KSU Faculty Member Receives Fulbright Specialists Award


Professor Lin Hightower (above, left) of the School of Art & Design at Kennesaw State University has been selected as a Fulbright Specialist to Thailand, according to the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

The first Fulbright Specialists recipient in the College of the Arts at Kennesaw State, Professor Hightower will travel to Mahasarakha University in Thailand to help design a fiber museum space, teach textile software to document historical weaving and dye patterns and work as an artist/art product designer to create textile products with the Queen of Thailand’s weavers.

Hightower said, “My Fulbright objectives are to conduct research for presentations and publications, and to work as an artist and designer of products for low-income art collective artisans, which meets the Thai universities’ strategic to preserve the Thai cultural heritage in the visual arts. Further, I will teach special software to document historical Thai patterns and design a museum space for their textile collection and study materials. In addition, I will teach their faculty and students how to continue this work and, finally, I will share the Fulbright and social entrepreneurial opportunities in the arts abroad with my KSU students.”


Hightower is one of over 400 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad this year through the Fulbright Specialists Program. Created in 2000 to complement the traditional Fulbright Scholar Program, the Specialists 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.

Known as America’s flagship international educational exchange activity, The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Over its 60 years of existence, thousands of U.S. faculty and professionals have taught, studied or conducted research abroad, and thousands of their counterparts from other countries have engaged in similar activities in the United States. Over 285,000 emerging leaders in their professional fields have received Fulbright awards, including individuals who later became heads of government, Nobel Prize winners, and leaders in education, business, journalism, the arts and other fields. 

Recipients of Fulbright Scholar awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement. Among thousands of prominent Fulbright Scholar alumni are Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize-winning economist; Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet; and Craig Barrett, Chairman of the Board of Intel Corporation. Distinguished Fulbright Specialist participants include Mahmoud Ayoub, Professor of Religion at Temple University, Heidi Hartmann, President and CEO, Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Percy R. Luney, Jr. Dean and Professor, College of Law, Florida A&M University and Emily Vargas-Barone, Founder and Executive Director of the RISE Institute.

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Learn more about the Fulbright Specialists Program at www.cies.org. For more information about the School of Art & Design at Kennesaw State University, visit www.kennesaw.edu/arts.