VERMILLION, S.D. – Joshua Arens, an honors student majoring in chemistry and double-minoring in Spanish and mathematics at the University of South Dakota, has won the prestigious Fulbright Open Study Research Award.
It’s the third selective scholarship Arens has won. He previously received the Fulbright Summer Institute award allowing him to study at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom in the summer of 2014 and a 2016 Harry S. Truman Scholarship which provides up to $30,000 for graduate study.
Arens, from Yankton, South Dakota, credits former Honors Program Director Susan Hackemer with his success. “While there are many individuals who’ve helped me out through the years, I’d like to single out Susan Hackemer. I wouldn’t have received any of these awards without her guidance,” said Arens.
Arens, whose award will focus on renewable energy at the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia in Spain, has pursued multiple research and scholarship opportunities in the field of climate science. He has studied at the University of California Berkeley Center for Sustainable Polymers and held an internship at the Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry at Oregon State University. This summer, Arens will complete an internship through the Department of Energy’s Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship Program at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California.
Sparked with an interest in politics after interning for former U.S. Senator Tim Johnson, Arens hopes to continue his advocacy in the field of science.
“I look forward to conducting renewable energy research in a country that implements policies that create a welcoming environment for international scientists and promote research of innovative technologies to combat climate change,” said Arens.
The Fulbright Commission selects participants through a rigorous application and interview process. In making these awards, the commission looks not only for academic excellence but a focused application, a range of extracurricular and community activities, demonstrated ambassadorial skills, a desire to further the Fulbright Program and a plan to give back to the recipient’s home country upon returning.