Campus Spotlight: 4 C’s for Fulbright Promotion on JMU Campus

by Edward J. Brantmeier, Ph. D.
Assistant Director—Center for Faculty Innovation, Assistant Professor—Learning, Technology, and Leadership Education
JMU Fulbright Campus Representative, Fulbright-Nehru Scholar, India 2009
James Madison University

The Fulbright Program provides a tremendous vehicle for internationalizing careers and for promoting mutual understanding between/among citizens of the United States and of other countries.  Collaboration, community, coaching, and celebration—these are the promising practices of James Madison University’s approach to promoting the Fulbright Program on campus.

Collaboration: The Office of International Programs, the Center for Faculty Innovation, and the Office of Diversity at James Madison University work together to provide faculty necessary support for enhancing their career goals in research, teaching, and service. This collaborative approach sends a powerful message about University support for the Fulbright Program.  This support includes hosting events to build community, Fulbright coaching services for interested faculty, and celebrations that honor past Fulbrighters.

Community: Periodic information sessions at annual on-campus conferences as well as visits from Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors, coupled with celebratory events (most recently hosted by the Provost and President) help highlight the Fulbright Program to the university community.  These festive convenings help Fulbright to gain a deserved high profile status on campus; they show faculty that the University cares about this prestigious award. Past Fulbrighters mingle with potential Fulbrighters—networks and community are generated.

Coaching: Interested faculty and administers can reach out to the Center for Faculty Innovation to strategically plan their Fulbright and request coaching assistance.  Fulbright information sessions and application writing sessions are offered in the spring. Potential Fulbrighters can also request individual consultations through the Center for Faculty Innovation.

Celebration:  Don’t forget to celebrate. Former Fulbrighters earn web-recognition on a JMU Voices of Fulbright website, as well as opportunities to speak about their experiences in Voices of Fulbright scholarly talks during the semester.  We celebrate and showcase the work of our Fulbrighters—a win-win for JMU and the Fulbright Program.

Campus Spotlight: Texas A&M University-Central Texas welcomes back its first Fulbright scholar

The Campus Spotlight series highlights the innovative ways in which institutions around the country are promoting the Fulbright Scholar Program and offers inspiration for campus representatives to implement new ideas with faculty and administrators.

This blog post originally appeared in the Killeen Daily Heraldon September 6, 2013 and is republished here courtesy of the author, Chris McGuinness.

Texas A&M University-Central Texas welcomed back its first Fulbright scholar, who gave a presentation about his work in the Republic of Cameroon to students and staff Thursday afternoon.

“It’s a phenomenal honor,” said Russell Porter, the university’s associate provost for the graduate studies and research.

Mathematics professor Christopher Thron was accepted into the prestigious exchange program run by the U.S. government after a lengthy and competitive application process. Being selected as a Fulbright scholar allowed Thron to travel to the French-speaking nation to teach graduate students at the Higher Institute of the Sahel in Maroua.

“I really enjoyed my time there,” said Thron, who holds doctorates in mathematics and physics. “It was a blast.”

The trip marked the second

time Thron was granted a Fulbright scholarship. He traveled to Chad in 2004.

During his time in Cameroon, Thron taught courses in mathematical modeling, which uses math as a framework to solve real world problems in areas such as infrastructure, transportation and telecommunications.

“I wanted to teach math that would be useful to them,” Thron said. “Math can help you manage the resources you have in the most efficient way possible.”

Thron said he turned to his graduate students at A&M-Central Texas to help him develop curriculum for his Cameroon students.

“I like to keep my (A&M-Central Texas) students involved,” Thron said.

While Thorn traveled to Cameroon to teach, he also said those same students had much to teach him.

“When you have an exchange between people of different backgrounds … that’s when real change and progress takes place,” Thron said.

Fulbright Scholar Campus Representative Workshop for Community Colleges – San Francisco, CA

Steve Oluic, Lakeland Community College

As a Dean at Lakeland Community College, in Kirtland, Ohio, I was extremely pleased to participate in the Campus Representative workshop presented by CIES (and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State) in San Francisco on April 19th.  It was well attended by a wide range of Community College faculty, staff and administrators.  The workshop cleared up one huge commonly held perception that I believe most community colleges have: that the Fulbright Program is tailored specifically to fit four-year institution and graduate school programs.  In fact, there is no preferential treatment for these institutions and community college faculty and administrators are strongly encouraged to participate.

The Community College Campus Representatives collaborated during breaks and evening hours to share this newly gained knowledge and how our home institutions could benefit from the opportunities presented; there are many indeed!  I was able to gain insight on how other colleges were using these Fulbright opportunities and how the college administration and faculty cooperated to make them a fruitful endeavor in so many ways.  Topics included scholar recognition, participant benefits, salary impacts, tenure or promotion implications, and faculty release time – there was a lot to share and learn from one another.

I now have the tool kit and knowledge to articulately present the Fulbright opportunities to administration leadership and the campus faculty.  Until this workshop, being a campus representative was merely a title; now the valuable information gained through interacting with other institution colleagues, and Athena Fulay and Andy Riess from CIES, permits me to be an agent of positive change at Lakeland Community College. I have already met with faculty to discuss the Fulbright grants and we plan on requesting support from the Fulbright Occasional Lecturer Fund to bring a Visiting Scholar from another part of the country to our campus. The event was a resounding success for all who were lucky enough to attend.

There are approximately 2,600 designated Fulbright Scholar Program representatives on college and university campuses throughout the United States.  This network of committed individuals is crucial to the promotion of the Fulbright Program to the U.S. higher education community. To find who your campus representative is, click here.  

Occasional Lecturer Fund Brings Chinese Scholar to Kentucky

Philip Krummich
Fulbright Campus Representative
Morehead State University

Professor Gang Zhou, a Fulbright Scholar from Dalian University of Technology in China who is spending the year at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey, visited Morehead State University in Kentucky on April 22, 2013. Professor Zhou gave a talk entitled “Confucianism : Philosophy or Religion?” to an audience of over 100 students and faculty members.  That same day, Dr. Zhou, along with past Fulbright scholars and Morehead State faculty members Dr. Sylvia Henneberg and Dr. Adrian Mandzy, shared their experiences at an informational luncheon sponsored by the Center for Leadership and Professional Development. Approximately twenty faculty members attended the session in the Center for Regional Engagement, and learned about the various ways in which scholars can apply for support in Fulbright Programs. Dr. Zhou, Dr. Henneberg, and Dr. Mandzy spoke with warm appreciation of the professional growth they achieved as Fulbright Scholars, and urged their colleagues to look into applying. Those present were made aware of intriguing new options, such as the Fulbright Flex Awards. We are anticipating that there will be more applications from Morehead State University in the near future!

The Fulbright Scholar Program provides travel awards through the Occasional Lecturer Fund (OLF) to enable Fulbright Visiting Scholars who are currently in the U.S., for a grant longer than three months, to accept guest lecturing invitations at U.S. colleges and universities.

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