Four of five of this year's Thomas Jefferson Award winners from University of Colorado Denver
DENVER (June 24, 2009) – For 63 years, the Fulbright Program has operated in more than 155 countries awarding grants to educators who “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” As the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, Fulbright Scholar programs offer U.S. faculty, administrators and professionals grants for lectures and research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields across the globe. The University of Colorado Denver is proud to announce four faculty members, two of which who have been named a Fulbright Traditional Scholar, along with one Fulbright Specialist and one Fulbright New Century Scholar for 2009-2010 academic year.
“Participation in the Fulbright Program is critical to CU Denver’s strategic goal to be a globally engaged university–a goal that places high value on international research and scholarship of our faculty,” said Carolyn North, associate vice chancellor of International Affairs at CU Denver. “The Fulbright program is an important means of international faculty enrichment and outreach.”
Fulbright Scholar: Mark Clarke, PhD, School of Education and Human Development
The familiar adage of “think globally, act locally” continues to ring true, but it proves to be far easier said than done, especially when it comes to education reform. For 30 years, Mark A. Clarke, PhD, professor of Language, Literacy and Culture at the School of Education and Human Development at CU Denver has taught graduate courses and conducted research in linguistic and cultural issues of education and systems change. “Regardless of the wisdom of policy or the soundness of programs, if individuals at different levels of the educational hierarchy are not ‘in synch’, education reforms will not have the desired impact on student learning,” says Clarke.
For the last nine years, Clarke has been a part of the effort that created partnerships between local schools and CU Denver to promote inter-institutional collaboration around teacher preparation. During the 2009-2010 academic year, as a Fulbright Scholar, he will work at the Autonomous University of Barcelona with members of a research team (Grupo de Investigacion en Desarollo Humano, Intervencion Social, e Interculturalidad) to investigate systemic constraints on educational reform.
“This award provides me with the opportunity to extend the research we have been engaged in for many years, and to work in one of our favorite cities,” Clarke said. “I am hoping it will permit me to step back from the intense experience of school/university partnerships here in the States to explore systemic resistance to change in a completely different context.”
Fulbright Scholar: Jean Scandlyn, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
A passion to improve the health and development of adolescents and young adults has translated to a Fulbright for Jean Scandlyn, anthropology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Scandlyn’s proposal came to mind following a two-month visit to Bolivia in 2006 where she spoke with representatives of a variety of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), who expressed a need for education and training in qualitative research methods to be applied to a variety of projects, from program evaluation to research on complex social issues, such as HIV transmission, women’s health, and youth development.
Scandlyn’s work in Bolivia will involve teaching a series of workshops on qualitative research design and data analysis. The curriculum combines lectures and demonstrations with hands-on application of concepts and methods as workshop participants design and complete projects for their own agencies. The goal is that they can then train others and the skill set will spread throughout Bolivia.
Given the often limited budgets of NGOs and the need to work in teams across multiple sites, the workshops will provide instruction and practice with software programs that are widely available at low or no cost on the internet and are designed for use in individual and team-based projects.
“Personally, being a Fulbright scholar means that I can fulfill a lifelong dream of living in a foreign country, working in another language to experience its subtleties and nuances—though not necessarily mastering them!—and working alongside Bolivians,” said Scandlyn.
Workshops will be held once each year over three years with Scandlyn providing supervision and support for participants via the internet between her annual visits to Bolivia. In addition to the workshops for NGO personnel, she also will work with local universities to develop courses in qualitative research.
Fulbright Senior Specialist: Kathleen Beatty, School of Public Affairs
The composition, approval, and enforcement of quality standards for graduate education in public affairs and public policy isn’t an easy task to tackle but Kathleen Beatty, former dean of the School of Public Affairs at CU Denver, is well-versed in this topic. She is the immediate past president of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), and, in that role, she pushed NASPAA to increase its international profile and to open membership and accreditation to international higher education institutions. In this role, she has also been active in site visits and in decision-making for public affairs accreditation.
In a new role as a member of the only worldwide association of public affairs schools, the Board of Management of the International Association of Schools of Administration (IASIA), Beatty is participating in the adoption of international quality standards for public policy and administration programs.
It is as a result of this work, that she has been named a Fulbright Senior Specialist. Unlike most Fulbright grants, which focus on teaching and research in countries abroad, the Senior Specialist award aims to strengthen and develop higher education institutions in more than 100 countries around the world.
“My assignment might include Asia, where excellent public administration programs exist but without any quality control mechanisms, or Eastern Europe, where programs are struggling to understand and implement standards,” said Beatty. “Or it could be in Africa, where the best programs hope for accreditation opportunities, while others struggle for basic resources. Wherever it is, I am extremely excited for this opportunity.”
Fulbright New Century Scholar: Blair Gifford, Business School/Colorado School of Public Health
Blair Gifford’s teaching philosophy is that learning provides not only real-world opportunities for students, but also brings value to community health concerns. His work in global health issues over the last dozen years, including his most recent involvement in the development of a sustainable community-building institution in central Haiti, has led to his selection as a Fulbright New Century Scholar for 2009/2010.
The NCS is a unique program where 20 international scholars and 10 U.S. scholars are picked to participate in research and/or discussion of a key current issue. This year’s issue is “the university as an innovation driver and knowledge center” and Gifford’s research into community infrastructure development in Haiti exemplifies what the NCS theme is all about this year.
“It is both an honor and fulfilling for me that I’ll be doing this work in Haiti as part of my work as a New Century Scholar,” said Gifford, associate professor of International Health Management in the Business School at the University of Colorado Denver, and the associate director of the Center for Global Health within the Colorado School of Public Health.
The University of Colorado Denver is one of three campuses in the University of Colorado system. Located in Denver on the Downtown Campus and on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo., CU Denver offers more than 100 degrees and programs in 13 schools and colleges and serves more than 28,000 students. For more information, visit the CU Denver Newsroom.