Top of Their Field

By Kevin Gyasi-Frempah ’22, June 28, 2022

Two professors earn Fulbright Awards.

Professor of Finance and International Business Alka Bramhandkar and Professor of Theatre Arts Kathleen Mulligan have been awarded Fulbright Scholar Grants for the 2022-23 academic year.

Bramhandkar, who was named a Fulbright U.S. Scholar, will spend the coming year at the Universidad del Desarrollo in Santiago, Chile. There she will be a consultant for the university’s initial Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation and also to help create and develop a course in sustainable business management. The course will serve as an elective offered in English and taught at the 500-level for students ready to graduate.

Alka Bramhandkar headshot

Alka Bramhandkar has already taught at universities around the globe.

“I’ve always loved developing new courses,” Bramhandkar said. “Once I deliver it to students in Chile, I hope to offer it to students here at Ithaca College.”

Bramhandkar also relishes the chance to travel and witness more of the world.

“I love to travel,” Bramhandkar said. “I’ve taught at various universities from Australia to France to Hong Kong during my past sabbaticals; this is my first-time teaching in South America.”

Mulligan was a recipient of the Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Award for her project titled “Preserving the Vanishing Stories of Partition.”

She will travel to Amritsar, India, and work with students at both Khalsa College and Sant Singh Sukha Singh (S.S.S.S) College of Commerce for Women. It will serve as an extension of her work on her 2015 project, which grew from interviews with those who lived through the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan.

Kathleen Mulligan Headshot

Mulligans Fulbright will serve as an extension of her work on her 2015 project, “Preserving the Vanishing Stories of Partition.”

She will travel to Amritsar, India, and work with students at both Khalsa College and Sant Singh Sukha Singh (S.S.S.S) College of Commerce for Women. It will serve as an extension of her work on her 2015 project, which grew from interviews with those who lived through the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan.

"I will work with the students to fashion original monologues based on interviews and stories about the partition,” Mulligan said. “We will weave these monologues into an original theatre piece and share them with audiences in Amritsar and other locations in India. In addition, I will offer my workshop 'Finding Your Voice' to women and girls in conjunction with my one-woman performance The Belle of Amherst, based on the life of Emily Dickinson.”

What excites Mulligan the most about her return to India is being a part of this process of sharing stories and perspectives on the partition by those who were affected by it.

“I am still pinching myself. I never imagined myself as the kind of person who would receive a Fulbright. I did not come from an academic background. ”

Professor of Theatre Arts Kathleen Mulligan

“I am honored to participate in preserving and sharing stories of survivors of one of the most devastating periods in world history,” Mulligan said.  “More than one million people lost their lives during the partition, and ten million were forced to leave their homes. These are probably conservative estimates. Yet many around the world know little or nothing about these events.”

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.

Both Bramhandkar and Mulligan were humbled by the honors they earned.

“I did not expect to get this award. I had not come across too many professors from my field of finance being awarded this opportunity. I feel honored, especially because my parents were high school graduates and never went to college.”

Professor of Finance and International Business Alka Bramhandkar

“I did not expect to get this award,” Bramhandkar said. “I had not come across too many professors from my field of finance being awarded this opportunity. I feel honored, especially because my parents were high school graduates and never went to college.”

Mulligan has been awarded multiple Fulbrights since 2010, which she has used to give a voice to survivors of both sides of the India-Pakistan partition through the production of original theatre pieces.

“I am still pinching myself,” Mulligan said.  “I never imagined myself as the kind of person who would receive a Fulbright. I did not come from an academic background. While my father was a college graduate, my mother dropped out of high school at 15. I spent the first 40 years of my life pursuing professional acting work. Fulbrights seemed to me to be things that classic academics and scholars did. I applied on a whim for my first Fulbright, based on a workshop I taught at Cornell for women in the academy. It quite literally changed the course of my life.”