Fulbright Specialist Program takes Bryan School Professor to South Africa 

Posted on June 03, 2024

UNCG Dr. Joy Bhadury stands with a group of people in a South Africa classroom.

This June, UNC Greensboro Professor of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management Joy Bhadury will take a research trip to South Africa after being named a Fulbright Specialist for 2024. The award will take him to the University of Venda (UNIVEN), one of UNCG’s newest international partners, and to Vaal University of Technology (VUT). He will conduct research with doctoral students in supply chain management and operations management, studying those disciplines within the context of African culture and community, delivering public lectures, and working on initiatives aimed at capacity building within the two institutions.  

A global approach to business education 

Headshot of Dr. Joy Bhadury.
Dr. Joy Bhadury

Established by the US Department of State in 2001, the Fulbright Specialist Program is a unique opportunity for American academics like Bhadury to travel on short two- to six-week project-based exchanges to institutions around the world. Over 400 US citizens share expertise with host institutions abroad through the program each year. Recipients of Fulbright Specialist Awards are selected based on academic and professional achievement, demonstrated leadership in their field, and their potential to foster long-term cooperation between institutions in the US and abroad.

“None of this would have happened without Maria Anastasiou, associate provost for UNCG’s International Programs Center. I owe her a huge debt of gratitude,” Bhadury says. “When I told her that I couldn’t afford to take off six months or a year for the honor of a Fulbright Scholar award, she encouraged me to apply to the Fulbright Specialist Program.” 

Bhadury is a big advocate for globalization in education, especially business education. He has participated in many programs abroad that have included research and teaching trips to Singapore, Hong Kong, Austria and Ghana.  

“I find it extremely enriching to work with students in different countries. Many are in executive MBA programs but are also working adults, so it gives me the opportunity to learn from them about the specifics of my discipline within the context of their cultures and countries,” he says. 

“It takes immersion in a culture and interactions with the people to really understand some of the nuances that apply to business operations in various global contexts,” he continues. 

Igniting partnerships for business research in South Africa 

Bhadury has worked with Vaal University since 2015 and is excited to return to South Africa. He has a tremendous interest in Sub-Saharan Africa and believes it is poised for significant growth over the next 50 years. 

“When you look at future global demographics, Sub-Saharan Africa is the one place that will collectively grow in population compared to the rest of the world, where the population is predicted to decline,” he explains. 

He works with several doctoral students at VUT and hopes to continue his research with them and co-publish literature on supply chain management and operations management within the context of Africa. 

“Currently, there is a dearth of good literature and good research being done on these issues.  It is my hope that this research will help spark an interest in African supply chain management among other Western scholars,” he says. 

Bhadury has also worked extensively on projects aimed at institutional capacity building in UNIVEN and VUT.  He’s worked with faculty on building a culture of research and effective teaching and worked with administrators on being effective leaders. At UNIVEN, he has also conducted workshops and seminars with faculty, staff, students, and external constituents on community-engaged research by universities and youth leadership programs. He provided input into the creation of UNIVEN’s current strategic plan.  

“UNIVEN has been an excellent university partner. They know their mission within the context of the region they serve and are keen to fulfill the same for the benefit of the community,” he says. “I’m immensely pleased that in this regard, they have also partnered with UNCG by signing an MOU in 2019 and am looking forward to contributing to the strengthening of this relationship between our institutions.” 

“We look forward to hosting Dr. Bhadury at UNIVEN,” says Dr. Segun Obadire, acting director of international relations, UNIVEN. “On behalf of the Vice-Chancellor and Principal University of Venda, Prof Bernard Nthambeleni, we would like to congratulate Bhadury on his Fulbright Specialist Program grant and believe this will add value and expansion to our partnership journey.” 

When Bhadury returns to UNCG in July he will be taking the helm at the Bryan School of Business and Economics as the interim dean for 2024-2025. He is looking forward to his administrative role and continuing to supervise his doctoral students. Looking to the future, he is hopeful to return to South Africa in summer of 2025 to continue his community engaged research work abroad. 

Story by Alice Manning Touchette
Photography courtesy of Dr. Joy Bhadury, Bryan School of Business and Economics

International Opportunity Awaits


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