The U.S. Department of State‘s (DoS) Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and the Institute for International Education’s Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) selected the UT Global Initiative for Education and Leadership (UTGI) to host a Lebanese cohort of the 2016 Fulbright Junior Faculty Development Program (FJFDP). Four junior faculty members in the fields of Political Science and International Relations will visit The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) July 6 through September 14. Sponsored by the ECA, the program will include pedagogy training, research supported by UT Austin experts and resources, and cultural exchange activities.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the ECA. Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given over 318,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, scientists and other professionals the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
The ECA grants for the FJFDP support twelve other cohorts from four countries in nine fields. These programs are designed to build higher education capacity in home countries, foster long–term collaboration and institutional linkages between visiting scholars and U.S. academics, and promote mutual understanding between the cohort and Americans. UTGI’s cohort will return to their home institutions able to support a sustainable knowledge base in Lebanon after working with their trainers and mentors. The academic portions will provide techniques useful in enhancing higher education opportunities, knowledge of the various systems in the United States, pedagogical methods, and innovative research experiences. Other program aspects will facilitate the scholars’ engagement with the broader host campus community.
The proposal was successful due to the demonstrated capabilities of the College of Liberal Arts in hosting foreign faculty members, the expertise of participating personnel, and UTGI’s established history of implementing pedagogical-development programs in international settings.
“The UT Global Initiative for Leadership and Education is honored and privileged to be hosting the Junior Fulbright Program for faculty from Lebanon,” UTGI Director and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Liberal Arts Dr. Richard Flores said. “The University of Texas at Austin is committed to advancing an international agenda that forges new paths to international faculty exchanges and research. Working with these young Lebanese scholars on the UT campus provides an opportunity for the mutual enrichment and exchange of ideas and experiences, as well as an opportunity for long-term relationship building.”
The participating scholars are fluent in spoken and written English and are university faculty members holding or working towards a doctoral degree. These junior faculty members all exhibit a commitment to classroom teaching and a desire to strengthen their leadership skills. Scholars were nominated through an open and merit-based competition; every effort was made to select candidates representing a broad range of the region who expressed an interest in engaging with colleagues and others within and around the UT Austin campus community.
Four UT Austin faculty members will work closely with the scholars as mentors throughout the program: Dr. Michael Anderson (Director, International Relations and Global Studies Program; Fellow of Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Centennial Chair in the Department of Government, College of Liberal Arts), Dr. Daniel Brinks (Department of Government, College of Liberal Arts and the School of Law), Dr. Terrence Chapman (Fellow of Patterson-Banister Chair Associate Professor in the Department of Government, College of Liberal Arts), and Dr. Paul Miller (Associate Director of the Clements Center for National Security; Department of History, College of Liberal Arts).
In addition to coordinating meetings for research projects with their mentors, UTGI has arranged a series of seminars and training sessions which utilize the expertise of UT Austin’s faculty and staff. The scholars will learn about higher education advising models in the US, current trends in data analysis for student placement, the integration of technology in college classrooms, modern student-centered teaching with a focus on assessment, and leadership techniques for use in the university setting. Excursions to The University of Texas at San Antonio, Austin Community College, St. Edward’s University, and Huston Tillotson University will expose the scholars to a variety of learning environments. UTGI has also arranged a variety of cultural exchange activities for the scholars, including a live community panel broadcast on the local NPR affiliate’s discussion forum series “Views and Brews.” Traditional experiences such as historical sites and museums will be complemented by a selection of local experiences unique to Austin: a tour of the urban bat community, an American football tailgate, and live music events.
“(Long-term relationship building) is critical for the advancement of knowledge and the development of global cooperation at a moment in history when cultural and social understanding are most needed,” emphasized Dr. Flores, who is also a Professor of Anthropology (C. B. Smith, Sr. Centennial Chair in US-Mexico Relations #3) at The University of Texas at Austin.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given over 318,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, scientists and other professionals the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
• • •
Read more about this program: Fulbright Junior Faculty Development Program for Lebanon