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Focus on Fulbright: Q&A with Willy Hunter

University of Calgary

To celebrate Fulbright alumni at Illinois State, Willy Hunter, CeMaST, recounts his days in the program and the impact it made. #Fulbright@ISU #FulbrightPrgrm

headshot of Willy Hunter

William Hunter, director of Illinois State University’s Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology.

Where and when did you complete your Fulbright?
I’ve received two Fulbright awards.  To Barbados in 2015-16 and to Canada at the University of Calgary in Fall 2016.

Please describe your project.
In both cases I was working with in-service and pre-service teachers in teacher education programs to help them understand integrated STEM learning in the K-12 setting.

How do you believe your Fulbright experience changed your work after you returned?
We are still in the throws of data analysis, but in general, it has widened the scope of my curriculum writing and we now try to address local issues from across the western hemisphere, not solely American issues.

Travel can be referred to as the gift of the unexpected. What was the most unexpected thing you saw or experienced?
In Barbados, there is much less private land ownership and fenced demarcation of properties and so the hiking is amazing.  In Calgary, I saw modern urban cycling and commuting in a way I’ve never seen in North America before.

Have you returned to the country where you served your Fulbright award? Had it changed? Had you changed?
I am continuing to work with both institutions and will visit Barbados in January to work with local teachers again, and in Calgary over the next three years I am conducting a province-wide evaluation of the impact of a new college-wide STEM course on primary and secondary classrooms.

What do you most wish people could understand about the Fulbright experience?
With planning over several years, it can be made compatible with laboratory science research.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of applying for Fulbright?
Start planning now.  Some Fulbright awards are highly competitive and others have virtually no applicants.

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