James Madison U job ad

The School of Communication Studies at James Madison University invites applications for a one-year Assistant Professor position to begin August 25, 2013.  Successful candidates will be communication studies scholars with successful experience teaching the basic communication course as well as the expertise to teach in at least one of the following areas: advocacy, cultural communication, conflict, interpersonal communication, health communication, organizational communication, public relations, and research methods. Ideal applicants will have a Ph.D. in communication or a related field, demonstrate evidence of teaching excellence, and possess a record of continued or promising scholarly productivity.

Review of applications will begin on May 1, 2013 and will continue until the position is filled. Applicants must apply online, where they can complete the faculty profile and upload: a letter of application, curriculum vitae,  a copy of unofficial transcripts as document #1, student evaluations as document #2, and names, phone numbers and email addresses for three academic references (whom we will contact directly to upload a letter of recommendation).  Hard copies of application materials will not be accepted unless specifically requested. Questions should be addressed to Dr. Sharon R. Mazzarella, Search Committee Chair, mazzarsr AT jmu.edu.

James Madison University is a growing university of over 20,000 students. James Madison University has been ranked among the top five public, master’s-level universities in the South in the annual poll conducted by U.S. News & World Report for its guide, 2012 Best Colleges. James Madison University has earned national recognition for its outstanding first-year experiences, learning communities, international study abroad programs, and service learning. The School of Communication Studies is located in modern facilities, and is comprised of faculty who present a diverse range of communication training and research. Students leave with strong research and writing skills, practical internship experiences, and a cultivated appreciation of human communication.

James Madison University is located in Harrisonburg, VA, a Main Street community of nearly 50,000, in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, about 25 minutes from the Shenandoah National Park.  It is approximately 1 hour from historic Charlottesville, 2 ½ hours from Washington, D.C. and Richmond, and 3 ½ hours from the Chesapeake Bay.

James Madison University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity, Equal Access employer.  We seek candidates who will contribute to the climate and body of diversity in the School and the development of a College of Communication, Information, and Media. The School of Communication Studies strives to create an educational environment in which students and faculty facilitate constructive dialogue in the classroom and community to inspire responsible citizenship in a diverse world.

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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.

James Madison U jobs

The School of Communication Studies at James Madison University invites applications for three tenure-track positions (one of which can be at the Associate level) to begin August 25, 2012. Successful candidates will be communication studies scholars with experience teaching the basic communication course as well as the expertise to teach in two or more of the following areas: advocacy, cultural communication, conflict, interpersonal communication, health communication, organizational communication, political communication, public relations, and research methods. Ideal applicants will have a Ph.D. in communication or a related field, demonstrate evidence of teaching excellence, and possess a record of continued or promising scholarly productivity. Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate an interest and ability to secure external funding, develop cross-disciplinary work, and contribute to graduate education. Advanced ABD candidates who meet all other criteria will be considered.

Review of applications will begin on October 15, 2011 and continue until the position is filled.

Applicants should apply online at: http://www.jmu.edu/humanresources/emp/joblink.shtml where they should upload a letter of application, curriculum vitae, the names, phone numbers and email addresses for three academic references (who will then be contacted to submit a letter online), a copy of unofficial transcripts and student evaluations combined as document #1, and one scholarly writing sample as document #2. Please do not upload an entire dissertation. Hard copies of application materials will not be accepted unless specifically requested. Questions should be addressed to Dr. Leigh Nelson, Search Committee Chair, (540) 568-6228, nelsoncl@jmu.edu.

James Madison University is a rapidly growing university of approximately 19,000 students. JMU has been ranked as the South’s top public regional university for the 17th consecutive year, according to the annual “U.S. News & World Report” 2011 America’s Best Colleges guide. JMU has earned national recognition for its outstanding first-year experiences, learning communities and service-learning. The School of Communication Studies is located in modern facilities and has the potential to offer a graduate program and become part of a College of Communication, Information, and Media in the near future. The School is comprised of faculty who present a diverse range of communication training and research. Undergraduate majors leave with strong research and writing skills, practical internship experiences, and a cultivated appreciation of human communication.

JMU is located in Harrisonburg, VA, a Main Street community of about 44,000, in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, about 25 minutes from the Shenandoah National Park. It is approximately 1 hour from historic Charlottesville, 2 ½ hours from Washington, D.C. and Richmond, and 3 ½ hours from the Chesapeake Bay. More information can be found at www.jmu.edu, www.jmu.edu/commstudies, and http://www.harrisonburgva.gov.
JMU is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity, Equal Access employer. We seek candidates who will contribute to the climate and body of diversity in the School and the development of a College of Communication, Information, and Media. The School of Communication Studies strives to create an educational environment in which students and faculty facilitate constructive dialogue in the classroom and community to inspire responsible citizenship in a diverse world.