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Fulbright

I was chosen as one of two Fulbright Scholars in STEM to Rwanda for the 2009 - 2010 award period. Rwanda is a small, landlocked country located in the southern half of the continent of Africa. I am one of approximately 150 other Fulbrighters going to sub-saharan Africa. I lived & worked in Kigali (the capital city) for six months (January through June). I served as Director of E-Learning at the Kigali Institute of Science & Technology (KIST) where I helped faculty to use Moodle (an open-source Learning Management System, LMS) in their distance-learning efforts. I also worked at the Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) which is the premier university in the country for teacher training. My project helped the Kigali Institute of Education in achieving three goals: appropriate mathematics curriculum for pre-service teachers, student-centered methodology in teaching mathematics, and teacher training in effective pedagogy. I taught courses that convey mathematics content while illustrating inquiry-based, hands-on learning using appropriate manipulatives and technology. In addition, I assisted in curriculum development, materials selection, and staff development necessary to achieve long-term success.  You can read all about my adventures in my blog.

What is the Fulbright Scholar program?
"The traditional Fulbright Scholar Program sends 800 U.S. faculty and professionals abroad each year. Grantees lecture and conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields.
The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Under a cooperative agreement with the Bureau, the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) assists in the administration of the Fulbright Scholar Program for faculty and professionals."
Quoted from http://www.cies.org/us_scholars/us_awards/.

If this sounds like something YOU might be interested in your future, please be aware that there is a Fulbright Program for Students as well.
"FULBRIGHT U.S. STUDENT PROGRAM OVERVIEW
"Educational exchange can turn nations into people, contributing as no other form of communication can to the humanizing of international relations." - Senator J. William Fulbright, 1983.
If you:

  • Are a U.S. citizen, who
  • Will have a bachelor’s degree by the beginning date of the grant, but will not have a doctorate degree as of October 19, 2009, and who is
  • Thinking of studying, assistant-teaching English, or conducting research abroad
You could be one of more than 1,500 students who receive a Fulbright U.S. Student grant each year to go overseas.
The U.S. Student Fulbright Program:
  • Operates in more than 140 countries worldwide
  • Awards grants in nearly all fields and disciplines, including the sciences, professional fields and Creative and Performing Arts
For detailed information on eligibility, awards available, and the application components, please review the pages on this website."
Quoted from http://us.fulbrightonline.org/overview.html.

Obviously, I was filled with a variety of emotions about this new adventure:  pride, excitement, apprehension, and anticipation but was confident that all things would work together for good (and they did!).  I am very proud of being chosen as it's a great honor and very few are fortunate enough to receive it.  My time in Africa was one of the most life-changing events and was largely responsible for creating my new company, Rimwe Educational Resources LLC.  "Rimwe" is the Kinyarwandan word for "one".  I have LOTS of stories and pictures and am always available for speaking engagements or seminars on Fulbright, Rwanda, education, and how living abroad should be a requirement for everyone!   Resources for you to learn more information are given below.

Kalamazoo College President Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran talks about how institutions can benefit from Fulbright Scholar grants:
Quoted from http://www.cies.org/college%5Fadmin/.

Direct YouTube link if code above does not load: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcXBjc105WU.

Brief video of Fulbright Snapshot taken from the fulbright.state.gov website:

Direct YouTube link if code above does not load: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N19Qn73oglg.

A description of folklore dance in Colombia during a Fulbright Student Scholarship in 2005-2006:

Direct YouTube link if code above does not load: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEzGu3gYeiU.

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