RIT Professor Awarded Fulbright Scholar grant




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Environmental issues in the United States have always been part of Rochester Institute of Technology professor Karl Korfmacher’s life and education, but now he’s taking that interest abroad.

He is one of approximately 800 U.S. faculty and professionals awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant for the 2006-2007 academic year. Because of this award, Korfmacher will further pursue his environmental interests at RIT’s ‘sister school,’ American College of Management and Technology in Dubrovnik, Croatia. “ACMT is in the process of starting an environmental science program similar to the RIT environmental science program, so I will be helping with that initiative,” says Korfmacher.

“I will also be teaching courses, in geographic information systems (GIS) and an introductory environmental science course that ties in with existing courses offered at ACMT,” explains Korfmacher. “Additionally I will be helping students start coastal research projects and doing research of my own, mapping aquatic habitats and looking at the spread of Caulerpa taxifolia, an extremely invasive seaweed.”

Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the program’s purpose is to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries.

“Since coming to RIT I’ve been able to blend my teaching and research interests within a problem solving format, which allows our students to work on real problems with advanced technology and analysis,” says Korfmacher about the RIT learning environment, which he hopes to incorporate in at ACMT in Croatia. “I believe this approach better prepares students for the complexity of helping to solve environmental issues.” He attributes this approach to learning as one of the main reasons why he was granted the Fulbright award.

The time spent in Croatia, says Korfmacher, will not only be an opportunity to learn firsthand about Croatian student’s views on environmental issues, given their culture and history, but also an opportunity to promote student exchanges between RIT and American College of Management and Technology.

Korfmacher is a resident of Brighton.

Note: Founded in 1829, Rochester Institute of Technology is internationally recognized as a leader in computing, engineering, imaging technology, fine and applied arts, and education of the deaf. More than 15,300 full- and part-time students are enrolled in RIT’s 340 career-oriented and professional programs, and its cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation.

For well over a decade, U.S. News & World Report has ranked RIT among the nation’s leading comprehensive universities. The Princeton Review recognizes RIT as one of America’s “Most Wired Campuses,” and the university is also featured in The Fiske Guide to Colleges and Barron’s Best Buys in Education.