Kristen Cvancara – Fulbright

Kristen Cvancara
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Fulbright Teaching/Research Scholar Grant in Finland

When planning ahead for my sabbatical, I realized that a Fulbright award was an excellent opportunity for me to achieve the goals of growing professionally and living abroad with my husband and our three children. I applied for a grant in Finland because I wanted to work with a colleague with whom I had been collaborating since 2002. I drafted a plan for a project that would blend our research interests and reviewed it with my Finnish colleague at the 2009 NCA conference in Chicago. With encouragement and support from her and her department (including a letter of invitation), I submitted my Fulbright application in the summer of 2010. In March of 2011, I was notified by letter of the acceptance of that application. My two goals were finally realized in January of 2012 as my family boarded a plane headed for Jyväskylä, Finland, where we would live for the coming 5 months.

While in Finland, I taught two courses and conducted research in the Department of Communication at the University of Jyväskylä. The teaching connected me with students from all over Europe, exposed me to different worldviews, and prompted me to adapt my teaching style in new and unique ways. The research project blossomed into a study involving five countries on four different continents. It was amazing to watch this kind of collaboration develop through conversations, emails, Skype calls, and joint meetings. I had the opportunity to build relationships with Finnish and European colleagues, fellow Fulbrighters, and members of the community where we lived for 5 months.  All of these experiences changed me, and my family as well. The challenges and obstacles we faced together forced us to re-evaluate beliefs that we took for granted, revise ineffective strategies, and review our motivations for living outside of our comfort zone. Even when reflecting on the most difficult days, I marvel at the amazing, wonderful experience the Fulbright grant provided us.

A Fulbright experience is worthy of the preparation devoted to crafting a solid application. Check out the following websites for more information on Fulbright grants, the Fulbright Center in Finland, and the Fulbright scholar list to view others from the discipline who have earned grants. I especially encourage individuals with children to apply. In keeping with Senator Fulbright’s initial goals, living abroad with children is a prime opportunity to strengthen their empathy for others and foster a worldview that integrates compassion and understanding.

Minnesota State U job ad

The Communication Studies program at Minnesota State University, Mankato is seeking an Assistant Professor with an emphasis in critical/cultural studies in applied contexts including, but not limited to, conflict and mediation, health communication, and leadership and social change, to teach in our undergraduate and graduate programs.

* The successful candidate will have the opportunity to develop and teach undergraduate and graduate courses in his/her area of specialty.
* The successful candidate will be willing and able to develop a new general education course exploring diversity which includes a significant experiential component.
* The successful candidate is expected to participate in university and departmental activities and to maintain an active record of scholarship.
* Teach in our graduate program which includes courses taught in an online environment (undergraduate online courses are also a possibility).

Minimum Qualifications:
* Ph.D., MFA, or other appropriate terminal degree in Communication Studies or related field.
* Two years of college teaching experience. (Experience as a graduate teaching assistant is acceptable.)

Other Considerations:
* Ability and interest to integrate technology into education.
* Ability and interest in service-learning/community-

based education.
* Knowledge of educational assessment.
* Ability and interest to teach courses in communication studies (e.g., public speaking, interpersonal, hybrid, intercultural).
* Interest in teaching online courses.
* Demonstrated ability to work successfully with a diverse population of students, faculty and staff.
* Evidence of an active and ongoing research agenda.Additional Information:
Additional information on Minnesota State University, Mankato can be found at: http://www.mnsu.edu.*Employment for this position is covered by the collective bargaining agreement for the Inter Faculty Organization which can be found at: http://www.ifo.org/contract09-11/2009-2011.pdf.NOTICE: In accordance with the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities (MnSCU) Vehicle Fleet Safety Program, employees driving on college/university business who use a rental or state vehicle shall be required to conform to MnSCU’s vehicle use criteria and consent to a Motor Vehicle Records check.

Application Procedures: To apply for this position, please continue the process via this website or directly at: http://agency.governmentjobs.com/mankato/default.cfm.

A complete application will include the following:
* Cover Letter
* Resume/Curriculum Vitae
* Contact information for three (3) references
* Unofficial Transcript(s) of your highest completed degree
* Any additional documents as requested below

In addition to the above, applicants will provide two letters of reference.  Letters can be uploaded with your electronic application or sent in hard form to the Search Chair at the address listed below.  Reference letters must be received by the application deadline date.

Contact Information:
Dr. Daniel Cronn-Mills, Search Committee
Department of Communication Studies
Minnesota State University, Mankato
230 Armstrong Hall
Mankato, MN 56001
Phone: 507-389-2213
TTY: 800-627-3529 or 711
Fax: 507-389-3284
E-mail: daniel.cronn-mills@mnsu.edu