Industrial Engineering Student Recipient of Fulbright Study/Research Award

Photo of Caroline RhombergMay graduate, Caroline Rhomberg, was offered a Fulbright U.S. Student Study/Research Award for the upcoming academic year. Caroline will use her Fulbright Award to complete a two-year master’s degree in industrial engineering and operations research at the University of Ghent in Ghent, Belgium.

Student recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as their records of service and leadership potential in their respective fields.

Caroline began her studies at the U of A in Mechanical Engineering, as a result of an internship she did over summer of 2018 at the Dillard’s corporate office, she transferred to Industrial Engineering and has loved it! She is originally from San Diego, California, but calls Fort Smith, Arkansas home presently.

On campus, Caroline is active in the Delta Gamma Sorority, previously serving as the Founding Director of Scholarship. She is also active at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, with the Tau Beta Pi and Alpha Pi Mu honor societies, the Institute for Industrial and Systems Engineers, and a weekly bible study.

Rhomberg was one of five industrial engineering students selected as Seniors of Significance by the Arkansas Alumni Association. A total of 71 graduating seniors, commemorating the university’s founding date of 1871, were selected from more than 600 nominations and represent each University of Arkansas undergraduate academic college. These Seniors of Significance were selected based on their academic achievements, leadership skills and extracurricular campus and/or community activities.

In the spring of 2019, Caroline studied mathematics and statistics at the University of Newcastle in Callaghan, Australia, where she was an active member of the university’s Exchange Student Network. Caroline shares, “I had the time of my life representing the University of Arkansas as an exchange student at the University of Newcastle during the spring 2019 semester! It was a different approach to academia, meeting students from around the world, and sharing my own interests and values. I am forever in debt to the donors of the Industrial Engineering Department for their generosity and support of my travels and experiences in Australia.”

She continued, “Away from school, I love getting lost in the piano music of Claude Debussy, attending symphonies, kayaking, watching Razorback gymnastics and football, shopping, reading Shakespearean Comedies, and of course I never miss a moment to spend time with family and friends.”

In her senior year, Caroline worked with Dr. Kelly Sullivan, associate professor of industrial engineering. Together they researched network optimization. She completed her honor’s thesis “Curriculum Optimization via Activity-on-Node Network Modeling,” with him in spring 2020. Sullivan commented, “I am very thankful to have supervised Caroline, a talented student whose curiosity and hard work made her an ideal undergraduate researcher and candidate for graduate studies.”

Caroline plans to pursue her doctoral degree in industrial engineering. Her dream would be to return to the University of Arkansas as a professor, and give back to the department that has done so much for her.

Regarding this honor, Caroline had this to share, “I greatly admire the Fulbright program because it engages people all over the world through education, the arts, and diplomacy. As someone with both technical and artistic passions in engineering and music, I cannot wait to see the roots of modern engineering in Belgium and the rich history and music of Europe I have studied throughout the years. It is an honor to continue the spirit of Senator Fulbright, who also graduated from the U of A and was a native of Arkansas.”

As the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, the Fulbright is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and those of other countries. The program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State.

Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the program, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide.

Arkansas News Story June 5, 2020