The Fulbright Scholar Program has a great component called the Outreach Lecturing Fund. Universities that would like to host a visiting Fulbright Scholar (who is already studying in the U.S.) can identify a scholar, apply to the program, and invite him or her to campus.
The Fulbright coordinator at my university approached me a few months ago and asked if I would be interested in pursuing this kind of opportunity. I certainly was. I thought it would be a terrific opportunity for my journalism students, so we set out to identify a Fulbright scholar who is also a journalist.
We found Jin Nishikawa, a Fulbright Scholar from Japan. He is a journalist with The Asahi Shimbun in Tokyo, he is an expert on nuclear energy issues, and he is currently serving his Fulbright year at Harvard. He accepted our invitation and arrived at West Texas A&M University a few weeks ago.
The Outreach Lecturing Fund requires universities to establish a schedule of activities, such as public lectures and classroom visits. And, your chances of approval are a bit better when you partner with another institution. Amarillo College hosted one of Mr. Nishikawa’s lectures, and WTAMU hosted the other one.
The great advantage for my students was that they had a truly international journalism experience without leaving the Texas Panhandle.
Local high school journalism programs benefited, too. We hosted a special luncheon for Mr. Nishikawa and invited journalism teachers and students from two area schools. They were thrilled.
Fulbright’s Outreach Lecturing Fund provides an excellent opportunity to enhance your journalism program and give it an international flair. I highly recommend it.
Butler Cain is an Assistant Professor of Mass Communication at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. He is chair of SPJ’s Journalism Education Committee.