Dr. Stacey K. Sowards (PhD, Kansas University) is Department Chair and Professor of Communication at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), where she has been since 2004.
Her research interests include the intersections of: rhetorical theory and criticism, feminist theories of communication, environmental communication and rhetoric, and intercultural communication and rhetoric. She is especially interested in these areas of inquiries in Asia and Latin America. She has completed research projects in and about Indonesia, Mexico, and Costa Rica.
Her publications appear in Communication Theory, Philosophy and Rhetoric, Communication Studies, The Howard Journal of Communications, Hypatia, Argumentation and Advocacy, Ethics and the Environment, The Globalization of Corporate Media Hegemony, and other outlets. She also received a William J. Fulbright research grant for her dissertation research in 2000-2001 and a Fulbright-Hays grant in 2005. While at UTEP, Dr. Sowards has led study abroad programs/research trips in Mexico, Costa Rica, Indonesia, and Germany. She also serves as the department’s coordinator for UTEP’s master’s program with the non-governmental organization, Rare. Rare is based in Arlington, Virginia, and works to protect endangered species and their habitats in more than 40 countries. Dr. Sowards also worked with the Rare-UTEP training program for conservation campaigns at the Bogor Agricultural Institute in Indonesia and the Universidad Libre in Colombia with students/campaign managers who earn their M.A. degrees from the Department of Communication.
Work for CID:
Stacey Sowards described her Fulbright experience.
Stacey K. Sowards
University of Texas at El Paso
Fulbright and Fulbright-Hayes to Indonesia
I was awarded a Fulbright for my doctoral dissertation research in 2000-2001, to conduct research on environmental organizations in Indonesia. My interest in Indonesia started when my parents moved there in 1994, and I traveled to Indonesia several times to visit them until 1997 when they moved back to the US. Even though I had been to Indonesia a few times, I had not established contacts at universities, which is a very important criterion for both students and faculty. My initial sponsor was the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, in Jakarta. I wrote a paper for a class about the economic crisis in Indonesia, which eventually was published in The Indonesian Quarterly, a journal of the CSIS. My familiarity with CSIS and The Indonesian Quarterly led me to email the director to see if they would sponsor my research project in Indonesia for the Fulbright application, which they did.
My second Fulbright award was actually a Fulbright-Hays, which was for intensive language study in Indonesia. During the first Fulbright award, I was able to make more university contacts and learn more about the Indonesian educational system as well as foreigners who were studying in Indonesia. These contacts led to my application for the second award, which I received in 2005.
The Fulbright International Exchange Program, under the auspices of the US State Department, offers grants to study, teach and conduct research for U.S. citizens to go abroad and non-U.S. citizens to come to the United States. Different programs are available for faculty members, graduate students, and undergraduates (see links to all the different programs). Although most of the programs are for full years, the Fulbright Specialist Program offers stays of 2-6 weeks. Fulbrights are one of the easiest ways for US academics to connect internationally.
By 2014 Fulbright circulated the following information: “As of last year, lifetime limits on Fulbright Scholar Program grants have been lifted, as have waiting periods between grants. This means more flexibility and opportunity to partake in Fulbright experiences throughout your career; you can participate on a semester-long award and not jeopardize your ability to get back on the Roster or your other future participation.” So for those who have already had one Fulbright, consider requesting another!
A few examples of Communication scholars who have been awarded Fulbrights are listed below. If you have completed any of the varieties of Fulbright awards, and wish to have your description added, send an email with details, or post a comment below.
Mara Adelman – Ethiopia
David L. Altheide – Germany and Portugal
Richard Buttny – Malaysia and India
Kevin Barnhurst – Peru and Italy
Donal Carbaugh – Finland
Kristen Cvancara – Finland
Steven Darian – Uzbekistan
Don Ellis – Israel
Glenn Geiser-Getz (Russia & Ghana)
Phillip Glenn – Moldava
Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz – Portugal
Sheila McNamee – Colombia
Tema Milstein – New Zealand
Jon Nussbaum – Wales
Susan Opt – Czech Republic
Todd Sandel – Taiwan
James Schnell – Cambodia
Stacey K. Sowards – Indonesia
John Parrish-Sprowl – Macedonia and Belarus
Ayseli Usluata – USA (from Turkey)
Paul Voakes – Uganda
Joseph Zompetti – Sri Lanka and Brazil
Stories from many of these Fulbrighters (and others) are included in chapter The value of a Fulbright: Internationalizing education one person at a time, published in Internationalizing the communication curriculum in an age of globalization.