Fort Valley State University scientist selected as Fulbright Specialist

Published By: ChaNaè Bradley March 27, 2017

Dr. Thomas Terrill, associate professor of animal science, inspects a barrel of small ruminant feed pellets designed to combat parasites.

Service, experience and dedication helped Dr. Thomas Terrill, a Fort Valley State University research scientist, earn an international appointment that aims to have an impact on the well being of citizens globally.

Terrill, a world-renowned expert in sheep and goat parasitology, was recently selected as a 2017 Fulbright Specialist. A Fulbright Specialist is a researcher or academic scientist selected to participate in a two to six weeks, project- based exchange at institutions across the globe.

The purpose of a Fulbright Specialist is to serve as an expert on a short-term basis for governments, universities or non-governmental organizations with a need in a specific area.

For example, if a university has a need to train scientists about animal health for a short-term basis, they submit an application for a Fulbright Specialist and are paired with the appropriate person.

As an appointed Fulbright Specialist, Terrill will be listed on a roster as an expert in goat and sheep parasite management, feeding and forages.  Terrill’s travel, lodging and other expenses will be paid by the Fulbright program.

“It’s humbling but it’s also gratifying,” Terrill said expressing his reaction when learning about his role.

 “A lot of the parasitology work I am doing has application with small farmers, empowering them to be more profitable and keep their animals healthier. In many parts of the world, animals are people’s bank account. The health of their animals directly impacts the health of their children and their bottom line as far as their finances. A small change can have a big impact, especially in a subsistence farming community,” Terrill said.

Some of the assistance that Terrill could offer include conducting seminars, assisting farmers, facilitating small research projects, conducting trainings, helping organize conferences or presenting a series of lectures to students.

Although Terrill does not know if he will be requested, he said he knows he has to be available to leave the country and help those in need at any time within the three-year span. As a result, he works to stay knowledgeable of best practices and techniques.

“It keeps me on my toes because I need to be prepared if someone calls,” Terrill said.

Dr. Govind Kannan, dean of FVSU’s College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology said, “Dr. Terrill’s body of work in biological control of internal parasites in small ruminants has given him the recognition as a world leader in this field. While I am pleased with his appointment as a Fulbright Specialist, I am not surprised at all.  I look forward to witnessing many more of his accomplishments in the future.”

The Fulbright Specialist Program was created in 2001 by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. For more information about Fulbright Specialist Program, visit