WPI Professor Wins Fulbright Scholar Grant

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Management Professor Michael Elmes Heading to New Zealand in January

WORCESTER, Mass. -- August 16, 2004 -- Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) management Professor Michael B. Elmes' next academic assignment will take him 9,000 miles from campus as a Fulbright Scholar in New Zealand. In January, he will begin a six-month research study in New Zealand on the future of biotechnology there -- a controversial topic in a nation that prides itself on being clean, green and natural. Elmes is the tenth member of the current WPI faculty to earn a Fulbright grant.

Each year the Fulbright Scholar Program sends 800 students and professionals to more than 140 countries where they lecture or conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields. The grant provides the recipient up to a full academic year's worth of support allowing the grantee to focus on research. Additionally, the program fosters connections not only between the recipient of the award and his or her host, but also forges a connection between the grantee's home companies and organizations and similar companies in their host country.

In New Zealand, Elmes will be working with the Sustainable Biotechnology Research Team housed at Waikato University to study stakeholder reactions to the lifting in 2003 of a moratorium on genetically modified products and services. The goal is to create a forum of ideas, perspectives and knowledge about how biotechnology can be introduced and managed in New Zealand in a sustainable way. In addition to his research study, Elmes will spend about 20 percent of his time as a guest lecturer at the Victoria Management School at Victoria University of Wellington teaching an honors-level class, advanced topics in organizational behavior.

Elmes joined the WPI faculty in 1990 and has been pursuing his research interests in the areas of narrative perspectives on organizational phenomena, technology implementation, organizations in the natural environment, critical perspectives on workplace control and resistance, and psychodynamic perspectives on group and intergroup behavior. In the classroom, he has taught courses such as organization behavior and theory, management of change, and leadership in groups and organizations.

Elmes earned a Ph.D. in business administration from Syracuse University, an M.A. in counseling from Colgate University, and a B.S. in psychology/biology from Union College.

More information about the Fulbright Grant Program is available from the WPI Fellowships and Scholarships Web site.

About the Fulbright Scholar Program

The Fulbright Scholar Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and is funded primarily through an annual appropriation made by the United States Congress. The Fulbright Program began in the after-math of World War II as a step toward fostering global cooperation. Senator William J. Fulbright proposed his program in 1945 as a method to promote "mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries of the world." President Truman signed the proposal into law in 1946.

The Fulbright Program, in its fifty-eight year history, has provided over a quarter million participants with the ability to observe other country's political, economical, and cultural institutions.