UDM faculty receive 2023-24 Fulbright awards

May 18, 2023

Two Detroit Mercy faculty members have received awards from the Fulbright Program to study abroad. 

Associate Professor of Biology Stokes S. Baker received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to perform research in Belize during the 2023-24 academic year. 

In Belize, Baker will examine unique biological resources in an environmentally sustainable manner in collaboration with faculty from the University of Belize (UB) to integrate DNA sequencing technology into biological diversity teaching and research. 

Baker will help integrate hands-on teaching modules that involve Belizean students using DNA sequencing technology to identify microorganisms involved with biological processes like methane production from animal waste.  

“For a biologist, Belize is an amazing country,” Baker said. “Belizeans have made conservation a priority, placing most of the country under protective status.  My hope is I help Belizeans expand sustainable development.” 

Additionally, he will collaborate with UB researchers in their efforts to develop sustainable sea cucumber fisheries by conducting investigations that use DNA sequencing to identify the algae and microorganisms that live on these animals in their natural setting in order to monitor the health of sea cucumbers growing in aquiculture. Several of these projects may also aid in aspects of economic development in Belize.  

In July, Professor of Philosophy Gail Presbey will join the Fulbright Hays Mexico-U.S.A. Seminar Abroad titled “Understanding the Development of a Strategic Relationship.” 

Only 16 people were chosen to participate in the four-week seminar. They will visit landmarks of Mexico-U.S. shared history, learn from Mexican scholars and focus on issues of public health, environment, security, science, technology, cultural exchange and migration. 

I look forward to this opportunity to learn more about the history of Mexico as well as about the current events unfolding in Mexico, and the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico, all of which are the focus of the summer seminar.  

Presbey said she saw connections between this deeper study and her work with the Carney Latin American Solidarity Archive (CLASA) as well as the modern Latin America course she teaches. 

“I look forward to being able to share what I learned with our students in upcoming semesters,” she said. 

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world.