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Fulbright awards send Appalachian professors around the globe

Fullbright Scholars

BOONE—China, Ethiopia, Poland and Austria are the upcoming destinations for four professors at Appalachian State University. Each has received a Fulbright award to teach and/or conduct research at their host institution.

Jeanne Dubino

View larger imageJeanne Dubino

The first to depart overseas is Jeanne Dubino, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Cultural, Gender and Global Studies. Dubino will spend June and July teaching at Northeast University in Shenyang, China, as a Fulbright Specialist.

Dubino will conduct a series of workshops for faculty and graduate students on teaching literature, especially women’s literature, at the university level, and work with faculty on curricular development. She will also teach two graduate-level classes in poetry and women’s literature, and serve as a reader of master’s theses.

This will be her third trip to Northeast China. Through a U.S. Department of State grant, “People and Nature for a Sustainable Future,” Dubino was an exchange faculty member at NEU for two months in 2014. While there she co-taught a graduate class in women and literature. In 2012, she traveled to China as part of an interactive video conference class taught at Appalachian titled Global Understandings that was offered to partner classes in China, Taiwan and Thailand.

Vachel Miller

View larger imageVachel Miller

Vachel Miller, Ed.D., an associate professor in the Department of Leadership and Educational Studies, has received a Fulbright award for work in Ethiopia. During the 2015-16 academic year, Miller will teach educational leadership and research courses at Bahir Dar University in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

“Having lived in Uganda with my family from 2005-08, I’m thrilled to return to Africa,” Miller said. “Being a Fulbright Scholar will give me the opportunity to better understand the challenges of educational leadership in Ethiopia and contribute directly to the development of a new doctoral program. I can then bring fresh global perspectives back to my work in the Reich College of Education at Appalachian.”

Building on his prior work in Africa, Miller will continue his research on regional child labor and education policy as part of his Fulbright project.

Miller’s selection for the Fulbright Scholar award in Ethiopia extends his collaboration with Bahir Dar University (BDU). In late 2013, he received a $15,000 grant from the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia to work BDU in developing its new doctoral program in educational leadership. The grant facilitated exchange visits, curriculum development and collaborative research/publication between BDU and Appalachian.

Later, an in-house grant from Appalachian’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) funded a Spring 2014 visit to Ethiopia by faculty and staff to explore study abroad potential for graduate and undergraduate students. As a result, Miller led a new short-term, summer study abroad course to Ethopia and Bahir in May Dr. Nickolas Jordan for graduate students in the Reich College of Education.

Al Harris

View larger imageAl Harris

Al Harris, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Computer Information Systems and Supply Chain Management, will travel to Poland in spring 2016 on his second Fulbright Award. The first was an assignment in Portugal. As a Fulbright Scholar, he will teach classes in information technology to master’s-level students at Adam Mickiewicz University in Pozan, Poland, where he served as a guest lecturer for three weeks in 2011.

“During that time, I was able to establish a great relationship with some faculty and administrators at the Faculty of Law and Administration at Adam Mickiewicz University,” Harris said. “During our discussions, we talked about other opportunities for cooperation and exchange.” In 2013, Harris started a study abroad experience in Poland where students from Appalachian worked with Polish students on a week-long project. He also led a study abroad to the university in Poland in 2014 and again in May.

“Poland has a great university system and has transformed its economy into one of the most robust economies in Central/Eastern Europe,” Harris said. “It will be great to spend a semester in that kind of environment.”

Sid Clements

Sid ClementsSid Clements

Sid Clements, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, will travel to Innsbruck, Austria in March 2016 for a four-month assignment as a Fulbright Scholar and visiting professor at the Management Center in Innsbruck (MCI). This is his first Fulbright award.

Founded in 1995, MCI is an educational institution offering study programs leading to bachelor and master degrees, executive master degree programs and executive certificate programs.

Clements will assist the center in its plans to implement an electrical engineering master’s program. He also will conduct research on a wastewater purification with non-thermal plasma discharge project. The research involves using underwater electrical discharges to cause chemical reactions that remove liquid pollutants from wastewater. “There are many kinds of possible pollutants in wastewater, for example solvents, oil, gasoline, kerosene and other hydrocarbons,” Clements said of the research project’s potential benefit.

Like his colleagues, Clements said his Fulbright experience also will benefit students interested in future study abroad opportunities at MCI. “I am trying to set up graduate student exchanges between the center in Innsbruck and Appalachian. Being at MCI for four months will allow us to make progress on this,” he said.