


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