Fulbright Program: Building "Hopeful Futures for Humankind"
“The Fulbright Program aims to bring a little more knowledge, a little more reason, and a little more compassion into world affairs and thereby increase the chance that nations will learn at last to live in peace and friendship.” — Senator J. William Fulbright
“Our future is not in the stars but in our own minds and hearts. Creative leadership and liberal education, which in fact go together, are the first requirements for a hopeful future for humankind. Fostering these — leadership, learning, and empathy between cultures — was and remains the purpose of the international scholarship program,” J. William Fulbright [from The Price of Empire]
From its inception, the Fulbright program’s intent was to benefit the individual, the country to which the individual was sent, and the greater world by creating world citizens who look beyond borders and cultures. Since 1972 The University of Scranton has sent 144 world citizens into J. William Fulbright’s “hopeful future” through “international scholarship.”
The University of Scranton was most recently recognized as one of the nation’s “Top Producers of U.S. Fulbright Students” by The Chronicle of Higher Education, which included the University among just 21 “Master’s Institutions” for the ninth consecutive year of the nine years they have rated institutions. At the heart of the program is Susan Trussler, Ph.D., associate professor of economics, Director of the International Business Program, and herself a Fulbright recipient.
One component that has contributed to The University’s success has been Dr. Trussler’s recognition of how Jesuit ideals have harmonized with the ideals of the Fulbright program. She encouraged students to highlight these ideals — pursuit of excellence, commitment to service, and international and global perspective — in their applications. Emphasizing these ideals in the student applications has strengthened their possibilities of being chosen for this prestigious award by making them, as Dr. Trussler puts it, “stand out from the crowd.” The Fulbright application has just recently begun to require candidates to described how they will be civically engaged in their host countries, a distinguishing quality that University students have always included in their portfolios.
Since Dr. Trussler began serving as a committee member in 1986 and later as The University advisor, the Kania School of Management has produced 18 Fulbright recipients. These KSOM graduates have studied in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East. Their research topics are varied, and as in all research the recipients apply their classroom knowledge, evaluate its benefits and build upon the results. Kristy Rae Petty Huggler ’02, MBA ‘04 did her Fulbright in Argentina. She researched company strategies implemented in response to the MERCOSUR free trade agreement. MERCOSUR is the Southern Common Market comprised of six sovereign member states: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Bolivia. Gian Vergnetti ’08 explored “the nascent and flourishing Masdar sustainable technology cluster in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.”1 Rebecca Bartley ’11 received a Fulbright to teach in Malaysia. Ms. Bartley’s reflection of how she was enlisted to help a startup business in Malaysia while she was teaching is included in the article about the University’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Center.
Fulbright Teacher at The University
The Fulbright program has in-bound opportunities. The University’s World Languages and Cultures Department has benefited extensively from this exchange. Dr. Linda Ledford-Miller, Ph.D. and chairperson has had teachers from Spain, France, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Mexico, Columbia, China, and Japan complement her world language classes. This program is a highly competitive program in which institutions like The University have the opportunity to have a native speaking teacher work with students in developing their language skills.
These in-bound scholars have the opportunity to study at The University while teaching courses. They arrive a week before classes begin. The University sets them up with room and board and helps them navigate cultural differences in the United States. These Fulbright teachers are required to take a teaching methods course and American studies courses, which help them acclimate to American teaching styles and expand their knowledge of our culture and country. Once they complete these courses, they may take classes that suit their interests. In some cases these teachers choose to stay longer than their Fulbright term and continue studying and teaching. This year the Japanese Fulbright teacher has stayed on to take elementary education courses and continues to teach at The University while she studies.
Fulbright Scholarly Research
Teaching and research are intrinsically bound. The Fulbright Scholar Award sends 800 scholars abroad to study and teach. Eight faculty and staff members in the past ten years have been granted the opportunity to travel and study abroad. Dr. Harry Dammer studied in Germany, Dr. Joseph Wilson studied in Albania and Kazakhstan, Dr. Roy Domenico studied in Italy, Dr. William Wallick studied in Mauritius, Dr. Satya P. Chattopadhyay studied in the Ukraine, Dr. Linda Ledford-Miller studied in Mozambique, and Assistant Director-Career Development Specialist Elizabeth Rozelle participated in the Fulbright International Education Administrators Program seminar in Germany. Utilizing the Fulbright opportunity, these scholars represent The University while working on research that will enrich their teaching.
The Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Program enables U.S. colleges and universities to host scholars from other countries in order to assist them in “internationalizing” their campuses, curriculum and communities.2 Professor Xu Erming from Beijing’s prestigious Renmin University was a scholar-in-residence in KSOM 2001-2002. His presence on campus helped to develop a lasting partnership between The University and Renmin University. He continues to collaborate with Dr. Satya P. Chattopadhyay, Ph.D., associate professor of the management and marketing department.
The Fulbright experience has enriched the lives of students and faculty at The University of Scranton, and the Fulbright experience helps to create international partnerships and create leaders. The program has allowed The University to expand its influence while emphasizing Jesuit ideals in the pursuit of excellence and the development of personal potential in learning through global and international experience.
1 scranton.edu 2 www.cies.org