Faculty, Staff and Students Invited to Attend Fulbright Scholar Workshop

OSU Institute of Technology will host a workshop on the Fulbright Scholar Program, a grant program aimed at promoting international educational exchanges across the globe, for interested faculty, staff and students.

Dr. Pamela Louderback, a Fulbright Alumni Ambassador and Library Director at Northeastern State University-Broken Arrow, will present the free workshop on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 3:30 p.m. at The Center for the Advancement of Teaching & Learning.

“This is one of my roles as a Fulbright Ambassador, to reach out to institutions like OSUIT. Go to institutions who may or may not think the Fulbright Scholar Program is for them,” Louderback said.

In 1946, Sen. J. William Fulbright enacted legislation that established the Fulbright Program with the aim of fostering and strengthening cultural awareness and education internationally through an exchange program. Since then, more than 250,000 students, scholars and teachers have participated in the program.

“It’s an opportunity for academics and faculty to go overseas and have an exchange of ideas, an exchange of cultural perspectives,” she said, and that exchange is not limited to traditional liberal arts universities. “The whole reason for the program is for a cultural exchange from a wide variety of institutions. In the last few years, Fulbright has gotten more diverse and flexible in the types of programs available.”

Dr. Scott Newman, vice president of Academic Affairs, said even though the workshop is primarily aimed at faculty and campus leaders, he hopes staff and students will also consider attending to learn more about the benefits of international travel and exchange.

“As someone who has studied and traveled outside the U.S., I’d love for attendees to leave the session with a clearer understanding of the impacts that living and traveling overseas can have on us—not just as students and higher education professionals, but as humans,” Newman said.

The Fulbright Program offers a variety of opportunities including research, group projects and seminars.

Louderback spent six months in Northern Ireland doing research for a comparative study on government directed education policies in Northern Ireland and U.S. boarding schools, specifically those established for Native American students.

She studied what are called medium schools, which teach in an Irish-speaking format and Irish language immersion. She compared this practice with ones in the U.S. that seek to strengthen American Indian tribal languages.

“It was interesting to see that pattern. The resurgence of young people who want to learn their native language, no matter where they’re from,” she said.

But Louderback said she wouldn’t have gained that extensive knowledge without traveling to Northern Ireland.

“It’s so much richer when you are in that group of people,” she said. “You can talk on the phone, you can exchange emails, but to actually live in that culture, form and build relationships, it provides a richer shared identity.”

During the workshop, Louderback will give an overview and short history of Fulbright and talk about why she applied and her experiences as a Fulbright Scholar.

“I’ll talk more about the impact of the grant professionally and personally,” she said. “If I can do it, you can.”

She’ll also go over some of the other opportunities such as student programs, teacher programs and other Fulbright awards.

Space is limited so to reserve a seat at the workshop, contact Becky Fox at the Center at 918-293-4987 or email becky.fox@okstate.edu by Monday, Feb. 27.

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