New AGE fellows

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Dec. 8, 2015

MSU Academy for Global Engagement names 10 fellows for 2016

Ten MSU faculty from the College of Engineering and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources have been tapped for the 2016 cohort of the Academy for Global Engagement Fellowship Program.

Wei Lai, assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science, and Junghoon Yeom, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, are among the new fellows in the Academy for Global Engagement.

Now entering its third year, the Academy for Global Engagement (AGE) is designed to create a new generation of international research experts at MSU by offering early- to mid-career faculty the opportunity to expand their scholarship on a global level. Created to strengthen MSU’s global networks and support introduce faculty to new global resources, the AGE is nationally recognized as an innovative faculty development program model.

“The Academy for Global Engagement is a unique program on campus that gives faculty an invaluable chance to develop and expand their view of global research,” said Gretchen Neisler, co-director of the AGE. “The end result is an undeniable return on investment that benefits the faculty and the MSU community as a whole.” 


The AGE is designed to build fellows’ capacity to launch large-scale, high-impact international research programs and create a growing cohort of global problem solvers. Moving beyond their fellowship year, fellows will be able to leverage the connections, resources, knowledge and skills obtained throughout their fellowship to advance their own global research. They also will be well positioned to serve as future mentors, helping to preserve MSU’s legacy as a dynamic and collaborative academic institution of higher learning. 

The 2016 global fellows are (back, from left) Greg Bonito, Wei Lai, Scott Calabrese Barton, Eric Benbow, Junghoon Yeom, and (front) Yadu Pokhrel, Maria Claudia Lopez, Veronique Theriault, Eduardo Nakasone, and Chuan Wang.

Throughout the year, the AGE fellows will participate in monthly seminars that include building networks with funding agencies, refining their research agenda and navigating MSU’s grant system. The fellows also will have an opportunity to learn from seasoned research faculty at MSU through a mentoring system. 

The 2016 AGE fellows have been selected for their diverse interests, ranging from work that bridges ecological networks and diseases such as malaria to innovative energy-harvesting solutions. They are: 

  • Dr. Scott Calabrese Barton, associate professor, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science,
  • Dr. Eric Benbow, associate professor, Department of Entomology,
  • Dr. Greg Bonito, assistant professor, Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences,
  • Dr. Wei Lai, assistant professor, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science,
  • Dr. Maria Claudia Lopez, assistant professor, Department of Community Sustainability,
  • Dr. Eduardo Nakasone, assistant professor, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics and Department of Media and Information,
  • Dr. Yadu Pokhrel, assistant professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering,
  • Dr. Veronique Theriault, assistant professor, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics,
  • Dr. Chuan Wang, assistant professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and
  • Dr. Junghoon Yeom, assistant professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering. 

“Michigan State University is a highly respected leader in international research and development, and the Academy for Global Engagement prepares these Fellows to carry on that legacy,” said Mary Anne Walker, co-director of AGE. “These 10 Fellows will spend the next year developing and honing the skills they will need to provide international research leadership to MSU in the years to come. It’s a meaningful investment in these researchers and in our university.”

2015 fellow Roozbeh Dargazany, from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, chats with 2016 fellow Yadu Pokhrel, also of civil and environmental engineering, and 2015 fellow Cloe Garnache, from the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics.