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Kansas State University

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Jon Mahoney, an associate professor of philosophy, recently was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and will head to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in January to begin six months of travel, teaching and research.

"For both teaching and research, international travel, especially to non-Western countries, is a huge benefit," said Mahoney. "This is especially true for political philosophers like myself who try to discover objective principles of justice. It's also just plain fun to travel."

Mahoney will be working at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek. His research will focus on democratic equality, with an emphasis on religion and politics.

Kyrgyzstan is located in Central Asia and is a former Soviet Republic. Following political and ethnic violence last summer, Kyrgyz voters approved the creation of a parliamentary government. The first elections under the new system took place Oct. 10.  

“I am especially excited to spend a semester in Kyrgyzstan in light of current events,” he said.  “This will be helpful for my research and my well-being. I have never been to Kyrgyzstan, but I have taught abroad in the past. One thing that is unique about teaching abroad is that, as an instructor, I learn a lot from students and colleagues whose backgrounds differ from my K-State students and colleagues."

Marcelo Sabates, head of the philosophy department, said Mahoney's achievement enriches the philosophy department’s distinguished record in terms of fellowships, which includes, among others, a British Council Scholar, an Agence National de la Recherche Fellow and two Humboldt Scholars.

"Jon's participation in this program will not only have a tremendous impact on his research but will also enhance the experience of his students at K-State, as well as provide new perspectives for his colleagues in the philosophy department," said Sabates.

Mahoney said he also looks forward to traveling around the region during his time in Central Asia.

"I look forward to hiking the mountains of Central Asia, eating new kinds of food and learning to speak some Russian and Kyrgyz.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.

The U.S. scholar program sends approximately 1,100 American scholars and professionals per year to around 125 countries, where they lecture and/or conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields. Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. More information on the Fulbright Program is available at