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With a trio of Western Carolina University faculty members engaged in individual research projects around the world through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, the university has landed on a list recognizing the program’s “top-producing institutions” for 2017-18. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international exchange initiative of the U.S. government and is administered through the U.S. State Department. 

Colleges and universities across the U.S. with the most faculty members receiving Fulbright Scholar awards and with the highest number of student recipients of Fulbright grants were highlighted in a recent edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education. WCU is among a group of eight schools in the Carnegie “master’s” classification that have the most faculty members receiving Fulbright Scholar awards. Ithaca College leads that particular list with four scholars, while WCU and the remaining six schools have three Fulbright Scholars each.

The trio of WCU faculty members who received Fulbright Scholar awards consists of Mimi Fenton, professor of English; Turner Goins, the university’s Ambassador Jeanette Hyde Distinguished Professor of Gerontological Social Work; and Paul Worley, associate professor of English and director of graduate programs in English. “Having faculty selected to participate in the prestigious Fulbright Scholar Program is a hallmark for any institution,” said Carol Burton ’87 MAEd ’89, WCU’s acting provost. “Having three of our exceptional faculty selected in the same year is an achievement that exceeds our expectations.”

Fenton traveled to Budapest, Hungary, in late December to begin a six-month teaching and research project focusing on the works of English literary giant John Milton and the role of the public humanities. Goins started her research project in Auckland, New Zealand, in early February, examining the meanings, beliefs and practices of healthy aging among a group of older Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand. Worley traveled to the Mexican state of Chiapas last August to teach and conduct research aimed at helping speakers of the indigenous language Tsotsil Maya learn English, and teach English to others in that linguistic group.  

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