Augustana professor awarded Fulbright Scholarship

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Dr. Mariano Magalhães, associate professor of political science at Augustana, has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar to research and teach for four months during the first half of 2011 at the University of Brasília (UnB), one of the finest research universities in Brazil.

Mariano’s research as a Fulbright Scholar will examine the relationship between federal-level institutions that serve the interests of municipal governments in Brazil and local government. “Basically, I’m trying to figure out how we can make local government more democratic and efficient in providing public services, such as health care, transportation, sanitation and education, which is one of the most pressing problems in developing countries,” he explained.

In addition to his research, Magalhães will teach the course Quality of Democracy in Latin America at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Brasília, which is located in the nation’s capital. “I am excited about the challenge of teaching in Portuguese to undergraduate students,” he said. “I’m also excited that the course I will be teaching adds to the curriculum in the department at the University of Brasilia by providing a broader lens on democratization in the region. I am thrilled that I will be working with some of the biggest names in the field of political science in Brazil.”

Magalhães is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2010-2011. Recipients of the highly prestigious Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

 “We are delighted that Dr. Magalhães has been chosen for this program,” said Dr. Ellen Hay, Augustana’s interim vice president and dean of academic affairs. “His expertise in comparative politics, his fluency in Portuguese and his enthusiasm for teaching and learning will serve him well. For several decades, one of our ongoing international experiences for students has focused on study in Latin America. Dr. Magalhães has been instrumental in expanding these offerings in Brazil. As a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Brasília, he will further enrich his scholarship as a political scientist and also develop important relationships for future international study opportunities.”

The Fulbright Program, the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. 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, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.

Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education and athletics. Forty Fulbright alumni from 11 countries have been awarded the Nobel Prize, and 75 alumni have received the Pulitzer Prize. Prominent Fulbright alumni include Muhammad Yunus, managing director and founder, Grameen Bank, and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize recipient; John Atta Mills, president of Ghana; Lee Evans, Olympic gold medalist; Ruth Simmons, president, Brown University; Riccardo Giacconi, physicist and 2002 Nobel Laureate; Amar Gopal Bose, chairman and founder, Bose Corporation; Renee Fleming, soprano; Gish Jen, writer; and Daniel Libeskind, architect.

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About Augustana: Founded in 1860 and situated on a 115-acre campus near the Mississippi River, Augustana College is a private, liberal arts institution affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The college enrolls nearly 2,500 students from diverse geographic, social, ethnic and religious backgrounds and offers more than 60 majors and areas of study. Augustana employs 226 faculty and has a student-faculty ratio of 11:1. Augustana continues to do what it has always done: challenge and prepare students for lives of leadership and service in our complex, ever-changing world.