GV ranked second for Faculty Fulbright Scholars

GVL / Courtesy GVNow
Professor Russ Roads and Professor Jerry Scripps

GVL / Courtesy GVNow Professor Russ Roads and Professor Jerry Scripps

Hannah Lentz

For the first time, Grand Valley State University was ranked second in the nation concerning the number of faculty members regarded as Fulbright Scholars and 15th for the number of Fulbright student recipients.

The U.S. Student Fulbright Scholarship competition is conducted at GVSU through the Frederik Meijer Office of Fellowships. The program offers both individual and institutional grants based on merit that allow individuals to study, teach, lecture and conduct research in other countries. Faculty Fulbright Scholars are administered through the Padnos International Center.

According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, this ranking was released on Feb.12 highlighting the high involvement of GVSU in the Fulbright Scholarship program. On top of its high rankings in numbers, GVSU also tied for second regarding master’s degree institutions for faculty Fulbright Scholars.

For the 2014-2015 school year, Charles Baker-Clark, associate professor of hospitality and tourism management, Montenegro; Russ Rhoads, associate professor of anthropology, Sierra Leone; and Jerry Scripps, assistant professor of computing and information systems, Austria all received awards to teach and conduct research in their study abroad areas.

“I am happy to represent Grand Valley State University to the people of Montenegro,” Baker-Clark said. “I plan to include my experiences in my teaching after I return.”

Student recipients of the program, who helped GVSU tie for 12th place among master’s institutions for student Fulbright Scholars, were Lydia Benkert, research grant, Ghana; Anne Gioncondini, English Teaching Assistantship, Ukraine; Erin Lutenski, English Teaching Assistantship, Germany; Hayley Pangle, English Teaching Assistantship, Azerbaijan.

Mark Schaub, chief international officer for GVSU, said the program is not only important for the campus community, but also for the United States as a whole.

“It has fostered citizen ambassadors for nearly 70 years, with faculty serving as citizen-to-citizen diplomats who bring a perspective on the USA to students and communities around the world,” Schaub said. “Plus, they’re cheap for the taxpayer – 300,000 Fulbrighters over 70 years cost less than the next three days of the U.S. Defense budget.”

With the increase in participants – and faculty and students receiving opportunities to bring their opportunities to a world level – information gained and experienced throughout the world can be brought back to and shared with the GVSU community, as well as promoting the idea of studying abroad and taking risks.

“The Fulbright program is important for GVSU students in that only 14 percent of GV students study abroad, but their faculty have great international and intercultural experiences to bring back to their classrooms,” Schaub said. “Thousands of GVSU students benefit (directly and indirectly) for many years to come through the enhanced global understandings that the faculty member has gained.”

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