Two HSU Professors Win Fulbrights for Research in Jamaica and Peru

Professors Jayne McGuire and Jasper Oshun have each been named Fulbright Scholars. The pair of Humboldt State faculty will receive grant awards to conduct international research in their fields in 2022.

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Jayne McGuire (left), a professor of Recreation Administration, and Geology Professor Jasper Oshun.

The prestigious Fulbright Scholar Program was established in 1946. Among the winners are 60 Nobel Prize Laureates and 88 Pulitzer Prize winners. Since the first HSU professor was awarded a Fulbright in 1959, HSU faculty have won nearly 80 Fulbright Scholars awards.

McGuire, a professor of Recreation Administration, won her first Fulbright in 2017. With the funding, she traveled to the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago to study perceptions of disability and models of inclusivity in sports, recreation, and education. In 2022, she will return to the Caribbean to expand on her research with a comparative analysis of the facilitators and barriers of Special Olympics coaches in Jamaica.

Over the course of two academic years, McGuire’s Fulbright “Flex Award” will equally fund teaching and research across three six-week visits. In addition to expanding scholarly research on coaching in disability sports, McGuire will work with the Special Olympics Jamaica Unified Sports Program with the goal of advancing cultural understanding and fostering global partnerships. Her work will have public policy implications in the Caribbean and beyond. “Our hope is to advance education and policy development in the Caribbean and ultimately increase the opportunities available for children and adults with disabilities,” says McGuire.

The teaching component of the Fulbright award will allow McGuire to develop a deeper understanding of Caribbean cultures while partnering with the highly esteemed Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at the University of West Indies, says McGuire. “We share an understanding of the importance of brain-based learning, including student centered design and active-learning pedagogies.”

McGuire will also use her expertise to lead innovation in Universal Design for Learning, the educational guidelines that aim to remove barriers for students with disabilities. “As a scholar, I seek to understand people and systems locally and abroad, with the aim at bridging the divide between the two.

Geology Professor Jasper Oshun has received his first Fulbright award to continue research and education on water resources in Peru. The award will help fund travel to Lima, where he will teach in English and Spanish, and collaborate with Peruvian researchers and students for four months.

Interested in the relationship between human activities and water resources, Oshun has traveled to Peru eight times to work on water development since his first trip as an undergraduate exchange student. His exposure to the geomorphology of Peru is what inspired Oshun to pursue a career in geology. Oshun holds a doctorate in Geology from the University of California, Berkeley and has taught at HSU since 2015.

Beyond the data and field work, Oshun uses his network in Peru to promote international exchange between students in Northern California and Central America. “Cultural knowledge is so important to scientific research,” explains Oshun.
With his Fulbright award, Oshun will partner with the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú or the Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología in Lima.

“I also plan to lead a seminar focused on water resources and community-based water management that will connect HSU students to students at my host institution,” explains Oshun.

In 2018 and 2019, Oshun led HSU students to Zurite, Peru to participate in a student-led irrigation project called Bonanza en los Andes. With the construction of 1.3 kilometers of irrigation canals, over 100 families in Zurite now have access to increased food production and prosperity. Students helped survey the watershed, fly drones to take measurements, drill into the earth with augers, and set seismic and resistivity lines.

“The Fulbright is an incredible opportunity to build bridges for future research involving HSU students and faculty in South America,” says Oshun.