New Fulbright Scholar Bob Mathieu Heads to Chile in 2021

March 27, 2020   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

In his fourth decade as an astronomy professor and champion of STEM learning, CIRTL and recent WCER Director Bob Mathieu nailed his first application for a Fulbright Scholarship.

His proposal focuses on his two academic passions—advancing STEM education and studying binary stars—and a goal to grow personally by living abroad for the first time. He hopes to gain more of an international perspective by living life in Chile for three month next year between February and May.

“Chile has made a national commitment to advancing its world position in STEM fields and also is a world leader in the study of star clusters, which match my own interests,” says Bob, who is trying to learn Spanish and encourages colleagues to help him become conversational.

He will focus on collaborating with and learning from Chilean colleagues and students in part by sharing how CIRTL is helping prepare the next generation of STEM faculty to be equally exceptional in research and teaching. He also will work with colleagues in Chile to explore newly recognized alternative pathways in the evolution of binary stars through a novel theory developed at the Universidad de Concepcion.

“I am most looking forward to getting to know Chilean students, both undergrads and graduate students. I’ve always found that the more students have life experiences different from mine, the more we all grow,” he states. “Above all, I hope to make many connections that will continue well beyond the formal Fulbright period and allow me to return to Chile and welcome new friends to Madison.”