Two Eastern Michigan University professors earn Fulbright awards for research

A globe rests on an open book outdoors on a sunny day
Rita Shah
Rita Shah

YPSILANTI – Two Eastern Michigan University professors are the most recent recipients of the Fulbright award. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the United States government. It is designed to build lasting connections between people of the United States and other countries. The Fulbright Program funds American and international scholars to study, conduct research, or teach in universities.

With a passion for examining crime as a social construct and dissecting terms such as “rehabilitation,” Rita Shah, EMU associate professor of Criminology, utilizes textual analysis, interviews, and photo documentation and focuses on the social and legal construction of correctional systems and structures. 

Shah’s Fulbright award will support her project’s objective to understand an attempt to change the incarceration experience. “Specifically, I will analyze the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC) in Canberra, which claims to be a human rights-based prison,” said Shah. “In studying the design and operation of the prison and the legislation the AMC is based on, this study will discern whether the implementation of human rights principles can lead to change or if the ideals legitimize existing practices.”

Denise Pilato
Denise Pilato

Three-time Fulbright awardee Denise Pilato, a professor of Technology Studies at Eastern joins, Shah in this round of awards. Pilato will continue her interdisciplinary study of technology, culture and gender at the University of Rijeka in Croatia, where she will teach, conduct student and faculty seminars, and deliver university and public presentations focused on the relationship between people, culture and technology. Her award as a Fulbright specialist includes the potential for short-term project assignments over the next four years.  The Fulbright Specialist Program is a field-driven initiative designed by host institutions for specific projects that provide an exchange of knowledge, build capacity, and establish partnerships benefiting participants, institutions, and global communities.

"This Fulbright Specialist award presents opportunities to make connections to current events and past traditions in the global community that catapult and expand understanding and cultural awareness of what it means to live in a technologically made world any place, any time,” said Pilato. 

See the website for further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 15,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

May 25, 2022

Written by:
Brittany Mobley

Media Contact:
Brittany Mobley