University of Portland
Contact: John Furey, Joe Kuffner

Two University of Portland professors receive Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grants for 2014-2015

University of Portland professors Lars Erik Larson and Molly Hiro have been selected to receive Fulbright U.S. Scholar Teaching Grants to India for the 2014-2015 academic year. Larson and Hiro are both English professors at the University, and are married as well. They joined UP’s faculty in 2005.

Hiro was an award-winning teacher at UCLA before coming to UP, and currently serves as chair of the English department. Her academic areas of expertise include African-American writers, American women writers, multi-ethnic American literature, American literature and social change, nineteenth-century American literature, and American modernism.

Larson also taught at UCLA before coming to Portland, and his academic interests include twentieth-century American literature, nineteenth-century American literature, western American literature, literature and the visual arts, cultural geography, and literature of the environment. He received the University of Portland Faculty Outstanding Teaching Award in 2013.

Larson and Hiro anticipate they will serve for a semester at a university or set of universities in India, possibly New Delhi. The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board will inform them of their destination at a later date.

The purpose of the Fulbright Program is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of the more than 150 countries that currently participate in the Fulbright Program. About 850 faculty and professionals receive Fulbright grants each year to conduct research, teach and pursue combined teaching and research in the United States.

Since 1996, thirteen Faculty Fulbrights have been awarded to UP professors, including business professor Arjun Chatrath in 2005, English professor John McDonald, education professor Blaine Ackley, and business professors Richard Gritta and Mark Meckler in 2007, and biology professor Katie O’Reilly in 2012.

The University of Portland continues to be one of the top producers of Fulbrights for students in the nation, most recently ranking third among “master’s universities,” according to a study released by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The University has been a leader among its peer institutions in producing Fulbright scholars for several years, ranking first nationally in 2012-13, 2011-12, 2010-11, and 2007-08.

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State oversees the operations of the Fulbright Program throughout the world. More about the program can be found at

The University of Portland is an independently governed Catholic university guided by the Congregation of Holy Cross. U.S. News & World Report ranks the institution as one of the top ten regional universities in the West. It is the only school in Oregon to offer a College of Arts & Sciences, a graduate school, and nationally accredited programs in the schools of business, education, engineering, and nursing.

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