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Associate Professor Nadia Gkritza selected to work with the National Technical University of Athens, Greece

Konstantina
Associate Professor, Konstantina "Nadia" Gkritza was awarded a fellowship by the Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program to travel to Greece to work with Prof. Eleni Vlahogianni of the Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Greece on collaborative research in smart and shared mobility and mentoring graduate students in transportation planning and engineering.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Associate Professor, Konstantina "Nadia" Gkritza from Purdue University was awarded a fellowship by the Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program to travel to Greece to work with Prof. Eleni Vlahogianni of the Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Greece on collaborative research in smart and shared mobility and mentoring graduate students in transportation planning and engineering. The objective of this project was to examine potential adoption of autonomous and shared autonomous vehicles in the Athens metropolitan area. The project is expected to fill the research gap regarding smart and shared mobility services in Greek cities and provide an outlook on future research needs.

Professor Gkritza spent 60 days during the summer of 2017 at NTUA with great success. During this period, she designed and conducted a public opinion survey in the Athens metropolitan area on autonomous and shared autonomous vehicles. Two PhD students and 2 undergraduate students were involved in this work, presenting an excellent mentoring opportunity where undergraduate students were mentored by graduate students at the host’s (NTUA) and the fellow’s home institution (Purdue University). Professor Gkritza also served on two graduate committees and plans to continue mentoring the respective students until their graduation. She also gave a seminar on research methods, academic preparation and US/EU collaboration avenues to graduate and post-graduate students in civil engineering at NTUA. Multiple peer-reviewed journal publications and conference presentations have been submitted or are in preparation. The collaboration between the host faculty member, Prof. Vlahogianni, and the Fellow, Prof. Gkritza, is expected to continue in the form of participation on PhD committees, journal publications, and pursuit of joint collaborative research projects and funding opportunities.

Professor Gkritza is one of thirty Greek- and Cypriot-born scholars hailing from a cross-section of twenty-eight prominent United States and Canadian universities are traveling to Greece to conduct academic projects with their peers at Greek universities as part of the Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program. They will work in areas that range from medical physics to curriculum co-development in clinical neurophysiology, and from Anglo-American Modernist Poetry to educational psychology. Thirteen Greek universities were selected to host the fellows for collaborative projects that meet specific needs at their institutions and in their communities, based on proposals submitted by faculty members and administrators at the Greek universities.

With this second round of Fellowships, the program has now selected a total of 51 U.S. and Canadian based academics to collaborate with universities throughout Greece to develop curricula, conduct research, and teach and mentor graduate students in priority areas identified by the Greek universities.

The Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program is designed to help avert Greece’s brain drain and develop long-term, mutually-beneficial collaborations between universities in Greece and the United States and Canada. Launched in 2016, the Fellowship Program is managed by the Institute of International Education in collaboration with the Fulbright Foundation in Greece, and funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

"One of the main goals of the Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program has been to engage productively one of Greece’s most important assets, its diasporic academic community," said Stelios Vasilakis, Director of Programs and Strategic Initiatives at SNF. "The response and caliber of the Fellows selected for this first iteration of the Program, point to the existence of a critical mass of scholars that can contribute significantly to Greek Universities at a critical moment in modern Greek history. This is a collaboration that is mutually beneficial and carries the potential of long term impact and of changing the means of engagement between the motherland and its extensive diaspora."

"The Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s generous support for these Fellowships demonstrates the Foundation’s commitment to expanding Greece’s human capital and investing in the country’s long-term economic recovery," said Allan Goodman, President and CEO of the Institute of International Education.

"Considering the excellent academic track of Professor Gkritza, as well as her strong bonds with NTUA, this project will enhance the exchange of knowledge between US and EU faculty, which is very important for NTUA to maintain its high caliber," said Prof. Ioannis Golias, Rector, NTUA.

Contacts:
Drew Stone, Marketing and Communications Director, Lyles School of Civil Engineering, stone91@purdue.edu
Sharon Witherell, IIE Public Affairs, switherell@iie.org
Virginia Anagnos, Goodman Media for SNF, virginia@goodmanmedia.com

About the Stavros Niarchos Foundation
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation [(SNF) (www.SNF.org)] is one of the world’s leading private, international philanthropic organizations, making grants in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and sports, and social welfare. Since 1996, SNF has committed $2.1 billion, through 3,891 grants to nonprofit organizations in 113 nations around the world. The Foundation funds organizations and projects that are expected to achieve a broad, lasting and positive impact for society at large, and exhibit strong leadership and sound management. The Foundation also supports projects that facilitate the formation of public-private partnerships as an effective means for serving public welfare.

In addition to its standard grants, the SNF has continued to respond to the urgent needs of Greek society, by providing relief against the severe effects of the socioeconomic crisis through three major grant initiatives of $378 million.

The Foundation’s largest single gift is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), in Athens. The project’s total cost is $861 million. The SNFCC is designed by the renowned architectural firm Renzo Piano Building Workshop, and includes the new facilities of the National Library of Greece, and Greek National Opera, as well as the Stavros Niarchos Park. The Center was delivered to the Greek Society on February 23rd, 2017. Following the handover, the SNF announced its commitment to continue supporting the SNFCC for the next five years, through grants totaling up to $53 million. The grants support the implementation of public programming and help cover part of SNFCC’s operational costs. All events funded with SNF support are free to the public.

About the Institute of International Education (IIE)
The Institute of International Education (www.iie.org) works with policymakers, educators and employers across the globe to prepare students and professionals for the global workforce and equip them to solve the increasingly complex challenges facing our interconnected world. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 18 offices and affiliates worldwide, and over 1,300 member institutions.

The Fulbright Foundation in Greece
Fulbright is the most widely recognized and prestigious international exchange program in the world, supported for more than half a century by the American people through an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress and by the people of partner nations. The Fulbright Foundation in Greece (http://www.fulbright.gr/en/) offers scholarships to Greek and American citizens – students, teachers, scholars, and artists – to pursue a wide variety of educational projects. The Foundation awards grants to Greek and US citizens to study, teach, lecture, or conduct research in the United States and Greece respectively. The Fulbright Foundation in Greece operates an Educational Advising Center in Athens where staff offer free, comprehensive information on American institutions of higher learning.