The U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced political science professor Dr. Melanie H. Ram received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to conduct research in Europe.

Ram will research the subregional intergovernmental organizations that emerged in Europe since the end of the Cold War, many of which were established to support European integration and security and stability in Europe. She will visit Italy, Croatia and Romania and will also meet with faculty and students at the University of Zagreb and the University of Bucharest.

“I am honored to have been selected for this prestigious award and it is a great opportunity to showcase the research expertise of Fresno State faculty,” Ram said. “I am also excited to have the exceptional opportunity to spend four months engaged in funded research in three countries in Europe and to be hosted by four different institutions.” 

As a Fulbright Scholar, Ram will share knowledge and foster meaningful connections across communities in the United States and Europe. Fulbrighters engage in cutting-edge research and expand their professional networks, often continuing research collaborations started abroad and laying the groundwork for forging future partnerships between institutions. 

As a scholar of international relations, Ram is a strong proponent and embodiment of Fulbright’s ideals through her teaching, research and study of other countries, languages and cultures. 

“I am especially honored to have been awarded the Fulbright Schuman European Union Affairs research award, which is jointly financed by the U.S. government and the European Union and specifically intended to support work that is of multinational or supranational interest and scope,” Ram said. “In many ways, I feel this award is a culmination and recognition of my international interests and expertise.” 

Her research has focused on the influence of international organizations, like the European Union and World Bank, on domestic politics and the influence of domestic actors on international policymaking. She has studied this especially in the case of European Union enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe and examined specific issues like human rights and discrimination against Roma. 

Ram hopes to use her experience to support more international opportunities for students and to continue to foster international engagement and understanding at Fresno State and in the community. She also looks forward to developing connections with scholars, institutions and students from other countries and bringing her experiences back into the classroom.

Actively involved in the University at all levels, Ram has served for over a decade on the University’s Academic Senate, served four years as chair of the Department of Political Science and previously received the College of Social Sciences Faculty Service Award and the Provost’s Promising New Faculty Award.

Fulbright Scholar alumni join a network of thousands of esteemed scholars, many of whom are leaders in their fields. Fulbright alumni include 60 Nobel Prize laureates, 88 Pulitzer Prize recipients and 39 who have served as a head of state or government.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world.