Skip to main content

Elizabeth Koselka and Laurence Marks receive Fulbright awards

Graduate student and faculty member will take their research abroad

Northwestern University graduate student Elizabeth Koselka and Professor Laurence Marks each have received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar fellowship from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. The prestigious fellowship provides unique opportunities for scholars to teach and conduct research abroad, forge new relationships and contribute to finding solutions to challenges both local and global.

Koselka, a doctoral candidate in the department of anthropology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Letters, will spend six months in Alicante, Spain, studying the role of stress and social disruption on people's eating habits and health outcomes. Marks, a materials scientist in the McCormick School of Engineering, will spend six months in Australia studying the mystery of static electricity.

Fulbright award recipients are chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential. Koselka and Marks are among more than 800 U.S. scholars, artists and professionals from all backgrounds who will spend time abroad during the 2023-2024 academic year.

Northwestern’s Buffett Institute for Global Affairs serves as the University’s Fulbright Scholar Liaison for faculty members, facilitating increased participation in the Fulbright Scholar Program via institutional-level support and peer-to-peer engagement. Events like the inaugural Fulbright Week, held in April, offer students and staff opportunities to learn about Fulbright grants, make new connections and increase their chances of a successful application.

Elizabeth Koselka examines health inequity

Elizabeth Koselka
Elizabeth Koselka

Koselka recently defended her dissertation and will graduate this summer. A biological anthropologist, her research centers on food and eating to elucidate social, historical and political forces that perpetuate health inequity in high-resource settings, mainly Spain and the U.S. Koselka focuses on how people eat after two periods of formidable change (the COVID-19 pandemic and international migration to Spain).

In Spain, Koselka will conduct interviews and collect in-person qualitative insights that can enrich the study she established in 2021 with colleagues at the University of Alicante. Her project focuses on understanding the social dynamics that drive changes to eating habits and migration-related stress for two generations of people who moved to Alicante from countries in Latin America. 

“It's a tremendous honor to be selected and have the opportunity to continue my work in Alicante, Spain,” Koselka said. “To protect health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, we used fully remote methods. Now I will be able to get firsthand perspective and focus on qualitative social contexts.”

Laurence Marks studies how static electricity forms

Laurence Marks
Laurence Marks

Marks is a professor of materials science and engineering at McCormick. His research focuses on nanoparticles, electron microscopy, diffraction and crystallography. Marks’ most highly cited work is the discovery of a type of nanoparticle which has become known as the Marks Decahedron.

In Australia, Marks will continue his study of how static electricity forms. The common phenomenon has not had a widely accepted scientific explanation. In 2019, Marks and two of his doctoral students reported this finding: When two objects are rubbed together, the bending of tiny protrusions on their surfaces creates voltage — something called triboelectricity, or static electricity.

“I am looking forward to going to Australia to work with scientists at Curtin University in Perth,” Marks said. “This will be a unique opportunity to work on how static electricity forms with my experimental collaborator Simone Ciampi and also the theoretician Julian Gale. Receiving the Fulbright fellowship is an honor.”