Kent State University is hosting scholars from Iraq and Libya for 10 weeks this summer as part of the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program.
The program is sponsored by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars and supported by the U.S. Department of State’s Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau.
This is the second year that Kent State has been selected by the State Department to host Fulbright Scholars. Last year, the university hosted scholars from Iraq for the summer program.
“To be selected to host Fulbright Scholars again this year demonstrates Kent State’s commitment to building global connections,” said Todd Diacon, Kent State senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “We look forward to enhancing academic and cultural opportunities through partnerships with the world’s leading universities and scholars.”
Under the leadership of I. Richmond Nettey, associate dean of Kent State’s College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology, a Kent State team of administrators, faculty and staff from across the university submitted a proposal to the Council for International Exchange of Scholars to host the 2013 Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program for Iraq and Libya.
The interdisciplinary proposals, which were submitted late last year, were approved by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for Educational and Cultural Affairs in February 2013.
Nettey credits the selection to the remarkable work done by the Kent State faculty mentors last summer with influencing the selection.
“Last year, our team did such a spectacular job, and it really impressed the program’s organizers,” he said. “Plus, the scholars themselves were very glowing in their reviews.”
The goals of the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program are to build higher-education capacity in Iraq and Libya through faculty development and mentoring, foster long-term collaboration and institutional linkages between Iraqi and Libyan scholars and U.S. academics, and to promote mutual understanding by facilitating the scholars’ engagement with the broader host-campus community.
The Council for International Exchange of Scholars selected only five U.S. institutions to host the Iraqi scholars. Six universities were chosen to host the scholars from Libya. The nine professors in the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program for Iraq arrived June 28 and will stay until Sept. 7. The four scholars from Libya arrive Sunday and will stay until Sept. 14.
Kent State is hosting the science and technology cohort from Iraq and the information technology cohort for Libya.
“It is indeed an honor for Kent State to host the Fulbright Visiting Scholars from Iraq again this year,” Nettey said. “It is an even greater privilege to report the selection of Kent State’s proposal to host the very first Fulbright Visiting Scholars Program for Libya in the area of information technology. It is quite special to be selected by the U.S. Department of State to serve as the launch institution for the new program.”
To fulfill the program requirements in the area of cultural enrichment stipulated by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Kent State administrators have planned an extensive array of activities, including trips to Akron Aeros and Cleveland Indians baseball games, Blossom Music Center, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and a day-trip to Niagara Falls.
“This is a wonderful honor and opportunity for Kent State,” Nettey said. “Hosting both Fulbright programs continues the university’s progress toward meeting Kent State President Lefton’s goal of increasing the international focus of the university, and we are looking forward to working with these esteemed scholars.”