Saturday, Oct 21, 2017

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OHIO fund encourages faculty to pursue international scholarship

In the sweltering August heat, southern Ohio can feel like a tropical jungle. But for Glenn Matlack, tropical ecologist and assistant professor of plant biology, the Appalachian Ohio climate just doesn’t cut it for his professional research.

"For a tropical ecologist like myself, direct access to tropical regions is essential," he said.

That’s why last spring, as he was planning a research expedition to Ghana to gather information on lesser-studied tropical systems and how humans affect them, Matlack appealed to the University International Council  for help.

For more than fifteen years, the University International Council at Ohio University has been dedicated to fostering international education and exploration. The International Travel Fund, an award granted to faculty pursuing work internationally, is one of the council’s committees.

The International Travel Fund grants up to half of an applicant’s plane ticket – up to $500 – and is awarded six times each year for research, seminars or paper presentations. It is funded by the Senior International Management Team and administered by the University International Council.

"Ohio University has a long tradition of high quality global education. The International Travel fund is an important source of funding for faculty global engagement and faculty development," said Daniel Weiner, executive director of the Center for International Studies and member of the University International Council.

Matlack was granted $500 for his project. Chulho Jung, professor of economics, was also awarded $500 to attend a development seminar in China and to conduct research in Korea on the Chinese economy.

"The International Travel Fund represents the continuing commitment to a global perspective – one of the strengths of Ohio University," Jung said. "Without the opportunity for foreign travel, my courses would quickly slip into a second-rate provincialism. I am very grateful for access to these funds."

This fall, the University International Council will begin to restructure the fund in order to better meet faculty needs, according to meeting minutes. The committee is looking at applying for more funding and potentially reducing the number of cycles to increase awards.

Group I and II faculty may apply for the award by completing an application and sending it to the International Travel Fund Committee by the deadline. For more information on the fund, cycle dates or to download an application, visit http://www.ohio.edu/uic/itf.cfm.