Baylor Global Health Professor Selected as Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Kenya

Sunseek Moon, Ph.D.,will spend his Fulbright year in Kenya teaching and conducting public health/social work research at the University of Nairobi's College of Health Sciences

June 6, 2024
Sungseek Moon, Ph.D., The Carl and Martha Lindner Endowed Chair for Global Studies and professor at Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work

Sungseek Moon, Ph.D., is Baylor's fifth faculty Fulbright U.S. Scholar since 2022 and second in 2024. (Robert Rogers/Baylor University)

Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-709-5959
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WACO, Texas (June 6, 2024) – Sungseek Moon, Ph.D., The Carl and Martha Lindner Endowed Chair for Global Studies and professor at Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, has been selected as a 2024-2025 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Kenya, joining an elite group of scholars who have received the prestigious and competitive fellowship from the U.S. government’s premier international educational exchange program.

Fulbright U.S. Scholar Awards provide a distinctive opportunity for scholars to teach, conduct research and carry out professional projects at a multitude of universities around the world while serving a key role in international diplomacy and building relationships with a nation and their universities. As Baylor’s fifth faculty Fulbright recipient since 2022 and second in 2024, Moon will conduct research and teach at the University of Nairobi's College of Health Sciences, applying his social work and public health expertise to tackle the pressing issue of adolescent substance use in Kenya.

“I am honored and thrilled to be selected as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Kenya, which aligns perfectly with my commitment to advancing global health and social work,” Moon said. “This Fulbright experience will enhance my research and teaching and contribute to Baylor University's expanded motto, ‘Pro Mundo - For the World,’ by fostering global engagement and long-lasting collaborations with Kenyan scholars and institutions. I am excited about the potential to bring back valuable insights and experiences that will benefit our academic community and further our mission of promoting global health and social well-being.”

“What an outstanding achievement and opportunity for Dr. Moon,” said Jon E. Singletary, Ph.D., dean of the Garland School of Social Work. “Experiences like this provide tremendous opportunity for meaningful scholarship, diverse collaboration and transformative impact. Dr. Moon’s commitment to addressing global health challenges is a noble pursuit, and I’m excited to see where this award will take him in his journey and how his work will make a difference in the lives of Kenyan youths.”

Unique platform

As Lindner Chair and through his involvement in the Global Mission Leadership Initiative at the Garland School of Social Work, Moon has interacted previously with Kenyan scholars and students, which has provided him with valuable insights into the local context and challenges.

At the University of Nairobi, Moon will teach courses related to his expertise on the epidemiology of substance use, health risk behaviors and research methods. His research will focus on understanding and preventing substance use among adolescents in Kenya, providing him with a unique platform to develop and implement culturally responsive, technology-assisted peer mentoring programs that can significantly impact the health and well-being of Kenyan youth. 

Additionally, he will conduct focus group studies to gather information on Kenyan adolescents' experiences and perspectives, allowing him to better understand the social and cultural factors influencing health behaviors in Kenya.

Moon joined the Garland School of Social Work in the fall of 2019, as The Carl and Martha Lindner Endowed Chair for Global Studies. He received his Ph.D. in social work from the University of Georgia but also holds an M.Div. from Korea Baptist Theological University/Seminary and an M.S.W. from the University of South Carolina. Moon’s major research interest is in immigrant children and youth’s mental health and substance use, influenced in part by the emphasis of the role of socio-environmental factors in human development within the social work profession. Through his doctoral and post-doctoral research, Moon has consistently developed his interest in minority mental health and substance use.

Pathway to global engagement

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program offers over 400 awards in more than 135 countries for U.S. citizens that lead to enhanced skills, new connections and greater mutual understanding. Baylor faculty and staff can apply for these awards in ways that align with their research and professional interests. Through a collaboration between the Office of Engaged Learning and the Center for Global Engagement, the University has launched a dedicated Baylor Fulbright website – a one-stop portal – for students and faculty and staff considering Fulbright opportunities.

The Center for Global Engagement will meet with faculty who are interested in applying for an award and connect interested faculty members with others who have earned the award or with existing university partners in the world to make connections where Baylor already has relationships.

“For nearly 80 years the Fulbright program has facilitated mutual understanding between nations, which has given universities the opportunity to connect students and scholars to a global community in ways that have enriched the world,” said Eduardo Contreras, Ph.D., vice provost for global engagement and The Jo Murphy Chair in International Education. “The Fulbright program is a notable way for Baylor faculty to share their talents with the world, and for them to network with scholars and community members in other countries. The Center for Global Engagement stands ready to offer support for faculty seeking to apply for Fulbright awards, and for departments looking to host visiting Fulbright scholars from around the world.”

Fulbright Top Producing Institution

Alumni of the Fulbright Program include 62 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 80 MacArthur Fellows and thousands of leaders and world-renowned experts in academia and many other fields across the private, public and non-profit sectors. For the past two award cycles, Baylor has been recognized as Fulbright Top Producing Institution for valuing global connection and supporting members of the Baylor community to pursue international opportunities. This success includes producing a record-shattering 18 student Fulbright recipients in 2024.

“I encourage my fellow Baylor faculty members to consider pursuing a Fulbright scholarship,” Moon said. “It will be a transformative experience that allows them to significantly impact the world, broaden their perspectives and build meaningful international collaborations. The opportunity to engage with diverse cultures and academic communities can profoundly enhance their professional and personal growth.”


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work is home to one of the leading graduate social work programs in the nation with a research agenda that values humanity, engages spirituality and promotes equity. Upholding its mission of preparing social workers in a Christian context for worldwide service and leadership, the School offers a baccalaureate degree (BSW); a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree available in Waco or online; three joint-degree options, MSW/MBA, MSW/MDiv and MSW/MTS, through a partnership with Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business and George W. Truett Theological Seminary; and an online Ph.D. program. Visit the School of Social Work website to learn more.