Tarleton professor named Fulbright Scholar

Goderya Fulbright Scholar

Tarleton State University

Thursday, June 21, 2012

STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Dr. Shaukat Goderya, associate professor of engineering and physics and director of programs for astronomy education and research at Tarleton State University, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar Program grant for 2012-2013.

The award, which is part of the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, will support his efforts to develop an astronomy research program in Pakistan in fall 2012 while also teaching astrophysics to local undergraduate and graduate students.

Goderya, a native of Pakistan and member of the Tarleton faculty since 2005, is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2012-2013.

While in Pakistan, Goderya will work with professionals at the Institute of Space Technologies (IST) in Islamabad and assist with the establishment of an astronomy program in the educational institution.

“The nature of this visit to Pakistan is not to conduct any specific type of astronomical research,” explained Goderya. “There are no observatory facilities at IST or at any other institutions in Pakistan, and there are no professional astronomers to conduct research with.” The goal, he says, “would be to train local faculty, personnel and students and show them what it takes to start a research program.”

Goderya, whose research at Tarleton focuses on observing eclipsing binary stars, extra-solar planets and other near-earth objects using the university’s 32-inch Ritchey-Chretien reflecting telescope, hopes to use observational data to demonstrate what type of research can be conducted with this equipment.

“In addition, it will be possible to begin a small collaborative project with students at Tarleton, where Tarleton students will obtain the data on the telescope and transmit it to students in Pakistan,” Goderya said.

With the Fulbright grant, Goderya said, “I have the opportunity to contribute some of my time and expertise in Pakistan. I have adopted new ideas in teaching physics and astronomy in my teaching style and I will use them to teach astronomy courses at the host institutions. I feel that this will greatly benefit my colleagues in Pakistan as well, and will create interest among students and teachers to explore these new ideas in their own classes.”

Although there is considerable political instability in the region and tension among Pakistan’s neighboring countries, Goderya said it is “imperative that the energies of young minds be diverted towards achievement of peaceful uses of space and pursuit of intellectual goals in the field of astronomy.”

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.

“Dr. Goderya joins a small and elite group of Tarleton faculty who have received Fulbright scholarships and I congratulate him on this distinctive achievement,” said Dr. Karen Murray, provost and executive vice president of Academic Affairs. To date, three Tarleton State University faculty members have been awarded Fulbright grants, including Dr. Fred Koestler (2002-2003), Dr. T. Lindsay Baker (1975-1977) and Dr. Barry Price (1995-1996).


Tarleton State University
A member of The Texas A&M University System

Contact: Kurt Mogonye

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Tarleton professor named Fulbright Scholar - Media Relations - Tarleton State University