At SNHU, our Fulbrighters exemplify the power of international academic exchange and how it transforms lives, bridges geographic and cultural boundaries and promotes a more peaceful and prosperous world. Founded by James William Fulbright in 1946 after a transformational journey overseas, the Fulbright Scholarship Program is one of the most prestigious and competitive fellowship programs in the world. SNHU is proud to have numerous Fulbright scholars who have successfully completed their fellowships abroad. The Fulbright Scholarship Program provides 8,000 grants annually and seeks to improve intercultural relations, cultural diplomacy and intercultural competence through the exchange of individuals and their knowledge and skills.
Time as a Fulbright Scholar: February 2017-June 2017
Country of study: Azerbaijan
Field of study: Finance and economics
As a Fulbright scholar, Bulent Aybar taught two sections of finance theory in the International School of Economics. He guest lectured in a variety of finance and economics courses, presented research to faculty members at his host university and participated in numerous panels on issues ranging from faculty promotion to successful publication strategies in refereed journals. He also made presentations about current trends in the global economy and financial markets to colleagues at the university.
Additionally, Aybar engaged in the community through events organized by the U.S. Council and American Center at Baku. He made presentations about graduate studies in U.S. universities and offered a lecture series on global economy. His work gave him a firsthand account of Azerbaijan’s political and economic challenges following their transition to independent statehood in 1991 – giving him opportunities to engage with colleagues, government officials and local and foreign business leaders.
Currently, Aybar is a professor at SNHU’s School of Business, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses. He is also the director of the International Business PhD. program. After completing his Fulbright assignment in 2017, he was invited to the Eurasia Peer Review Committee by the International Institute of Education, and has since reviewed over 100 Fulbright proposals focusing on Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Russia.
Advice for prospective Fulbrighters: Most host institutions do not have any experience with the Fulbright faculty and they do not have the resources to support the visiting scholars. Research the country, city and the host institution to address logistical challenges such as renting a place and managing finances. Establish early contact with the host institution and get clarifications about the teaching assignments and logistics of the research project. Contact former Fulbright grantees and learn about their experience.
Time as Fulbright Scholar: August 2015-June 2016
Country of study: Botswana
Field of study: Foreign direct investment, examining IPAs and FDI, and the role of entrepreneurial firms in Botswana.
Charlotte Broaden has been teaching a class in foreign direct investment on the doctoral level for several years. She believes understanding what attracts investments into a country to support specific industrial sectors is key to understanding economic development in those sectors. For Broaden, Botswana was especially attractive considering their economy is supported primarily by diamonds. Botswana is home to the headquarters of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) where there is a host of data on the sixteen member states. During the year she spent abroad, she was able to meet with government officials, local entrepreneurs and members of the educational community.
Today, Broaden continues to conduct research on FDI in Africa, and has been involved with entrepreneurs across Africa though SNHU’s GEM program. She is also currently working with a doctoral student who is studying entrepreneurship in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region, and still works with Fulbright.
If given the opportunity, take advantage of getting to know the local community, make new friends, volunteer, and explore all that is available to you.
Advice for prospective Fulbrighters: If given the opportunity, take advantage of getting to know the local community, make new friends, volunteer, and explore all that is available to you.
Time as a Fulbright Scholar: September 2011-July 2012
Country of study: Serbia
Field of study: English teaching
Matea Ilic-Drijencic was awarded a Fulbright scholarship as an English teaching assistant at the University of Kragujevac in Serbia where she helped teach undergraduate students French, English, Spanish and German. As part of her role, she collaborated with professors and students at the university to start a student run writing center, where participants would meet at the American Corner in Kragujevac to conduct writing workshops and peer-to-peer critiques in an effort to improve writing and research skills in English. She chose to apply for the Fulbright scholarship in Serbia due to previous connections with other countries in the Balkan region, including Bosnia and Croatia, and to gain a deeper understanding of Serbia’s history and future development plans.
Following her time as a Fulbright English teaching assistant, Ilic-Drijencic decided to pursue a regional master’s degree in Democracy and Human Rights in South East Europe in Bosnia while focusing on the influence of a segregated education system on inter-ethnic relations in the region. She currently lives in Manchester, NH where she continues to work in the field of education as an academic advisor at Southern New Hampshire University.
Advice for prospective Fulbrighters: Take advantage of the opportunity to learn and immerse yourself in the culture of the country where you’ll be living. Be vulnerable and share your own personal experiences and culture with students, co-workers or fellow scholars. This allows for the true exchange of ideas and perspectives between cultures – giving all sides a richer outlook for the future.
Time as a Fulbright Scholar: 1998-1999
Country of study: Canada
Field of study: Ethnographic research conducted in Igloolik, a small Inuit village in the Arctic
As a Fulbright scholar, Michael Evans spent 9 months in Igloolik, a small village in the Arctic, working with Inuit videographers. His research focused on expressions and negotiations of indigenous culture through the mass media, ultimately using his discoveries to help build greater mutual understanding among people throughout the globe. Throughout his assignment, he was able to immerse himself in the daily life of the village, learning about Inuit culture through observation, active participation and extended interviews.
Currently, Evans is the vice president for academic affairs at Southern New Hampshire University. He is now researching the use and impact of mass media by Native American activists in the 1970s.
Advice for prospective Fulbrighters: Choose a project that you would truly, deeply love to tackle and then determine the best place in the world for that project. (Avoid choosing the destination first.) Every part of the world is fascinating and considering locations beyond the usual favorites will greatly increase your chances.
Time as a Fulbright Scholar: 2002-2003; 2007
Country of study: Germany; Belgium
Field of study: International studies and American literature
As President of SNHU’s Global Campus, Dr. Fowler oversees academic functions in support of the university’s learning experiences and modalities – online, competency-based and hybrid – meeting the rapidly changing demands of the workforce and global communities.
He is a two-time Fulbright senior scholar, serving first in Germany between 2002-2003 with a focus on German international studies and American literature, and teaching at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American studies at the Free University in Berlin. He completed research on German generational studies and served as a cultural ambassador to various German constituencies on the second Iraq Gulf War. Serving on the Fulbright Commission German Student Selection Board he had input on the selection of German students seeking American scholarships and worked with the German Fulbright Commission to found a new teacher exchange program with Penn State University. In addition, he gave lectures, training seminars, and conference presentations on behalf of the American Embassy and the German-American Institutes and published an article in the German Journal for American Studies.
His second Fulbright Senior Scholar assignment in 2007 focused on collaborating with German and Belgium politicians, higher education experts and administrators from around the United States to engage in conversations regarding the future role of the European Union, the Bologna Process and the changing nature of higher education throughout Europe. This entailed visiting sites in Brussels and Berlin to serve on expert commissions over several weeks.
Advice for prospective Fulbrighters: Demonstrate clear passion for the place you want to go and why it’s relevant to the questions you are answering.
Time as a Fulbright Scholar: 2011
Country of study: Pakistan
Field of study: Creative women in education
Dawn Reno Langley is an instructor for SNHU’s MFA program and professional writer who holds an MFA in Fiction and a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies. Passionate about private and personal voices in literature, her MFA thesis was about women writing privately and publicly, and her dissertation focused on the voices of transgender writers, pre- and post-transition.
She applied for Fulbright at the suggestion of a friend and scholar from Pakistan, and completed her assignment at a time when a war was ongoing in neighboring Afghanistan. This required strict security procedures, but didn’t stop Langley from exploring museums and mosques in Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad. In exploring the lives and culture of locals, she was able to gain a unique understanding of the nation’s history – an experience she carries with her today.
Advice for prospective Fulbrighters: Try to be open to everything you experience. Respect the culture, appreciate customs and ask lots of questions.
Time as a Fulbright Scholar: July 2018-September 2018
Country of study: Republic of the Union of Myanmar (Burma)
Field of study: Strategic management in public organizations, project management, foreign direct investment analysis and evaluation, nation-building/capacity building
Leveraging his expertise in project strategy, evaluation, analysis, procurement and management, Robert A. Marshall completed the Fulbright scholarship as a senior advisor and lecturer to the minister of finance, project appraisal and reporting department, for the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Speaking to his experience, he described the goal of the assignment as such: first, to educate officials and staff on modern qualitative and quantitative methods, and second, to “represent American values by demonstrating openness and collaboration along with the highest levels of honesty, integrity, fairness, trustworthiness and professionalism.”
In relocating to Myanmar – 8,495 miles from his hometown – Marshall was able to share his dual passions of strategic project management as well as international affairs. Though the experience required “constant vigilance,” having planted him in a remote location known as the “Ghost City” capital, the assignment “turbo-charged his passion for teaching what he spent a lifetime learning.”
Advice for prospective Fulbrighters: Your first choice of a host country may not be available – be open to other countries. It also takes a while before you hear from the institution or organization that is sponsoring you – be patient. Once you arrive, the specifics of your assignment may change as the host institution determines its needs – be flexible.
Lastly, you will thoroughly enjoy the experience of sharing your academic story with others, as you learn about theirs. So, savor what you think you will experience and do, along with the things you never would have imagined, but did.
Time as a Fulbright Scholar: Spring 2018
Country of study: Maldives
Field of study: Faculty of hospitality and tourism studies
Kimberly Monk is a hospitality business faculty member at SNHU. As a scholar, she was a lecturer in the faculty of hospitality and tourism at Maldives National University. An admirer of the region, her work offered a unique opportunity to engage and learn in one of the best hospitality programs in Asia.
Her experiences overseas called upon a number of her skills. She presented and published her work, Authenticity in Storytelling, at the South Central Asia Fulbright Conference in New Delhi, India in 2018, was a guest speaker at the America Center in Maldives, where she discussed the words of Dr. King and she consulted at several resorts in Maldives, imparting her expertise to help promote better business practices.
Advice for prospective Fulbrighters: If this is the opportunity desired, apply. Once you make it to your destination, explore every chance you have. Connect with the locals and landscapes no matter how daunting.
Time as a Fulbright Scholar: 2011-2012; 2016-2017
Country of study: Jamaica (2011-2012); Suriname (2016-2017)
Field of study: Area, ethnic and cultural studies and African Studies; cultural & intellectual history
Paula D Royster is a two-time Fulbright scholar. For her first assignment, in 2011, she was invited by the U.S. Embassy to explore the Jonkonnu Carnival in Jamaica, including its origins following the transatlantic slave trade. She continued her work as a scholar in 2016, this time going to Anton de Kom University of Suriname to teach two courses – African Diaspora Studies 101 and Research Methodologies – both of which she had personally developed.
In addition to teaching in the IDS department at SNHU, Royster is currently in the process of publishing a book based on the research she has conducted over the years. She is also working on another manuscript focused on an arts-based approach to researching the African diaspora with an expected publication date of early 2020.
Advice for prospective Fulbrighters: The Fulbright program is a very competitive process and requires complete and sincere transparency. If you are selected to represent the United States as a cultural ambassador, it will be an experience you will not soon forget. The more creative and enduring your project, the better your odds of being selected. Conceptualizing your project will take time: plan it out early enough to put it down and revise later. Attend any Q&A sessions offered by the Commission, talk to potential persons to help refine your application and, finally, try not to be anxious while you wait for your answer.
Time as a Fulbright Scholar: 2009-2010
Country of study: Niger
Field of study: Medical anthropology
Dr. Kelley Sams served as a Fulbright-Hays scholar in Niger, where she conducted an ethnography of trachoma elimination for her PhD in medical anthropology. Through this research, she explored how visual messages shape perceptions about health and illness and merging different cultural models of disease. Dr. Sams chose her research sites in Niger following her work in the region ten years prior as a Peace Corps volunteer. As a Fulbright scholar, she was able to return to areas where the trachoma elimination program had been launched during her volunteer service and explore its local impacts and evolution.
Currently, she is conducting research that explores collaborations between artists and health programs in pandemic preparedness.
Advice for prospective Fulbrighters: Start crafting your project proposals well in advance of the deadline – and make sure you share them widely to get feedback before submitting!
Time as a Fulbright Scholar: 2017-2018
Country of study: Finland
Field of study: A comparison of the education system in the U.S. and Finland
As a Fulbright scholar, Dr. Linda Szypula explored the Finnish education system, focusing, in part, on the ways STEM disciplines were integrated into curriculum across universities. As part of her assignment, she observed course lectures, co-developed an exhibit at a local science museum, and attended Educa – Finland’s largest teaching conference – where she explored new education technologies and built her network of Finnish educators. She was also invited to speak for several regional schools and presented her work at a number of Fulbright seminars.
Armed with these experiences, Dr. Szypula gained a new perspective on ways education can better serve both students and educators – from rethinking curriculum and professional development, to exploring ways in which a tuition free learning system can thrive when put into practice.
Advice for prospective Fulbrighters: Have perseverance in completing the application and interview process. Be dedicated to your profession. Be committed to and passionate about the research topic you choose – and let it show in your application.
Time as a Fulbright Scholar: 1995-1996
Country of study: Belgium
Field of study: Political, cultural and social history of Belgium
Alan Wells completed a year of study at the French-language Free University of Brussels (Université libre de Bruxelles) focusing on the political, cultural and social history of Belgium with an emphasis on the cultural, linguistic and religious fault lines which have largely framed the country’s evolution. He developed an interest in European culture and politics early on during his high school studies and had the opportunity to continue studying French and political science in college. For his senior thesis, he completed a study of the Belgian federal system which led to a desire to learn more about the country. His Fulbright experience provided an opportunity to further explore the country and connect with its people on a much deeper level.
Wells has spent his entire career in higher education, working in admission, operations and faculty management. He currently serves as the assistant dean of general and transitional studies with Life University in Georgia.
Advice for prospective Fulbrighters: Be purposeful in selecting a country/region in which to complete your study and then develop a very clear plan for what you wish to accomplish with your project. If you are fortunate enough to be awarded a grant, strive to make the most of your time in the country. Get to know the local community. Work hard, but travel and take time away from your studies as well.