2020-21 U.S. Fulbright Grantees in Finland

Get to know the 2020-21 U.S. Fulbright grantees in Finland. 

Information as of April 1, 2021. Introductions of those grantees who arrive later in the spring 2021 will be added on this page soon.

For more information, see the CV catalogue of 2020-21 U.S. Fulbright grantees in Finland.

Headshot of Nezih Altay
Nezih Altay
Fulbright-Hanken Distinguished Chair in Business and Economics
Hanken School of Economics; March 2021 – August 2021

Armed conflicts around the world have displaced about 500 million people, cut them off from food sources and force them to survive in remote rural areas. The sheer size of this population and accessibility issues push aid agencies to improve the efficiency of their delivery programs. Understanding the peculiarities and logistical challenges of delivering aid in conflict zones would help improve the efficiency of these programs
as well as the safety of humanitarian workers. This is the high-level objective of my research project.

Headshot of Philippe Amstislavski
Philippe Amstislavski
Fulbright-VTT Award in Science, Technology and Innovation
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Tampere; 5 months, beginning January 2021

Philippe Amstislavski will be conducting research at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland in Tampere. His specialization is in biomaterials innovation. Bio-based alternatives to oil-based polymers are emerging as opportunities to increase social and economic resilience and environmental sustainability. This research establishes a collaborative research project with VTT and Finnish industry to advance fundamental understanding of physical and mechanical properties, and environmental profiles of a group of novel mycelium-based alternatives to oil-based plastic foams. By valorizing lignocellulose, the nature’s most abundant source of raw biomass, it seeks to unlock the potential of bio-based foams and composites, improve the profitability and carbon efficiency thus accelerate the development of bio-based materials.

Headshot of Anneleise Azua
Anneleise Azúa
Fulbright-EDUFI Fellow
University of Helsinki; 9 months, beginning January 2021

Anneleise Azúa will conduct research at the University of Helsinki at the Department of Cultures. Her project is a global exploration of traditional medicine in the 20th century using an oral history and medical anthropology approach.

Headshot of Alexander Beattie
Alexander Beattie
Fulbright-LUT University Graduate Award
LUT University, Lappeenranta; 9 months, beginning August 2020

Alexander Beattie is completing a master's degree in Mechatronic System Design at LUT University, Lappeenranta. Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary engineering field focusing on both mechanical and electrical systems. It combines modern innovations in robotics, electronics, computers, telecommunications, and manufacturing. His undergraduate degree and experience have introduced him to field of mechatronics. A master's degree from LUT will give him the education and experience necessary to become a leader in the field and create the next generation of mechatronics innovations.

Headshot of Cameron Bechtold
Cameron Bechtold
Fulbright-University of Helsinki Graduate Award
University of Helsinki; 9 months, beginning August 2020

Cameron Bechtold is completing a master's degree in Environmental Change and Global Sustainability at the University of Helsinki. He is pursuing this degree with the purpose of better understanding how the planet is responding to anthropogenic alterations. He plans to focus his studies on the aquatic ecotoxicology, environmental chemistry, and technology in an urbanized world module because it is of ever-increasing importance as the world population moves to urban areas. This program will allow him to research the interface between humans and their urban environment in order to mitigate the negative and highlight the positive ecological responses.  

Headshot of Paul Berger
Paul Berger
Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair in Information and Communications Technologies
Tampere University; 4 months, beginning January 2021 & 4 months, beginning August 2021

Prof. Berger at Ohio State University (OSU) proposes a Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair research (80%)/teaching (20%) project in Finland to advance the field of printed electronics for the Internet-of-Everything, providing a whole new dimension of communication with dense sensor networks, driven by a 5G backbone. Each sensor node would look as simple as an ultra-thin flexible postage stamp to be fastened to any object in order to monitor position, weight, temperature, pressure, etc. He will be conducting his research in Tampere. 

Headshot of Suzanna Bräuer
Suzanna Bräuer
Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation Grant in Health and Environmental Sciences
University of Eastern Finland; March 2021 – July 2021

Northern arctic and boreal peatlands might be on the verge of becoming carbon sources and releasing increased carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) gases. We propose a mechanism for this shift and suggest that changes in the microbial community act as a molecular “switch” that initiates 
increased decomposition. Thus, we will examine the genetic potential among microbial populations along a gradient of melting permafrost to identify significant differences. Changes in greenhouse gas flux will also be examined.

Headshot of Rachel Convey
Rachel Convey
U.S. Fulbright Fellow
Tampere University; 9 months, beginning January 2021

Rachel Convey will be conducting research at Tampere University. The research project, Kuuluva Ääni, examines the impact of singing and cognitive behavioral therapy on voice quality in individuals with Parkinson’s Disease (PD).  The aim of the study is to develop a new voice treatment for PD that is more economical and widely available. As a member of the research group, her role in this project will be to collaborate on scientific papers.

Headshot of Laura Dalton
Laura Dalton
Fulbright-EDUFI Fellow
University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio & University of Helsinki; 9 months, beginning January 2021

Laura Dalton will be conducting research at the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio and at University of Helsinki. In her research, she will use information from three imaging techniques to understand how water moves through concrete. Using the information gained through this research, a specific imaging technique (electrical impedance tomography) can be refined and potentially applied to existing structures to detect and mitigate pre-emptive failures, thereby assisting in more sustainable concrete structures. 

Headshot of Jessica De Palo
Jessica De Palo
Fulbright-EDUFI Fellow
University of Jyväskylä; 5 months, beginning January 2021

Jessica De Palo will be conducting a study at the University of Jyväskylä. The project will test psychometric properties and initial validation of the Career Adapt-Abilities Scale - Dual Career Form (CAAS-DC), developed by Dr. Ryba in Jyväskylä, Finland, in the U.S. for intercollegiate student-athletes. The study will look at American student-athlete career adaptabilities in relation to well-being, career construction, student and sport identity, and school and sport burnout. U.S. CAAS-DC data will be analyzed and compared to Finnish CAAS-DC data to understand competencies, predictors for success, and interventions that U.S. student-athletes can utilize for a successful dual career pathway.

Headshot of Brian Gibson
Brian J. Gibson
Fulbright-Hanken Distinguished Chair in Business and Economics
Hanken School of Economics; March 2021 – May 2021

Shifting to an omnichannel model is a difficult transition for retailers. Supply chain practices must quickly evolve to achieve cross-channel integration and meet consumer requirements for speed, availability, and consistency. This research will investigate how leading retailers are transforming their capabilities to better compete in the omnichannel era. A mixed-methods research approach of secondary data analysis, expert interviews, and online surveys will be used.

Headshot of Ming Hu
Ming Hu
Fulbright-Tampere University Scholar Award
Tampere University; 6 months, beginning January 2021

Ming Hu will be conducting research at Tampere University on Carbon Neutral Development Through Net Zero and Net Impact Design. The research project will investigate the difference between the practical renovation strategies to achieve net zero energy (NZE) goal in USA and Nordic region.

Headshot of Abraham Kipnis
Abraham Kipnis
Fulbright-LUT University Graduate Award
LUT University, Lappeenranta; 9 months, beginning August 2020

Abraham plans to study at LUT University in Lappeenranta and conduct physics research on materials for use in energy generation, sustainable businesses and circular economies, while pulling inspiration from preexisting biological systems, in order to discover novel ways to sustainably meet increasing global energy and materials demands.

Headshot of Leigh Anne Liu
Leigh Anne Liu
Fulbright-Hanken Distinguished Chair in Business and Economics
Hanken School of Economics; March 2021 – June 2021

Intercultural competencies and conflict management in global workplace. My collaborator, Professor Denise Salin at the Hanken School of Economics, and I aim to build a culturally complementary model on how various cultural norms, values, and mindsets can facilitate or hinder conflict resolutions. 

Headshot of Lexi Lobdell
Alexandra Lobdell
Fulbright-LUT University Graduate Award
LUT University, Lappeenranta; 9 months, beginning August 2020

Lexi Lobdell will be completing a master's degree in international business and entrepreneurship. Her specialization is pharmaceutical pricing. Access to healthcare is one of the most debated topics of the 21st century, and the increasing price of pharmaceuticals is paramount to the discussion. Pharmaceutical prices are rising rapidly, justified by the high cost of research and development. While studying at LUT, she aims to identify missing data necessary for international business analytics to optimize pipelines, regulations, and pricing in the pharmaceutical industry. 

Headshot of Adam Whaley-Connell
Adam Whaley-Connell
Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation Distinguished Chair in Health Sciences
University of Eastern Finland; March 2021 – May 2021, April 2022

The driving force behind the global expansion of diabetes and kidney disease is the obesity epidemic. Understanding the mechanisms by which obesity promotes kidney injury and development of kidney disease is critical to the development of interventions which prevent the progression of disease. Through research and teaching this Fulbright experience will bring together two investigators from the U.S. and Finland to advance the field of metabolic kidney disease by targeting the kidney microvasculature and use of a novel technology, nanoparticles.

Headshot of Johna Wright
Johna Wright
Fulbright-Tampere University Graduate Award
Tampere University; 9 months, beginning August 2020

Johna Wright will be completing a master's degree in Comparative Social Policy and Welfare. The practical skills and knowledge that Wright will gain from her master’s program will prepare her for a career with an international non-profit organization that is focused on advancing the rights of disabled people around the world. As a blind woman herself, Wright is passionate about disability rights and strives to implement policies that allow disabled people to overcome societal barriers and low expectations placed upon them due to misconceptions about their capabilities. 

Headshot of Liesl Yamaguchi
Liesl Yamaguchi
Core U.S. Fulbright Scholar
University of Helsinki; 9 months, beginning September 2020

Liesl Yamaguchi is conducting research at the University of Helsinki. Her project The Color of Vowels: Archaeology of a Metaphor examines the idea that vowels have colors and luminosities (that “A” is “red,” for example). This idea, unattested before 1812, emerges independently in several discourses of the nineteenth century: in psychology, musical acoustics, Indo-European linguistics, and French symbolist poetry. Through case studies of major thinkers such as Ferdinand de Saussure, Stéphane Mallarmé, and Hermann von Helmholtz, The Color of Vowels draws out the common threads extending across disciplines, suggesting a fundamental link between synesthetic experience, metaphor, and poetry.

Headshot of John Zobitz
John Zobitz
Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation Grant in Health and Environmental Sciences
University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio; 6 months, beginning January 2021

John Zobitz will be conducting research at the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio. His quantitative project, titled From Soil to Satellite: Modeling Ecosystem Responses to Fire Disturbance in the Subarctic Boreal Forest will critically evaluate mathematical models of soil carbon dynamics across a series of sites in located in the Yukon and Northwest territories of Canada. These sites are forests with similar soil type, topography, and tree characteristics. The time since disturbance varies across each site, thereby providing a unique opportunity to characterize the long-term ability of these arctic soils to be a sink for carbon.