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Fulbright alumni community forming at Illinois State

two women and two men standing and smiling

Left to right, Lea Cline, Erin Mikulec, Assistant Director of Outreach for Fulbright Scholars Andy Riess, and President Larry Dietz.

The very name Fulbright conveys the idea of knowledge crossing borders and forming international ties.

Since its inception in 1946, more than 360,000 Americans have traveled the globe, creating bonds through the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Program, which funds international research and exchanges of students, faculty, and administrators. Developed as a way to promote peaceful exchanges between countries, students, and scholars journey to universities worldwide, creating global networks for ideas.

Many of those former students and current scholars are right here at Illinois State. The Office of International Studies and Programs (OISP) is sponsoring a new Fulbright initiative on campus, celebrating alumni and encouraging current ISU students to apply.

President Larry Dietz, a 1993 Fulbright alumnus, will host a kick-off event for the Illinois State Fulbright Community on October 12. “I wish that more people knew about these opportunities and took the time to write proposals to participate,” said Dietz, who travelled to Germany on a Fulbright administrator exchange. Learn more about Dietz’s Fulbright experience. #Fulbright@ISU #FulbrightPrgrm

“Sometimes you don’t have any idea that someone you are working with also took part in Fulbright,” said Assistant Professor of Art History Lea Cline, who travelled to Italy on a Fulbright in 2006 to write her dissertation, and who now serves as ISU’s Fulbright Student Program adviser. “My experience was transformational. I am thrilled to be able to introduce ISU students to Fulbright, and to guide them through the process of applying for grant opportunities around the globe.”

Fulbright fellowships can assist scholars and students to push their work in new directions, noted Provost Jan Murphy. “There is certainly a gravitas to being awarded a Fulbright, but the program is exceptional because it also opens doors allowing faculty and students to expand their horizons, and bring back knowledge and ideas to enrich Illinois State.”

Recent Illinois State recipients of the Fulbright Program include College of Education Professor Do-Yong Park, who will study education practices in Cambodia. Professor of Politics and Government Lane Crothers explored globalism at the University of Helsinki. Professor of Technology Anu Gokhale expanded her work in increasing diversity in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields in Brazil, and now has two Fulbright students at Illinois State from Brazil. Graduate student Layaly Hamayel continued work in Palestine. Willy Hunter helped develop STEM curriculum and training for a college in Barbados. Recent alumna Hillary Veitch ’14 teaches in South Korea.

Cline and Associate Professor of Teaching and Learning Erin Mikulec, who studied education in Finland on a Fulbright in 2014, will serve as the faculty liaisons for Illinois State. “We are so very grateful for the incredible amount of support we have received from President Larry Dietz, Provost Jan Murphy, and Director Luis Canales in the Office of International Studies and Programs,” said Mikulec. “It is because of their support that we are able to develop such a robust initiative and we are very excited to have the opportunity to support the ISU community in this way.”

For additional information, contact the Office of International Studies and Programs or follow @FulbrightPrgrm on Twitter or  #Fulbright@ISU.

More about Fulbright:
Under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 360,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. A total of 53 Fulbright alumni from 12 countries have been awarded the Nobel Prize, and 85 alumni have received Pulitzer Prizes.

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