Sudha Kannan, CSUS graduate student, awarded prestigious Fulbright Fellowship

As part of her Fulbright Fellowship, Sudha will conduct research on the impacts of electricity access on gender equality in Zambia.

Department of Community Sustainability graduate student Sudha Kannan, advised by Dr. Doug Bessette, has been awarded a Fulbright award for her research in the area of Energy and Economics. Sudha is one of only 800 recipients chosen from across the U.S. for the 2020-2021 year. The U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board select recipients on the basis of academic and professional achievement and demonstrated leadership in their respective field.

Kannan will be conducting her dissertation research in Zambia while collaborating with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as an intern to understand the impacts of issues from access to electricity on gender equality.

Kannan’s research focuses on how electricity access impacts men and women differently in developing countries. She will be looking at pathways that lead to women's empowerment through such access.

In Zambia, Kannan will be doing qualitative work that will help her understand the context and factors that impede the realization of benefits from electricity access. Kannan is connecting with researchers in Zambia, including CSUS alumni, through whom she will identify the local communities that she will be working with.

Kannan says of the Fulbright program, “This is an incredible opportunity to experience a different culture in its own country while I also get to do my dissertation research. I have had tremendous support from my advisor, Dr. Doug Bessette, and my committee members to pursue this opportunity and they are helping me craft my research to make the most of my stay in Zambia.”

Kannan’s start date has been postponed to January 2021 or later due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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