Sheila McNamee Fulbright

FulbrightsSheila McNamee is Professor of Communication at the University of New Hampshire. She submitted the following discussion of her Fulbright award.

In 2012 I was a Fulbright Specialist at the University of Caldas in Manizales, Colombia. The invitation arose because, during this period, I was supervising an Assistant Professor at the University of Caldas in her PhD work.  Her PhD research was on the re-integration of former child soldiers into civilian life.  The opportunity to work with her research group, CEDAT, provided a living laboratory where the constructionist ideas I write about could be put into practice.

Sheila McNamee in Colombia
Sheila McNamee (second from left in back row) with colleagues and students in Colombia.

The project consisted of training in a social constructionist stance aimed at undergraduate and graduate faculty of the University of Caldas. Focus was on exploring how a social constructionist approach could be applied to specific areas such as social work, family development, social sciences, social research, conflict resolution and mediation. I was engaged in offering seminars, workshops and consultation with research groups. While most of my work was with faculty, some activities were extended to students and professionals from the academic community. The faculty with whom I worked were expected to begin a reflective process on teaching, research and professional practices, from a social constructionist approach and apply the knowledge acquired during the training, within the undergraduate curriculum, graduate curriculum, and social extramural programs such as “Tutor Home” and the “Center for family Intervention.” I worked with several research groups to offer advice on the specific projects being carried out at the moment as well as guidance on new projects. I worked a good deal with one research group, CEDAT. They develop processes in the area of conflict, violence and coexistence within the context of the Colombian conflict.  This is one of the strategic areas of research at the University of Caldas.

My work with CEDAT focused on conflict resolution and mediation, from a constructionist perspective. These topics are central to CEDAT’s focus on reintegration into civilian life of children and young people detached from the Colombian armed conflict. I engaged dialogical workshops with specific groups of professors with a particular focus according to the programs and needs: (1) a seminar on social construction and social work aimed to professors of the department of human development; (2) a training Workshop on constructionist research addressed to professors assigned with various research groups. These activities included Master students; (3) a training workshop on dialogue, conflict resolution and mediation; (4) a training workshop on family intervention for professors assigned to the department of family studies and the Center for family intervention staff; and (5) a seminar open to the academic community on social constructionist theory.

While these are all the “formal” activities in which I engaged, my own learning was expanded tenfold thanks to this Fulbright.  It was exciting working with research groups who were focusing on the long-standing and crippling conflict in Colombia.  This was an opportunity to take my work beyond local community and organizational conflicts and see how it could be put to use in an enduring cultural struggle.  The experience transformed my work and provided countless connections to both scholars and practitioners interested in working with dialogic ways of generating new forms of understanding.

IIE Job Ad: Director of Academic Relations – Fulbright Program (USA)

Job adsDirector of Academic Relations, Fulbright Program, The Institute of International Education (IIE), Washington, DC. Deadline: Open until filled, posted October 11, 2018.

The Institute of International Education (IIE) seeks a talented academic scholar and professional to join the Fulbright Program as the Director of Academic Relations. This individual will be responsible for overall outreach strategy for the Fulbright Scholar and Fulbright Student Programs. The Director of Academic Relations will represent the Fulbright Program externally, engage with higher education leaders in the United States, and supervise Fulbright outreach and recruitment activities that will impact and benefit both U.S. and non-U.S. Fulbright Programs. The Director of Academic Relations will have a special focus on extending the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program’s reach by fostering increased collaborations with higher education institutions and academic and professional associations and enhancing its identity and levering IIE-wide support for the Scholar Program.

Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowships

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is seeking applications for a new competition: Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship Program. The program provides opportunities to doctoral candidates to engage in full-time doctoral research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies. Only applications that propose research on the following geographic areas will be accepted: Africa, East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, South Asia, the Near East, Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia, and the Western Hemisphere (excluding the U.S.). Applications are due April 28, 2015.

Daan Bauwens Researcher Profile

Daan BauwensDaan Bauwens has an M.A. in psychology and is a journalist for the Belgian and international press, combining narrative and anthropological journalism in newspaper articles and prose.

By way of extensive ethnography, since 2008 his research focuses strongly on the influence of culture on interpersonal and intercultural communication. His main interests are conflicting worldviews with violent or non-violent consequences, the influence of religiosity on communicative behavior and the effects of a diaspora on native cultures.

Research topics and publications include: the Israeli mindset and youth culture, the Kurdish cultural struggle in Southeast Turkey, gender and Arab-Berber conflicts in Morocco, Japanese business culture and gender issues, and the structure of political processes in Belgium and the European Union.

In 2014, Daan Bauwens received a Fulbright grant for long-term research and a series of publications on the deep effects of multiculturality and superdiversity on the urban culture of Manhattan and Brooklyn. This research takes place in 2015, with the support and collaboration of New York City ngo City Lore.

NOTE: CID facilitated the connection between Bauwens and City Lore.

Andrew R. Smith Researcher Profile

Andrew SmithDr. Andrew R. Smith is Professor and Graduate Program Head in the Department of Communication Studies at Edinboro University (PA), where he has been teaching since 1993. He also coordinates the web-based Graduate Certificate in Conflict Management. He served, for the 1998-99 academic year, as Senior Fulbright Fellow in Communication and Culture at the Faculty of Letters, Department of English, Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco.

He returns regularly to Morocco to conduct seminars and research as a member of Research Group on Language, Culture and Development at the Center for Doctoral Research, Mohammed V University, supported by various granting agencies. In 2011 he was awarded a Fulbright Specialist grant to continue this work. Other faculty appointments include Villanova University, Southern Illinois University, Lewis and Clark College, and The Tokyo Center for Language and Culture. In 2009 he was inaugurated as a Fellow in the International Communicology Institute.

He is coeditor (with Lenore Langsdorf) of and contributor to Recovering Pragmatism’s Voice: The Classical Tradition, Rorty and the Philosophy of Communication (SUNY Press), and recently authored the monograph Epistemology and Ethics in Human Science Research (a primer for graduate student research). He has published essays in Communication Theory, Human Rights Quarterly, Cultural Critique, Russian Journal of Communication, Human Studies, Text and Performance Quarterly and other journals and edited volumes. Recent publications concern freedom of expression, assembly and movement in authoritarian regimes, intercultural conflict, and public discourse in Morocco specifically. Forthcoming essays address issues pertaining to the aftermath of the “Arab Spring” with regard to the mass displacements of people of many nationalities throughout North Africa and the Middle East, and the increasing presence of “cyber-baltagiya” that sabotage websites of dissidents in the Arab world generally. Current research focuses on developing a theory of intractable conflict from a communicological perspective. Many of his papers are available for download.

Andrew teaches courses in intercultural and intractable conflict, language and human conduct, the language of war, freedom of speech, communication ethics, critical/interpretive and qualitative research methods, and related courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He has directed over 30 Masters theses and co-supervises dissertations through the Fulbright joint supervision program in association with the Moroccan American Center for Educational and Cultural Exchange.

Richard Buttny

RESEARCHER PROFILE

Richard Buttny is a professor of communication and rhetorical studies at Syracuse University.

My research interests include discursive analysis, ethnopolitical discourse, and environmental conflicts.  See my web page for more specifics. See description of a Fulbright in Malaysia, already published elsewhere on this site.

NOTE:
One of the goals of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue is to help researchers connect with one another across international boundaries. This is one of a series of posts describing a particular researcher, focusing on research interests. Click on the Category term “Researcher profile” to view all profiles posted to the site. If you are a Communication researcher and would like to be profiled on the site, send information to intercult.dialogue@gmail.com

Fulbright update-Adelman

Nov. 16th,  Mekelle University—Northern Ethiopia

Am nearing the end of my 42 day Fulbright appointment.  So many poignant moments to share.  15 students came to my home last night to make braided bracklets, compliments of my friend NIKKI, from BEADWORLD—60% men, 40% women; their focus, determination, energy was mindblowing, within an hour they made the bracklets and were so happy…now they must teach their classmates.  An older student said to me, “A teacher has never done this for us…”

Tomorrow is an ALL-DAY workshop for all 75 students in Public Speaking and Nonverbal Comm…am throwing a Public Speaking CONTEST next Weds. evening w/ PRIZES!

I’m giving a FINAL PARTY for all three classes, 75 students; the President of Mekelle U. is coming (with his wife), and about 10 faculty and friends…at a delicious, outdoor Pizza Restaurent, with pizza, drinks & dancing!

I got such a nice compliment from the guy who brought me to Ethiopia—he said, “I notice you teach the WHOLE 2 hours, most faculty are 1—1.5 hours; and you do all these extra lectures/workshops….we all agree you were the right Fulbrighter to bring here” – I was very touched.  It’s been fun, takes a lot of initiative to do anything here; easy to just slide by.  Last week, I gave a talk to faculty on SOLITUDE, expected about 4 to come; but 12 faculty came, including the DEAN (who is a poet and misses his solitude!)…we had such a great, lively discussion!  Not sure I could do a full year here—but I leave w/ so many great memories!

There are little reminders of life’s struggle here…although never verbalized.  When I grab the students’ arms to walk up stairs, I am always struck with how thin and fragile they are—even those that look “full body” are what we would call “skin & bones.”  A perpetual reminder of the minimal food, low protein here or in their past diet.  You do not see starvation, but people are so thin here.

One never knows the “real” background of their students.  I took this student, who I think is exceptional, out for coffee—to hear about her life plans.  She comes to class dressed so immaculately, so sparkling clean, her writing is great, she is outspoken, so quick and lively (unlike the sullen, taciturn females here).  I presumed she was from a middle-income, intact family.  Her mother died when she was about 8, only child, her father is a laborer.  She said, “I am very neat because it gives me confidence.  I don’t have any money, but I can be neat.”  She is studying Japanese/Chinese, and trying to learn as much as possible—she wants to enter politics and study political science…I find her inspiring.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Addis wants me to do a couple workshops in Public Speaking and also Nonverbal Communication—the US Embassy is working on dates and logistics…MFA heard about my “success” with govt. officials and PR people—now the “big wigs” want the workshop…I am totally jazzed to do this.

I will be very sad to leave…it really has been an amazing journey, of all kinds….

Mara Adelman, Ph.D.
Seattle University
Associate Professor
Department of Communication

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Cross-cultural/intercultural powerpoints wanted

Request for Basic Cross-cultural/Intercultural Powerpoints

“I am Mara Adelman (Seattle University, author of BEYOND LANGUAGE: Cross-cultural Communication for ESL), and I am heading to Mekelle University in Ethiopia on a Fulbright assignment, for a 42 days series of lectures, seminars, workshops on various topics in communication. Am seeking powerpoints on basic presentations for cross-cultural communication (e.g. theory, values, rituals, non-verbal, verbal, cross-cultural adaptation, work place, friendships, etc.). I would be willing to exchange for powerpoints on such topics as distraction, solitude, contemplative practices, world travel.  Please know that your powerpoints would only be used during this assignment, no copies, forwarded emails, etc. would occur.  Please send to/any questions, etc.: mara@seattleu.edu
MANY THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT.”

–Mara Adelman, Seattle University

James Schnell – Fulbright

James Schnell
Ohio Dominican University

Fulbright Senior Scholar, Cambodia

The Fulbright Senior Scholar Program provided me with a wonderful opportunity to invigorate my work at my home institution by applying my expertise at another school in another culture.  I had never been to Cambodia before and working at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, the largest and oldest university in Cambodia, was personally and professionally rewarding.

I received a six-week grant that I divided into two separate three week visits.  The first trip gave me a chance to get acquainted with the Department of Media and Communication/Cambodia Communication Institute at the university, work with students & faculty and assess how I could best make lasting contributions.  I followed this with a second trip, ten months later, and used the intervening ten months to collect materials that helped with enhancements on my second trip.

The purpose of the grant was to support the Department of Media and Communication/Cambodia Communication Institute in developing an appropriate educational program for the education and training of future Cambodian journalists.  This, more specifically, entailed focusing on development and improvement of curriculum for the undergraduate program and developing teaching materials in communication theory, human resource management, introduction to research methodology and related areas.

My work at the university involved presenting lectures, participating in seminars, conducting needs assessments, assisting with faculty development, encouraging curriculum development and other matters linked to my areas of expertise.  I created an 11 page Manual for Organization of Research Papers, Rules for Writing Style & Preparation of Oral Presentations.” I also created a small reference library consisting of over 60 new (state of the art) books that I brought as a donation to their program.  This collection consisting of books dealing with telecommunication, journalism, mass media, public relations, communication research, human resource management and related areas.

Part of the challenge of this assignment was finding creative ways to achieve objective.  The mail system in Cambodia was unreliable so I needed to personally bring the books with me.  On my second trip I was permitted 120 pounds of luggage and 105 pounds of it were books!  Getting the books to them was important as I saw this collection as being a foundation that they could build from in a variety of ways using their own initiative.

This Fulbright grant gave me a great opportunity to re-think much of what I do and how I do it at my home institution.  Working with colleagues and students in my discipline, but within another cultural context (especially one that is quickly changing), forced me to revisit many of the assumptions I have regarding my academic discipline and how I work within that discipline.  It is an invigorating experience that will have a lasting impact on my teaching and research at my home institution.  Being able to make new friends and establish collegial relationships in another culture is always fulfilling, professionally and personally.

I continue to maintain contact with Sopheap Phan, my primary host during my work in Cambodia.  We have gotten together on two occasions and we engage in periodic e-mail exchanges.  I foresee doing follow-up trips to Cambodia that will build upon my experiences there in 2005-2006.

Susan Opt – Fulbright

Susan Opt
James Madison University

Fulbright to Czech Republic

In fall 2009, I was a Fulbright scholar at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. I taught two graduate courses—Intercultural Communication and the Rhetoric of Social Intervention—and one undergraduate course in The History and Culture of US Media.

Unlike many Fulbrighters, I did not have any contacts in the Czech Republic or a letter of invitation. Instead, I spent time researching the “open” or “general” calls on the Fulbright web site and emailing some of the program officers to get information about opportunities in their region (although I did not email the program officer responsible for the Czech Republic!). In the end, I decided to apply to the Czech Republic for several reasons. First, the US institution where I was teaching at the time had been founded by immigrants from Moravia, a part of the Czech Republic. In my application, I connected my interest this historical piece with cultural insights that I might gain from working in the Czech Republic. Second, I had lived and worked in Germany and had visited the Czech Republic in its pre-revolution and immediate-post-revolutions days, so I had some familiarity with the culture. I thought my proficiency in German might come in handy in interactions with older Czechs. I also wanted to see how the culture had changed in the two decades after the revolution. Finally, I felt that the Czech Republic might be a less popular choice by other applicants and so that might increase my chances of getting an award!

After I decided to focus on the Czech Republic I spent time online researching institutions in the Czech Republic to see which ones might offer programs in my areas of interest. I applied for a teaching award because in the Czech Republic, at least, teaching awards are more numerous than research awards. I also looked for programs that offered instruction in English. In my application, I proposed classes and suggested institutions where my knowledge might be useful. In my statement, I focused on the benefits I could offer the host institution. I also emphasized what I could learn from this experience that would benefit my institution and students.

The application review involved several steps. First, the US Fulbright Commission reviewed the application and determined whether it would be forwarded to the Czech Republic. Then the Czech Fulbright Commission reviewed the application to determine whether it should be forwarded to an institution. In an “open” call, like my case, the Czech Fulbright program officers contacted Czech institutions to see if they would be willing to sponsor a Fulbrighter. After they approved the application, then it came back to the United States for final review.

If a Fulbright is granted, then there’s more work! Applicants have to pass a medical exam and, depending upon the country’s requirements, may have to go through a security check with the country’s police, get a visa, and get shots. In addition, “open” call applicants, like me, may have to spend time corresponding with the host institution to negotiate courses or research needs. At this point, one of the most helpful pieces of information acquired from either the in-country Fulbright program coordinator or from the US program officer for that country is copies of previous Fulbrighters’ final reports. Fulbrighters write a final report that summarizes their experiences and give advice for future Fulbrighters. In my case, the reports were extremely helpful in knowing what to expect in the Czech classroom and working ahead of time with the Czech institution to put enrollment limits on the courses. The reports as well as communication with the institution helped me know what technology was available and what kinds of materials I would need to bring with me. For example, Czech students cannot afford to buy textbooks. Fortunately, the Fulbright Commission provides teaching scholars a small stipend for books, so I was able to bring copies of used books for students.

Finally, the key to applying for and surviving a Fulbright is flexibility. You need to be flexible in terms of where you might be willing to go. And you need to be flexible and adaptable to the conditions that you find when you arrive. For example, you might end up teaching a course different than you had expected and prepared for. You might find that the students have different language abilities, backgrounds, and preparations than you imagined. You might find that how courses are taught and the length of courses differ from what you are used to. But these kinds of surprises teach us a lot about ourselves, our culture, and our educational system and help achieve William Fulbright’s vision of changing the world by changing how we think.