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ACU faculty/staff members receive prestigious Fulbright grants

For immediate release
August 30, 2002

Two Abilene Christian University employees were selected to become Fulbright Fellows for the 2002-03 school year.

Dr. Michael Sadler, professor of physics, received a faculty/professional grant to conduct research in Gatchina, Russia, near St. Petersburg. Dr. Jason Morris, director of McNair Scholars, received a student grant to teach and research in Budapest, Hungary.

For Sadler, the grant fulfills a lifelong dream of working and living in Russia.

Sadler, who speaks Russian fluently, has been collaborating on research projects with Russian scientists for years and has had a passion for developing a relationship with Russian scientists since his college days.

"I've always had an interest in seeing what it was like to live in a foreign country, especially Russia, for a long period of time," Sadler said. "As an undergraduate student studying Russian, I thought I could heal all of the differences between the U.S. and Russia by working together with a group of scientists who were our adversaries at that time."

The Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute, where Sadler will be working and researching for five months beginning in January, is not new to Sadler. He has worked with the group since 1986 on joint projects for the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Long Island. His work in the spring semester will be an extension of these projects, working in data analysis and particle physics research.

He hopes that the research done during his time in Russia will also contribute to maintaining the research standards required of ACU professors in order to keep the grant money from the U.S. Department of Energy. This year, ACU received $160,000 in grant money, bringing the total to nearly $2 million in federal funding over the past 11 years; however, the Department of Physics must be involved in a certain amount of research to keep receiving the funds.

"Maintaining a research program on top of full-time teaching is difficult," Sadler said. "Staying current and relevant in an area of research is always a challenge, and the federal funds are very competitive. We've managed to do this at ACU since 1981."

While in Russia, Sadler's goals include a better speaking knowledge of the language, working on various publications and continuing particle physics research projects. For more information on Sadler's research with particle physics, visit

While Sadler will focus solely on research, Morris, who is already in Hungary and will be there for about seven months, will divide his time between three main activities: teaching, advising and researching.

Morris received a student grant, as he was working on his doctoral degree at Texas Tech University, as well as taking classes toward a conflict resolution certificate at ACU during the past school year. He chose to apply for the Fulbright program through ACU, rather than Texas Tech.

In Budapest, Morris will teach English to students at the Etvos Lorand University, work at the Fulbright Educational Advising Center to advise students interested in studying in the United States, and research the Hungarian higher educational system with the help of the Hungarian Institute for Educational Research.

Morris will be able to build on his experience in higher education, specifically with the McNair Program, in studying Hungary's system.

"They have a minority group in Hungary that has trouble integrating into the system. I'm going to look at their educational system and situation," Morris said.

After his seven months in Hungary, Morris will return to ACU and to his job as director of the McNair Scholar program.

In order to receive the prestigious and highly competitive Fulbright grants, both Morris and Sadler had to begin the application process nearly a year ago. The group was narrowed down to a short list of finalists in February, and those selected to receive the grants were named in March.

Since 1952, seven ACU employees have been named Fulbright Scholars.

For more information on the Fulbright program, visit


If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Wendy Kilmer, university news coordinator.

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