Prof. Ronald Arlet Pateriz Villaber, a faculty member of VSU Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry (DoPAC), is one of this year’s Fulbright Foreign Student Program Scholars which will allow him to pursue graduate studies in the United States this coming January 2021.

Prof. Villaber will be pursuing his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Chemistry at the University of Akron (UAkron) based in Ohio, USA. The University of Akron is a STEM-focused university and has leading research in polymer science, advanced materials, and engineering, and has established partnerships with prominent manufacturing companies.

Prof. Villaber shared that his research interest aligns with UAkron’s well-renowned innovative research on advanced polymer and material science and that this was the reason for his placement at the said university.

“That’s one of the reasons why Fulbright placed me at UAkron since I will be working on nanobiopoplymers for my research. I will be exploring the potentials of different proteins and DNA origami, or a hybrid of both, [which can] serve as nanocarriers for agricultural and biomedical applications”, Prof. Villaber said.

Moreover, Prof. Villaber shared that he hopes that this competitive international program will help him contribute to VSU's pursuit of advanced sciences.

“I am hoping that I can gain more knowledge and techniques in chemical research [like] nanotechnology and biopolymer chemistry for agricultural and biomedical applications, which I can impart to my future students here in VSU upon my reinstatement. Acquiring such training and knowledge will surely help VSU to pursue advanced research in nanobiotechnology and agricultural chemistry.”

As part of America’s cultural exchange programs, the Fulbright Scholarship is one of the most prestigious and competitive study grants in the world with the goal of improving intercultural relations, cultural diplomacy, and intercultural competence between the people of the United States and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills.

The Fulbright Foreign Student Program in particular is a type of scholarship opportunity for Filipinos to study graduate-level studies or pursue non-degree doctoral dissertation research in the US.

This same program grants Filipinos a maximum of one academic year for non-degree, one to two years for master’s, and two years for doctoral degree studies. The program also provides for round-trip international travel, monthly maintenance allowance, tuition and fees, book/supplies allowance, and health and accident insurance.

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