Arizona Chapter of the Fulbright Association

About Us

The mission of the Fulbright Association Arizona Chapter is to advocate for the Fulbright Program, foster community among Fulbright alumni and Friends of Fulbright in the state of Arizona, and promote international education through our local community. Our vision is a world where international exchange is widely recognized as a force for peace.

Arizona Chapter of the Fulbright Association

The Arizona Chapter of the Fulbright Association is a statewide chapter serving Fulbright alumni and friends of international exchange. The chapter is focused on hosting engaging programs and events for Fulbright alumni and visiting Fulbright students and scholars throughout the state, primarily in Flagstaff, Tucson, and Phoenix. The chapter is closely affiliated with universities and colleges in the region, and often co-sponsors programs with these institutions.

2022 - 2024 Chapter Leadership


Carol Bender, Professor Emerita; representing Tucson

Carol Bender

Carol Bender currently serves as the President of the Arizona Chapter of the Fulbright Association. She is a University Distinguished Outreach Professor Emerita and past director of undergraduate research programs in the life sciences that provided paid research experience to more than 2,300 students over nearly three decades. In 1991, she envisioned, created, and secured funding for the Biomedical Research Abroad: Vistas Open (BRAVO!) Program and directed the program until 2016. Bender was the recipient of two Fulbright Senior Scholar awards (to Japan in 1997 and to India in 2011) and she was a founding member and President of the Arizona Chapter of the Fulbright Association. In recognition of her work on behalf of undergraduate STEM education she was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Education Division) in 2015, the University of Arizona College of Science designated her as a Copernicus Fellow in 2016, and the Arizona Bioindustry Association named her the Michael A. Cusanovich  Bioscience Educator of the Year in 2017.


Kirk Simmons, Ph.D., representing Tucson

Kirk Simmons has over 40 years of professional experience managing international projects and programs in higher education, business, and research and development. Early in his career, he served as a technical project manager in the International Division of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). At the University of Arizona, he held the position of Executive Director of the division of International Affairs for over 15 years. He served in international leadership positions at several other universities in the United States, including the Pennsylvania State University, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University and the University of Missouri. He retired from the University of California San Diego in 2020, where he had served as Dean of the division of Global Education.

Dr. Simmons holds a B.S. degree in Psychology and General Science and an M.B.A. from the University of Oregon. He completed his Ph.D. degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Missouri, where his research focused on aspects of multinational technology transfer. He also attended the National Chengchi University in Taiwan, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Université de Caen in France.

He was awarded a Taiwanese Ministry of Education scholarship for graduate study in Taipei. As a professional, he received fellowships from the Fulbright Commission of Germany, the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) and the Australian Government.

Claudia Mesch, Ph.D., representing Phoenix

Dr. Claudia Mesch is Professor of Art History at Arizona State University. She is the recipient of two life-changing Fulbright awards which inspired her commitment to the arts. She writes on developments in 20th-century and contemporary art, and her books include Modern Art at the Berlin WallArt and Politics: A Small History of Art for Social Change since 1945; and Joseph Beuys. She is also a founding editor of the Journal of Surrealism and the Americas (

Judith Diemand, M.Ed., representing Phoenix

Judith Diemand holds a BA in history, a Masters in Education and a 6th year degree in Administration and Supervision. She was a Fulbright Exchange Teacher in Torquay, England, for the 1988-89 school year.


Norman Quinn, Ph.D., representing Prescott

Dr. Norman Quinn received his Ph.D. from the Queensland University and has over 50 years of varied professional marine science experience in the Pacific, the Caribbean, and the Indian Ocean regions. He was a Senior Fulbright Research Fellow in Fiji (1996-97), Maldives (2008-09), and Indonesia (2014) working with host country nationals to monitor coral reefs.  Dr. Quinn's research has focused on the effect of environmental changes upon marine animals and has sought a greater understanding of the process needed to conserve their habitats. He has been involved in university-level environmental instruction for more than 20 years.  Dr. Quinn is now retired and working on a book about marine livelihoods and conservation strategies.


Danielle Barefoot, Ph.D. Candidate, representing Tucson

Danielle Barefoot is a Historian and Grants Professional. She lives in Tucson, AZ, where she is completing her Ph.D. in History. Danielle was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Chile in 2017, and she spent 9 months there in 2018 conducting her dissertation research on Chilean Cold War university student activism. Since returning from Fulbright, Danielle has been an active member of the Fulbright Association of Arizona and mentor to prospective Fulbrighters. She loves encouraging others to apply for Fulbright, and other awards, that allow for cultural immersion and exchange to help people build long-lasting, meaningful relationships with others from around the world.


Patricia E. Thorpe, M.D., representing Phoenix

Dr. Thorpe grew up in Portland, Oregon where she received a pre-med degree in Biology from Reed College and a medical degree from the University of Oregon. While in high school, she lived in Vitoria and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for one year, as an AFS exchange student. Following graduation from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Anthropology, she returned to Brazil as a Fulbright Scholar 1968-69. She obtained a Masters in Cultural Anthropology at Portland State University after her second stay in Brazil, but then elected to pursue a career in surgery. She was a surgery resident at the University of Minnesota before focusing on minimally invasive surgery and the field of interventional radiology and endovascular surgery. She completed a residency in Radiology at Minnesota and did her Fellowship in Interventional Radiology at Stanford University. She became Chief of Interventional Radiology at Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, where she resided and taught for 12 years. She was President of the Nebraska Radiological Society. During 2000-2001 she was a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota and Lenox Hill Cardiovascular Institute in NYC before taking the position of Chief of Interventional Radiology at the University of Iowa 2002-2005. In August 2005, she was to begin as director of interventional radiology at LSU in New Orleans, but that did not happen after the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005. In 2006, was invited to practice at Arizona Heart Hospital by founder Ted Diethrich, MD. She is currently in private practice in Phoenix, Arizona where she specializes in treating patients with acute and chronic deep vein thrombosis. In addition to her practice, at Pulse Cardiovascular Institute, she has mentored students at the University of Arizona Medical Center. She participated in the VIDEO and VIRTUS venous stent trials in 2015-16. She has served on the Medical Advisory Board for Boston Scientific, Volcano and Vesper.

Dr. Thorpe specializes in treating patients with acute and chronic DVT and post-thrombotic syndrome as described on the web site She is nationally and internationally known for her work in this area as indicated by her numerous publications and speaking invitations. She is affiliated with the American Venous Forum, the European Venous Forum, the Society of Vascular Surgery, and the International Andreas Gruntzig Society. She is a Fellow of the Society of Interventional Radiology and a Fellow of the Cardiovascular Council of the AHA.

Dr. Thorpe has been awarded four U.S. Patents for inventions in the area of vascular disease; an Adjustable Side-hole Infusion Catheter (U.S. 5,626,564) May 1997, Tourniquet and Method of Using for DVT (U.S. 6,189,538) February 2001 and Garment with Affixed Tourniquet (U.S. 7,981,135 B2) July 2011. Elastic Tourniquet Capable of Infinitely Adjustable Compression, US 10,321,916 B2 Jun 18, 2019.