Two Fulton Schools students have been invited to the Fulbright Summer Institute—one of the most prestigious and selective summer programs operating worldwide.
Kaleigh Johnson, a chemical engineering junior, and Brandon Dorr, a biomedical engineering sophomore, will be traveling to the United Kingdom for four weeks to live and study at leading institutions.
Dorr will study at the University of Bristol beginning June 1, while Johnson will be at the University of Exeter beginning June 27.
Each year, the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission supports around 60 U.K. and U.S. undergraduate students to undertake demanding academic and cultural summer programs at leading institutions across the U.S. and U.K.. Arizona State University had five students selected for this year’s institute.
Johnson’s experience abroad will begin with Fulbright Week where she will explore issues related to climate change through experiential and classroom learning. This will be followed by three weeks of study at the University of Exeter’s International Summer School alongside students from around the world.
Johnson hopes to learn how universities in the U.K. are tackling important issues involving sustainability. “I hope the knowledge I gain will make me a more well-rounded engineer as I continue to research this important field through my chemical engineering studies,” said Johnson.
Dorr will study the trans-Atlantic slave trade and its implications on current society during his time at the University of Bristol.
Dorr applied to this focus area in an effort to strengthen his understanding of trade practices and the balance between profitability and ethical decision-making, which he believes will guide his future involvement in emerging biomedical markets.
“I feel that my personal and ethical considerations are as important as the actual engineering of a product,” said Dorr.
“My passion for biomedical engineering does not end with the desire to improve lives with the invention of life-altering devices, but also includes the widespread implementation of the devices to the public, while abiding by ethical standards,” he added.
Neither Dorr nor Johnson have travelled outside of the United States before.
Dorr plans to thoroughly immerse himself in the British culture and community, “which hopefully includes discussing world events at a local pub!” he added.
Johnson says she looks forward to immersing herself in a culture with rich history while also engaging with more than 150 international students from around the world.
“The chance to experience life in the U.K. is an adventure I’ve always dreamed of,” she said.
Excelling at the Fulton Schools
Both Johnson and Dorr are students in Barrett, the Honor’s College at Arizona State University.
They also participate in the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative (FURI). Through FURI, Johnson is researching ways to economize the production of PHAs (bioplastics) from genetically modified E. Coli for potential applications in industry. She conducts this research in assistant professor David Nielsen’s lab.
Dorr is developing cellular regulators for genes of interest in improving growth characteristics of E. Coli. Working in assistant professor Xiao Wang’s lab, his research aims to create bacterial strains that aid in improved bioproduct production.
Johnson is also a member of the Grand Challenge Scholars Program, an individualized program for high-achieving engineering students, and Dorr is co-president of the ETHICS (Equity, Trustworthiness, Honor and Integrity in Corporate Society) Committee, an ASU student org that holds weekly meetings to discuss current ethical dilemmas and events.
The Fulbright Summer Program covers all participant costs. In addition, Johnson and Dorr receive visa processing support, a pre-departure orientation, enrichment opportunities in country, a re-entry session and the opportunity to join Fulbright alumni networks.