Fulbright Scholar Program Honors Two Embry-Riddle Faculty Members

Woman sits by a lake and a portrait of the Dean of Academic Innovation Dr. Dean Goon
Embry-Riddle Faculty members Kelsi Matwick and Dean Goon are looking forward to Fulbright Scholars Program projects in Japan and Kosovo, respectively.

Two Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University academicians are being honored as part of the 2024 U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program.

Dr. Kelsi Matwick, assistant professor of technical and professional writing in the Department of Humanities and Communication at Embry-Riddle’s Prescott, Arizona, campus is bound for Japan after being named a Fulbright Scholar.

From Embry-Riddle’s Worldwide Campus, Dean of Academic Innovation Dr. Dean Goon received a Fulbright Specialist Program award to support a project in Kosovo this spring.

Established in 1946, the Fulbright Scholarships are awarded by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. The program provides funds for U.S. citizens to study and conduct research, as well as teach English abroad.

“Congratulations to Dr. Matwick and Dean Goon on being recognized by the prestigious U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program, for their exceptional achievements in support of scholarly cooperation across borders,” said Embry-Riddle’s Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Kelly Austin. “Their collaboration with international colleagues will help introduce Embry-Riddle students to broader perspectives, new contacts and deeper subject matter expertise.”

Connecting Globally

Matwick will contribute to Japanese universities through teaching and research. “I will teach courses using food as a lens for studying the United States, with a focus on American food, language and identity,” said Matwick. “My research will explore food in American politics, emphasizing the concept of gastrodiplomacy.”

The work will “examine how food can serve as a diplomatic tool to bridge cultures and strengthen relations among nations,” she added.  

Goon will travel to the International Business College Mitrovica in Kosovo in April 2024 to complete a project that aims to exchange knowledge through faculty pedagogical training and development activities. Specifically, he plans to lead strategic planning and development for the administration and faculty on higher education trends such as retention, classroom engagement, and digital teaching and learning.

Throughout Goon’s career in executive leadership, he has focused on the intersection of learning and technology, university digital transformation and graduate instruction. He has also been an academic dean and managed partnerships with business and international educational institutions. He earned his Ed.D. in Teaching and Learning from Liberty University and his master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from The Ohio State University.

Matwick holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Florida, where she also earned her master’s degree. She earned an additional master’s degree in Romance Languages and Literature from the University of Notre Dame, after receiving her bachelor’s degree in Spanish.

Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected based on academic and professional achievement, demonstrated leadership in their field, and potential to foster long-term cooperation between institutions in the U.S. and around the world.

In 2023, three other Embry-Riddle faculty members — Dr. Jules O. Yimga and Dr. Marie Lathers as well as Dr. Shawn Milrad — received Fulbright honors. Prior Embry-Riddle Fulbright honorees have included Dr. Vladimir Golubev, Drs. Narcrisha Norman, William J. “Bill” Lahneman and Vedapuri Sunder Raghavan, as well as others.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations worldwide also provide direct and indirect support to the program, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide.

“The Fulbright Scholarships are the U.S. government’s most highly competitive program for international educational exchange,” said Dr. Aaron D. Clevenger, assistant provost for International Education at Embry-Riddle. “It’s an honor, and a tremendous accomplishment by our faculty members, for Embry‑Riddle to be recognized again this year.”

The 2025-26 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program competition is now open. Interested faculty members may learn more here.

Additional information via International Education at Embry-Riddle is also available online.

Posted In: Institutional News | Research