Press Release for Wednesday, July 27, 2005

UNF Professor Recipient of Fulbright Senior Specialist Grant

Contact: Joanna Norris
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

Dr. Ronald Lukens-Bull, a University of North Florida assistant professor of anthropology, sociology and criminal justice, was recently selected for a Fulbright Senior Specialist Program Grant. This particular Fulbright program matches US scholars with international institutions to work on a particular short-term project.

“I think this Fulbright is a fine example of the important connection between excellence in research and high-quality teaching,” said Dr. Michael Hallett, Department of Criminal Justice chair. “Dr. Lukens-Bull has done a number of innovative things in teaching the past few years, drawing specifically on his research interest in exploring the Islamic world.”

Lukens-Bull will be sharing his expertise with faculty at the Walailak University in Southern Thailand. As a Fulbright Senior Specialist, he will spend six weeks at Walailak University, where he will contribute his knowledge on Islam in Southeast Asia in developing courses, assisting with research and other projects, like building a master’s degree program at the university in Southeast Asian studies.

“It’s an honor to be selected for any Fulbright program. I am especially excited to accept this grant because it’s a culmination of my career to date and it’s exciting to return to Thailand for a longer period of time,” said Lukens-Bull, who hopes this is the beginning of a productive collaboration between UNF and Walailak University.

The Jacksonville Beach resident has a strong research agenda that centers on Islamic religion, education, politics and globalization in Indonesia. As the author of two books, Lukens-Bull recently wrote his third book titled, A Peaceful Jihad: Negotiating Identity and Modernity in Muslim Java. In order to gather research for his latest book, he immersed himself in the Islamic community of Java, Indonesia. Here he lived among the people of the pesantren community, centered on an educational institution called the pesantren, which uses education as a central arena for dealing with globalization, as well as the construction and maintenance of the Indonesian Islamic identity.

A UNF professor since 1999, Lukens-Bull received his doctorate in social-cultural anthropology from Arizona State University. He has received numerous grants and scholarships, including the US-Indonesia Society Travel Grant in 2004 and the UNF Faculty Summer Research Grant in 2000.