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University of Utah announces two Fulbright U.S. Scholar Awards for 2023-2024

The University of Utah is pleased to announce that two faculty members have received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar award for the 2023-2024 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Prof. Michael Yu is a member of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Randy Irmis is Chief Curator and Curator of Paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Utah, and Associate Professor in the Department of Geology & Geophysics.

Michael Yu

Prof. Yu will engage in collaborative biomedical research and actively contribute to the educational mission of the University of Pavia (UNIPV) in Italy.  By participating in the development of a new curriculum for the new biotechnology master’s program, he aims to have a global impact on the UNIPV by attracting non-resident and international students. This opportunity will allow Prof. Yu to share his knowledge and expertise, nurturing the next generation of biotechnology professionals. Additionally, through collaborative research endeavors, he will contribute to the fight against debilitating brittle bone disease.

Prof. Irmis will be associated with the Instituto Argentino de Nivologia Glaciolgia y Ciencias Ambientales in Mendoza, Argentina. He will develop and teach a new field-based course on methods and approaches to interrogating the geologic record on how terrestrial ecosystems changed in relation to climate in deep time and collaborate with Argentine colleagues on a large-scale research project to understand how Triassic non-marine ecosystems in northwestern Argentina changed in relation to the regional and global environment between 250-215 million years ago.

Randy Irmis

Michael Yu and Randy Irmis are among over 800 U.S. citizens who will teach or conduct research abroad for the 2023-2024 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Fulbrighters engage in cutting-edge research and expand their professional networks, often continuing research collaborations started abroad and laying the groundwork for forging future partnerships between institutions. Upon returning to their home countries, institutions, labs, and classrooms, they share their stories and often become active supporters of international exchange, inviting foreign scholars to campus and encouraging colleagues and students to go abroad.

As Fulbright Scholar alumni, their careers are enriched by joining a network of thousands of esteemed scholars, many of whom are leaders in their fields. Notable Fulbright alumni include 62 Nobel Prize laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize recipients, 78 MacArthur Fellows, and 41 who have served as a head of state or government. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 400,000 participants from over 160 countries – 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.

The Fulbright program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program. In the United States, the Institute of International Education supports the implementation of the Fulbright U.S. Student and Scholar Programs on behalf of the U.S. Department of State, including conducting an annual competition for the scholarships.

For more information about the Fulbright Program, contact Prof. Howard Lehman, Director of the Fulbright Program, University of Utah at