Packing his Bags for an Adventure in Colombia

Adapted from Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) News

By Rob Lasson

ISE faculty member and Park Faculty Scholar for the Classes of 2023 and 2024, Kanton Reynolds has been selected to participate in the 2024 Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program in Colombia. Reynolds, known for his dedication to experiential education and global engagement, sees this opportunity as a way to further expand educational horizons for students.

Reynolds, who has a strong international research and education background, expressed his enthusiasm for participating in the program. “I am a strong advocate for experiential, co-curricular educational opportunities,” he said. “Having worked and conducted research globally, I am particularly interested in helping grow the international programs available to our students.”

As a co-leader of NC State’s Rwanda and UK summer programs, Reynolds has been instrumental in providing students with immersive learning experiences. Last summer, he initiated a relationship with a university in Ecuador, further broadening opportunities for student engagement. Reynolds aims to continue fostering such opportunities, mainly focusing on areas related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Grand Challenges of Engineering.

Reynolds plans to engage with university leadership in Colombia across four diverse regions: Leticia, Cali, Barranquilla, and Medellin. “Each region presents unique challenges, with government and university partnerships striving to develop sustainable solutions,” he explained. Reynolds sees this as an invaluable opportunity to forge partnerships that benefit faculty and students.

The Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program

The Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program aims to facilitate knowledge exchange between educators from Colombian and US universities, focusing on topics such as sustainability, alternative energy sources, public transportation, conservation and infrastructure planning. Reynolds hopes to explore how industrial engineering methods can contribute to solving challenges in these areas.

Reflecting on his selection for the program, Reynolds expressed gratitude and pride. “Being selected for Fulbright-Hays is a tremendous honor,” he said. “It signifies that my vision and goals for assisting students to co-construct knowledge in areas of the world where problems are plenty and resources are few are viable.”

Reynolds also highlighted the benefits for NC State and the ISE Department. “Global educational opportunities provide viable pathways for our students to deepen their knowledge,” he noted. “It’s also a fantastic way to support our students’ growth and development as scholars.”

Reynolds expressed appreciation for the support he has received from colleagues and the NC State community. “I’m honored to represent NC State College of Engineering in this prestigious academic and cultural exchange program,” he concluded. Reynolds’ participation in the program underscores NC State’s commitment to global engagement and experiential learning, further enriching the educational experiences of its students.