Scholarship benefits GVSU faculty

Austin Metz

For faculty at Grand Valley State University who are interested in applying for a sabbatical leave in the next few years, the Fulbright awards provide another option to help expand the classroom-teaching experience.

Mark Schaub, GVSU’s campus representative for the Fulbright awards, will be holding a Faculty Fulbright Information Session and Reception on March 15, 2013 at the University Club.

“Fulbright grants were started a couple of decades ago and were named after Senator Fulbright and they really started with U.S. government money during the Cold War,” Schaub said. “There is still an element that people who are serving as ambassadors of the United States of America, citizen ambassadors of the university.”

The Fulbright awards provide faculty with the opportunity to take their teaching talents abroad to help learn and expand classroom skills.

“When you come back and teach at GVSU, you really kind of have that perspective,” Schaub said. “For example, John Bender from chemistry, he is teaching right now in Romania at a university and he will come back next year and will have those perspectives of doing research with Romanian colleagues and Romanian students. So he will have a much broader global perspective as well.”

This year alone, GVSU has representatives of the university dispersed in India (Ashok Kumar), Romania (John Bender), and in Kenya (Erik Nordman).

In order to be considered for the Fulbright awards, faculty members must apply and are then selected from a list of faculty from around the nation.

“These three faculty that have received this year, they are competing against faculty from all across the country,” Schaub said. “Big research institutions, Ivy league schools, there is faculty from all these schools trying to get this as well.”

Schaub explained that GVSU does not have to pay a penny for the program because the state department covers the cost so it comes down to simply beating out the other candidates.

“They (faculty) usually have to be tenured faculty and they generally have to have a P.h.D.,” Schaub said. “It’s usually people who have been here for five years.”

To sign up for the information session and reception, visit or email Schaub at [email protected].

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