shawnee fulbright

Indian American Prof. Lavanya Vemsani has been at Shawnee State University since 2006. (photo provided)

Portsmouth, Ohio-based Shawnee State University July 6 announced that Indian American Prof. Lavanya Vemsani has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award in History for the 2020-2021 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

This is the first award of its kind for a professor at SSU, the university said.

“I am extremely honored to receive this important academic Fellowship of the Fulbright Award,” Vemsani said in a statement. “I am thankful for the recognition I have received for my academic work. I would also like to thank my family and my colleagues at Shawnee State University for supporting me throughout my academic career.”

A professor at SSU since 2006, Vemsani has been widely acclaimed for her research and teaching in history. Her most recent publication, released this year, is Feminine Journeys of the Mahabharata. Her other published works include Modern Hinduism in Text and Context, Krishna in History, Thought and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Lord of Many Names, and Hindu and Jain Mythology of Balarama in addition to numerous articles. 

She serves as the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Indic Studies and associate editor of the Canadian Journal of History and Airforce Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs. She has given keynote addresses at multiple international academic conferences and served as the president of the Ohio Academy of History (2019-20), the release said.

Fulbrighters engage in cutting-edge research and expand their professional networks, often continuing research collaborations started abroad and laying the groundwork for forging future partnerships between institutions. 

Upon returning to their home countries, institutions, labs, and classrooms, they share their stories and often become active supporters of international exchange, inviting foreign scholars to campus and encouraging colleagues and students to go abroad.

As Fulbright Scholar alumni, their careers are enriched by joining a network of thousands of esteemed scholars, many of whom are leaders in their fields. 

“I am thrilled for Dr. Vemsani to be honored with a Fulbright,” SSU provost and vice president of academic affairs Dr. Sunil Ahuja said in a statement. “She is one of the most prolific scholars at Shawnee State. In the academic world where research is important for the individual and institutional standing, this recognition is well-deserved by Dr. Vemsani. I look forward to her contributions as a consequence of this award.”

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to forge lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, counter misunderstandings, and help people and nations work together toward common goals.

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