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SUNY Potsdam Professor Dr. Claudia Ford Receives Fulbright Scholar Award

April 30, 2024
SUNY Potsdam Environmental Studies Faculty Member Dr. Claudia Ford to Complete Fulbright Scholar Visit to University of Klagenfurt in Austria 

SUNY Potsdam Professor of Environmental Studies Dr. Claudia J. Ford has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar and will teach at the University of Klagenfurt in Austria in the 2024-25 academic year (Photo credit: Tracey Ellis).

SUNY Potsdam Professor of Environmental Studies Dr. Claudia Ford has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, which will support her to travel and teach in Austria in the 2024-25 academic year. 

The Fulbright Award will allow Ford to teach at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria, in Spring 2025. She will teach two classes, in environmental literature and environmental justice, and to provide public lectures both at Klagenfurt and at Central European University in Vienna. Ford has also been provided the opportunity to hold an exhibition of her artworks during the residency in Klagenfurt. 

“I really hope to engage in the kind of dialogue that uniquely happens in a classroom, especially when discussing issues of cultural significance. I hope that I can then bring that cross-cultural exchange about environmental challenges back to Potsdam students,” Ford said. 

She is also developing a two-session virtual lecture that would be open to students both at SUNY Potsdam and Klagenfurt during her visit. During her trip, Ford will work with University of Klagenfurt faculty member Dr. Matthias Klestil, who visited SUNY Potsdam himself in 2021 and guest lectured in Ford’s classes at the time. Ford, who was part of the inaugural cohort of the SUNY PRODiG Faculty program, completed a prestigious residency at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany in 2022, and had the chance to travel to Klagenfurt to guest lecture in two of Klestil’s classes herself then. Ford was named a 2023-24 Distinguished Visiting Scholar for the University at Buffalo’s School of Arts and Sciences, and is now completing her residency there. 

Ford  has enjoyed a global career in academia, international development and women’s health spanning four decades and all continents. A tenured professor and chair of the Department of Environmental Studies at SUNY Potsdam, she teaches ethnobotany, indigenous knowledge, gender studies, international business, environmental justice and environmental literature in classrooms and workshops. Ford is a visual artist and writer and serves on the boards of directors of organizations that are committed to ending poverty, racism and injustice in food systems, along with transforming the practice of agriculture to renew the vitality of the earth, the integrity of our food, and the health and wholeness of our communities.  

She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Columbia University, a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, a Master of Business Administration degree in health administration from Antioch University, and Ph.D. in environmental studies, also from Antioch University. 

Fulbright U.S. Scholars are faculty, researchers, administrators, and established professionals teaching or conducting research in affiliation with institutes abroad. Fulbright Scholars engage in cutting-edge research and expand their professional networks, often continuing research collaborations started abroad and laying the groundwork for forging future partnerships between institutions. Upon returning to their home countries, institutions, labs, and classrooms, they share their stories and often become active supporters of international exchange, inviting foreign scholars to campus and encouraging colleagues and students to go abroad.  

Fulbright is a program of the U.S. Department of State, with funding provided by the U.S. Government. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide.  

Environmental studies is a truly interdisciplinary major at SUNY Potsdam, incorporating course offerings from 14 departments and programs designed to prepare the environmental leaders of the future. For more information, visit 

About SUNY Potsdam:  

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit 

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