Dr. Ethan Sharp, assistant professor of Modern Languages and Literature at The University of Texas-Pan American, has been awarded a U.S. Fulbright Scholar grant to conduct full-time research in Mexico for the 2009-2010 academic year.
Sharp's research will involve observations and interviews in the rapidly expanding drug addiction treatment programs in Monterrey, Mexico, and will focus on the cultivation and expressions of spirituality in the treatment process.
"I believe that my research is very critical because of the rise in drug addiction in Mexico and the increasing violence that is associated with it. I hope to achieve some insights into these developments, as well as the possibilities for success in rehabilitation programs," he said.
Sharp is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program during the next academic year.
"I am very excited about having received the award, particularly since it will allow me to work full-time on research," Sharp said. "Most Fulbright fellowships for U.S. scholars involve teaching at institutions of higher education abroad which is a very important means of building networks around the world. But, I feel fortunate that I will be able to commit myself completely to research on drug addiction, spirituality and rehabilitation, and to pursuing collaborations with students, academics and researchers in Mexico in this way."
Sharp will be conducting his research in the Northeast Program of the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Anthropología Social, Mexico's leading institute for cultural and social research. Sharp, who has been at UTPA since 2006, received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and master's and doctoral degrees from Indiana University.
"I believe that the students at UTPA will ultimately benefit a great deal from my research because I will be able to engage them in my research in this way and to bring them the expertise that I have developed in issues that are of growing concern in Mexico, the United States, and our region of South Texas," Sharp said. "Furthermore, my participation in this research will help us to continue building a strong Latin American and border studies program at UTPA."
The Fulbright Scholar Program, America's flagship international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the United States Department of State. Since its establishment in 1946 the Fulbright Program has provided approximately 286,500 people - 108,160 Americans who have studied, taught or researched abroad and 178,340 students, scholars and teachers from other countries who have engaged in similar activities in the United States - with the opportunity to observe each others' political, economic, educational and cultural institutions, to exchange ideas and to embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world's inhabitants. The program operates in over 155 countries worldwide. Fulbright recipients are among more than 40,000 individuals participating in U.S. Department of State exchange programs each year.