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WTAMU Professor Receives Fulbright Grant to Conduct Research in Prague

May 9, 2017

CONTACT:    Dr. Catherine Clewett, 806-651-2545, cclewett@wtamu.edu    

WTAMU Professor Receives Fulbright Grant to Conduct Research in Prague


CANYON, Texas—It’s not often that experimental physicists get to conduct research overseas, but a West Texas A&M University professor will be doing just that in the Czech Republic early next year. Dr. Cathy Clewett, associate professor of physics, is the recipient of a Fulbright Core Scholar grant that will allow her to live and work in Prague, Czech Republic, conducting research at Charles University in the faculty of mathematics and physics. Albert Einstein was part of this faculty at Charles University before World War II.Dr. Cathy Clewett

Clewett will spend six months sharing ideas and research techniques with faculty and scientists in the Czech Republic developing membranes for the oil and gas industry. She also will spend time learning about how other countries promote women in the sciences.

WTAMU and the U.S. Department of State recognize that international cooperation fosters strong research and an informed populace. Many U.S. science professors do not have as much opportunity to travel overseas as some of their colleagues in the humanities because their laboratories tie them to one location.

“Spending six months in another country to work on research as well as to interact socially with students and colleagues on a project that is so important to the globe will be a hugely broadening experience for me and those I interact with when I return,” Clewett said.

Students from two areas at WTAMU will benefit from the experience—the College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences which houses physics, and the School of Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics.  

“I’m also incredibly excited that my husband and son will get to live in Europe,” Clewett said.  “It’s the first time that they have come with me when I do research—usually I have to travel alone.” 

Clewett’s husband, Don Clewett, is an instructor of mathematics at WTAMU.

The Fulbright Program provides participants, chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential, with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. The Fulbright program was established in 1946 and operates in more than 160 countries worldwide. Approximately 8,000 grants are awarded annually to university faculty, teachers, college students and artists, worldwide.

Clewett is one of more than 800 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research, and/or provide expertise abroad for the 2017-2018 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.  She joins other WTAMU faculty who are Fulbright Scholars through a variety of Fulbright programs. She is the first woman in the sciences from WTAMU to participate in the Core Scholars program.

Clewett jointed the WT faculty in 2010. She conducts research using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and is interested in helping find new clean water sources and materials to be used in renewable energy. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College, her master’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and her Ph.D. from New Mexico Tech.


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