April 12, 2022

Contact: Keegan Koberl

Cal Poly Named a Top Producer of 2021-22 Fulbright U.S. Scholars
Three Cal Poly Scholars Awarded Fulbright Scholarships for 2022-2023

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly has again been named a top producer of U.S. Fulbright scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The distinction was in the Master’s Colleges and Universities category for the 2021-22 academic year.

Cal Poly’s 2021-22 Fulbright scholars are Barry Jones, emeritus professor from the Construction Management Department, and Michael Lucas, emeritus professor from the Architecture Department.

Lucas taught in the Institute for Aesthetics and Arts Culture at University of Prešov in Slovakia with courses on Embodied Aesthetics and the Built Environment. He researched the wooden churches in the villages of the local Carpathian Mountains, which have survived wars and social change for 300 years.

“Through the Fulbright, I did field work on 22 of the structures and collected about 1,400 images in beautiful late summer and full fall colors. I was able to interview the local seminary leaders for the Greek Catholic faith, workers on the churches, and local and national Monuments Board members,” said Lucas. “Prešov and colleagues in the Institute of Aesthetics and Fine Arts were wonderful, acted as translators on several occasions, and became good friends.”

Jones will conduct research and teach in the area of civil engineering focusing on Project Management and Environmental Impact Considerations. He will be hosted at Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology in Vietnam. Jones’ travel was delayed by due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but arrived in Vietnam in early April.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Its Fulbright Scholar Program offers nearly 470 teaching, research or combination teaching/research awards in over 125 countries. The State University of New York at New Paltz topped the list of master’s institutions with four scholars and California State University, Chico, had three scholars. The full list of institutions by category is available through the Fulbright website.

To date, three Cal Poly faculty have been named as awardees for the 2022-23 academic year: Greg Domber, lecturer in the History Department, will be teaching and conducting research at the Jagiellonian University Institute for American Studies and the Polish Diaspora. Mira Rosenthal, associate professor of English, will be teaching and conducting research at the Center for Translation Studies also with the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. Nishanta ‘Nishi’ Rajakaruna, professor of biology, will spend 10 months at the School of Biological Sciences at North-West University (NWU), Potchefstroom, South Africa.

“I am delighted that I get to return to South Africa to co-teach Geoecology and conduct collaborative research with students and colleagues at North-West University and am excited about my visits to 10 additional universities and research institutions across South Africa to present seminars and initiate collaborative research on serpentine ecology,” Rajakaruna said. “I hope my time in South Africa will set the stage for many opportunities for collaboration for students, faculty, and staff from Cal Poly and South African universities.”

For over 75 years, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 400,000 participants – chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential – with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to challenges facing our communities and our world. Over 1,900 diverse U.S. students, artists, and early career professionals in more than 100 different fields of study receive Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants annually to study, teach English, and conduct research overseas. In addition, more than 800 U.S. scholars, artists, and professionals from all backgrounds teach or conduct research overseas through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program annually.

Learn more information about the Fulbright Program, visit

Learn more about the faculty awarded Fulbright Scholarships

Barry Jones (center, in white shirt) with faculty and students at Ho Chi Minh University of Technology and Education