Three Trinity College faculty members—Kent D. Dunlap, Charles A. Dana Research Professor of Biology; Professor of Computer Science Peter A. Yoon; and Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Justin Fifield—have been awarded 2018–19 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grants to conduct research internationally.
Dunlap will travel to Portugal to pursue collaborative research on brain cell production. He plans to investigate how social interactions enhance the recovery from injury in fish. This project stems from Dunlap’s 15-year interest in the birth of brain cells during adulthood. “My interest in this research was originally sparked by a Trinity student,” Dunlap said. “This student came to me and wanted to study cell death in the brain. It made me think about the opposite: cell birth and the production of new cells in the brain. I’ve been studying it ever since, and now I have the chance to pursue a new branch of this research in Portugal.” This award is the second time that Dunlap has received a Fulbright grant; in 2009, he traveled to Uruguay to study brain cell production. Dunlap received a B.A. from Macalester College and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington, Seattle.
Yoon will travel to Ethiopia—realizing a long-standing personal goal to honor the Ethiopian soldiers who protected his family during the Korean War—to research and teach scientific computing and high-performance computing. In his grant proposal, he wrote, “One of the most pressing issues of higher-education in Ethiopia today [is] a shortage of qualified faculty in computing at colleges and universities.” With the Fulbright grant, Yoon will work to address this issue in collaboration with hosts at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Jimma University to help build that institution’s graduate program in computer science. Yoon earned a B.S. from North Carolina State University, an M.S. from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University.
Fifield plans to conduct a qualitative research project on caregiving—caring for the sick, disabled, and elderly—within Buddhist monasteries in Sri Lanka. “This project extends the work of my dissertation on Buddhist monastic ethics with a specific case study in a contemporary context,” Fifield wrote in his proposal. Through participant observation at several monasteries and concomitant research on the Sri Lankan health care system, Fifield will examine the increasingly urgent issue of providing care for elderly monks in an era of modernization and social change. Fifield also will offer formal lectures on Buddhist anthropology and methodology of religious studies at the Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies at the University of Kelaniya. Fifield earned a B.A. from Kalamazoo College, an M.A. from the University of Texas, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.