May 25, 2007

Faculty members receive Fulbright grants

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE -- Two faculty members in Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Department of Radio and Television are recipients of Fulbright grants that allow them to pursue research and teaching opportunities with scholars and students in other countries.

Assistant professor Lisa Brooten is a Fulbright Scholar grantee to the Northeast and Southeast Asia Research Program. Meanwhile, professor emeritus Leo A. Gher received a Fulbright Fellowship to teach international mass media in Azerbaijan in 2008.

The Department of Radio and Television is part of the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts.

Dean Manjunath Pendakur said the selections bring high honor to the department, college and SIUC.

Brooten's research in Thailand and the Philippines will look at the newly emerging media reform efforts in those two countries. The Fulbright Fellowship allows Brooten to spend three months in both countries, beginning with the spring 2008 semester, she said.

"I'm very grateful to receive one," she said. "From what I understand, the Fulbright Fellowship is meant as international cultural exchange. It's exciting to be a part of that vision."

"I'm glad to be able to represent SIUC as part of the Fulbright program," she said.

Gher, meanwhile, is receiving his second Fulbright Fellowship. In 2001, he received a Fulbright grant to teach communication law in Croatia.

In Azerbaijan, Gher will conduct seminars on media law, policy and globalization, Pendakur said. He will also work with faculty at the newly established Academy of Journalism in Baku to develop a new radio and television curriculum. Gher will conduct a seminar dealing with the social effects of media globalization, and also deliver two lectures.

The federally funded program is the flagship in international education exchange.

The Fulbright program, now in its 61st year, provides grants for college and university faculty and administrators to lecture and conduct research in countries around the world. Approximately 279,000 people, including 105,400 from the United States, have participated in the program since its inception in 1946.