May 15, 2012
Writer: Aaron Olsen
History instructor Shawn Johansen was recently awarded a Fulbright grant to teach American history in China for five months this fall.
The J. William Fulbright International Educational Exchange Program is sponsored by the U.S. State Department and aims to help people of the United States and other countries better understand one another by sending U.S. citizens to study and teach in foreign countries. Funded by appropriations of Congress, partner countries, and private donations, the program operates in over 155 countries worldwide.
In order to qualify, Johansen submitted three letters of recommendation, suggested courses to teach and syllabi to accompany them, and a five-page application explaining his training and desire to represent the United States abroad. A Ph.D. is also required.
Johansen said this experience will help him teach American history courses to international students. "The opportunity to experience a new culture will be great," Johansen said. "I see it as an adventure for my family and me. It's also a chance to serve and teach. It's a small but important way that our government tries to encourage cooperation between the U.S. and other countries."
Fulbright grantees have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs, and university presidents; and 43 Nobel Prizes have been given to Fulbright scholars since the program's inception in 1946. The Fulbright grant will pay all of Dr. Johansen's and his family's expenses while living in China, which includes three round-trip air tickets, a living allowance for all five months, and housing.