Diane Martinez, an associate professor in the Department of English Studies at Western Carolina University, is one of two faculty members this year to receive Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program awards.
Along with John Carzoli, assistant professor and associate department head in WCU’s Physical Therapy Program, the selected faculty members have gained an opportunity as Fulbright Scholars to visit abroad to build skills and connections, gain valuable international insights, and return home to share experiences with their students and colleagues.
Martinez will take her project, “Creating Cross-Cultural Student Experiences through Internationalized Curriculum Development,” to Ludwigsburg University of Education in Germany, where she will explore and further build teaching and curriculum development.
“I teach professional writing and one of the things I teach is environmental and nature writing, which is a global issue,” Martinez said. “I want to take this idea of ‘internationalizing’ curricula and experience for our students and make it something that is easily accessible.”
The Fulbright Scholars Program is conducted by the U.S. Department of State, funded by an annual appropriation from Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and supported in its implementation by the Institute of International Education’s Council for International Exchange of Scholars.
“I’m looking forward to the networking that will result from this,” said Martinez. “Building connections, not individual professors going it alone, forging relationships and sharing ideas. All aspects of my project will contribute to strengthening and expanding the alliance between (Ludwigsburg University of Education) and WCU, with the potential for students and faculty to develop cultural awareness, knowledge, understanding and intercultural communication skills. This project will be collaborative, mutually beneficial and will impact present and future students and faculty at both institutions.”
The prestigious and competitive fellowship allows recipients to conduct research abroad and establish relationships with other scholars and institutions. It is the largest program of its kind in the United States, awarding more than 800 fellowships annually. Over 400 different types of opportunities are available to teach, research and conduct professional projects in more than 135 countries.