Faculty members around the globe

Houston takes on Japan

From Mexico to the Maldives and many countries in between, numerous New Mexico State University faculty members have traveled to dozens of countries as Fulbright Faculty Fellowship award recipients in the last four decades. Through a United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs program, NMSU faculty members have participated in an international educational exchange program designed to increase mutual understanding between people of the U.S. and other countries. 

“We are very proud of our NMSU faculty members who inspire students here and around the world as outstanding instructors and cutting-edge researchers,” Chancellor Dan Arvizu says. “We have tasked our faculty and students to help with confronting global challenges and traveling to international locations that help our faculty create solutions.” 

Currently, Jessica Houston, Chemical and Materials Engineering associate professor, is spending the fall semester in Japan at Saitama University in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering after receiving an award of about $43,000. 

“Dr. Houston is well deserving of the Fulbright Faculty Fellowship,” says Lakshmi Reddi, College of Engineering dean. “She established her value as a faculty member early on with a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and continues to be one of our strongest faculty members. She contributes heavily to the college and her department as a teacher, instructor and leader.”

Houston is working alongside Professor Miho Suzuki, a biochemist. The pair has collaborated for several years. 

“My work involves going into Miho’s laboratory, working with her students, learning about their research projects, writing research papers and planning future collaborative grants and projects,” Houston says.  

Houston made the trip a family affair with her husband, Kevin Houston, an NMSU chemistry and biochemistry associate professor, and their three children, Joaquin, Kaleb and Kyraluna, who are accompanying her.  

“I believe this is truly an opportunity of a lifetime,” Houston says. “So far, it has been an amazing experience for the whole family. We have toured around all of the popular Tokyo attractions and have learned a lot about the culture of respect and patience here in Japan.”

Tiffany Acosta

Jessica Houston is working with Fulbright host Professor Miho Suzuki (front left) and her students.

A Fulbright Faculty Fellowship awardee, NMSU Chemical and Materials Engineering Associate Professor Jessica Houston (front right) is spending the fall semester at Saitama University in Japan.