Austin College associate professor Ivette Vargas-O’Bryan has been selected to the Fulbright Scholar Program Peer Review Committee for applicants in religious studies.
A 2009-2010 Fulbright Scholar, Vargas-O’Bryan was notified of her selection to the review committee by the Institute of International Education in early August. “It is an honor to serve in this position,” Vargas-O’Bryan said. “I am happy that my colleagues had confidence in me to serve in this committee in order to review applications of future Fulbright Scholar candidates.”
Vargas-O’Bryan joined the Austin College religious studies faculty in 2003 after earning her bachelor’s degree at Barnard College and her master’s and doctorate degrees from Harvard University. She received a Mellon grant in 2007, and has written several books on Asian religions and medicine. A 2009-2010 Fulbright Scholar, she taught at City University in Hong Kong during the fall 2009 semester and furthered her research in Tibetan medicine and religion.
Her Fulbright experience “will serve as a solid foundation in my review of applications and qualifications of candidates in religious studies. As a Fulbright Scholar, I was able to greatly enhance my research and establish contacts from various fields,” Vargas-O’Bryan said. “It was an experience of a lifetime!”
She will spend the 2010-2011 academic year on leave from Austin College, serving as affiliate researcher at the Institut Français de Pondichéry in India, part of the Centre national de la recherche scientifique in France, and as a Scholar-in-Residence at the Dharmacakra Academic Buddhist Center/Nagarjuna Institute of Exact Methods in Nepal.
Vargas-O’Bryan will serve on the review committee for three years. She, with two other members, will provide written evaluations of applications’ technical merits and significance within the field of religious studies.
Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the college is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges that Change Lives.