UCLA honored as a top producer of Fulbright U.S. Scholars for 2023–24

Six faculty members and researchers are conducting projects from Botswana to Japan

UCLA Newsroom | February 13, 2024

A half-decade ago, UCLA neuroscientist Adriana Galván was awarded a grant to pursue research on adolescent brain development at the University of Barcelona through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, which promotes international scholarship that builds bridges between Americans and people of other countries.

The experience, said Galván, who today also serves as UCLA’s dean of undergraduate education, had a profound impact on her professional trajectory, her personal growth and her ideas about teaching and learning.

The Fulbright Program

Since 1946, the Fulbright Program, the U.S. State Department’s flagship international academic exchange program, has provided more than 400,000 scholars, teachers, artists, professionals and students the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research abroad. Each year, the Fulbright’s U.S. Scholar Program selects a class of faculty, researchers, administrators and established professionals who teach or undertake projects in affiliation with institutes abroad.

“I experienced firsthand how the program helps partnerships to flourish by giving scholars the space and time to imagine new solutions to contemporary problems, to think collaboratively with international colleagues and to appreciate cultural differences,” she said.

And Fulbright scholars, she said, incorporate their experiences into their instruction, helping to prepare students with a global mindset who are poised to succeed in an increasingly interconnected, intercultural world.

Now, as UCLA continues to expand and deepen its global engagment as part of its strategic plan, the campus has been recognized by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational Affairs for being among the American universities with the highest number of faculty and administrators selected for the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program 2023–24.

Six UCLA scholars — Wesley Campbell, Dalia Dassa Kaye, Rachel Kann, Kyle Mays, Gregory Okin and Tara Peris — are carrying out international research this academic year in locales stretching from Botswana to Tokyo, exploring topics ranging from Sephardic Moroccan women’s musical traditions to quantum computing.

“Conducting international research and forging global collegial networks broadens and contextualizes the knowledge produced by UCLA scholars, making it more relevant to localities and nations worldwide,” said Cindy Fan, UCLA’s vice provost for international studies and global engagement. “We are proud to have so many Fulbright U.S. Scholars among our faculty and professionals. I am particularly impressed by the range of disciplines and Fulbright sites – across Africa, Asia and Europe – represented by our awardees this year.”

UCLA’s 2023–24 Fulbright U.S. Scholars are:

Wesley Campbell
Professor of physics
Host institution: Osaka University, Japan

Campbell will work with Japanese colleagues to harness the physics of individual atoms and their interactions with one another with the goal of building processors with capabilities that go far beyond today’s super-computers.


Dalia Dassa Kaye
Senior fellow, UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations
Host institution: Lund University, Sweden


Kaye will conduct research in a number of European countries to enhance understanding of European policy at a time of great geopolitical flux and to use research and analysis — including extensive dialogues with European academics, think tank experts and policymakers — to better inform policy on the Middle East.


Rachel Kann
Instructor in poetry, UCLA Extension
Host institution: Abdelmalek Essaadi University; Tetouan, Morocco

Kann will research the Sephardic Moroccan women’s romancero, a corpus of songs in the language of Haketia (also known as Western Ladino or Judeo-Spanish), culminating in the creation of a poetry collection and an interdisciplinary live event with music and poetry.


Kyle Mays
Associate professor of history, African American studies and American Indian studies
Host institution: University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Mays will examine how the University of Edinburgh is exploring the history of enslavement and colonialism and how they are imagining ideas of reparatory justice for historical wrongs.


Gregory Okin
Professor and chair of geography, faculty member at UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
Host institution: University of Botswana

Okin’s main research interests concern plant-soil-atmosphere interactions in the world’s drylands, which cover 40% of the Earth’s land surface. His Fulbright project is titled “Lived landscapes in drylands: Using new remote sensing techniques to understand pastoral livelihoods.”

Tara Peris
Professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences
Host institution: Leiden University, Netherlands

With youth mental health problems on the rise around the world, Peris will work with colleagues at Leiden University’s Resilience Center to study how young people respond to stress and which factors — biological, social, environmental — support healthy adaptation over time. Understanding how children and adolescents learn to be resilient, Peris says, can help guide novel prevention and intervention programs.

cancel-search new-window search-icon ucla