Indian-American Professor Lavanya Vemsani From Shawnee State University Receives U.S. Fulbright Scholar Award

On July 6, 2021, Portsmouth, Ohio-based Shawnee State University announced that Indian-American Professor Lavanya Vemsani has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award in History for the 2020-2021 academic year from the US Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. The university confirmed that this is the first time a professor at SSU has bagged such an award. 

“I am extremely honored to receive this important academic Fellowship of the Fulbright Award,” Vemsani was quoted as saying in a statement. “I am thankful for the recognition I have received for my academic work. I would also like to thank my family and my colleagues at Shawnee State University for supporting me throughout my academic career.” 

Vemsani has been a professor at SSU since 2016. Released in 2021, her most recent publication is Feminine Journeys of the Mahabharata. Among her other published works is Modern Hinduism in Text and Context, Krishna in History, Thought and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Lord of Many Names, Hindu and Jain Mythology of Balarama, and various other articles. 

Vemsani is the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Indic Studies and associate editor of the Canadian Journal of History and Airforce Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs. She has previously served as the president of the Ohio Academy of History from 2019 to 2020. 

“I am thrilled for Dr Vemsani to be honored with a Fulbright. She is one of the most prolific scholars at Shawnee State. In the academic world, where research is important for the individual and institutional standing, this recognition is well-deserved by Dr Vemsani. I look forward to her contributions as a consequence of this award,” SSU provost and vice president of academic affairs Dr Sunil Ahuja said in a statement. 

The Fulbright program provides funding for individually designed research projects, graduate student programs and English Teaching Assistant Programs overseas.   

The Fulbright Program, including the Fulbright Hays Program, is one of the many United States Cultural Exchange Programs to improve intercultural relations, cultural diplomacy, and intercultural competence between the US and the other countries. The improvement is made through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills.  

Considered one of the most prestigious scholarships globally, United States Senator J. William Fulbright founded the program in 1946.  

As part of the program, American citizens selected competitively — students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists — receive grants or scholarships to study abroad. They can also use grants or scholarships to conduct research, teach, or exercise their talents.    

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