This is the first time in Clarke's history that it has had three simultaneous Fulbright Scholars, which earned Clarke the distinction of being one of the top Fulbright producing schools in the country. Alumna Molly Fitzgibbons '12 and associate professor of history/political science Lynne Niznik, Ph.D, are currently teaching abroad, and assistant professor of art history Bryan Zygmont, Ph.D, has arrived in Poland and will begin teaching in the coming weeks. Below are updates from our scholars.
"I am currently living in Madrid and working as an English teaching assistant through the Fulbright program at a secondary school in Coslada (just outside Madrid). I work mostly in science and English classrooms. I've been here since September and will stay through the end of June.
With this grant, I work part-time in the school and on a side project centered on community development. Schools in Spain do not have much of a culture for after school activities, so I am using break times or free periods to organize events for the students. I am being immersed in a very different school system and culture from the United States, and I am already seeing how it will help me as a teacher, once I return home."
Clarke University Class of 2012
"I have fallen in love with South Africa.
I was fortunate to travel for the first week and to see the most beautiful mountains, water falls, rivers, animals and archaeological sites. Then I moved into my campus home complete with private acreage and a swimming pool. The University of Limpopo, Turfloop Campus is huge and beautifully tucked into the mountains.
Last week, I travelled with my colleagues from the Centre for Academic Excellence (CAE) to the University of Limpopo, Medunsa Campus which is just outside of Pretoria. We presented an academic staff induction program and I spoke about student-centered pedagogy and assessment.
The national Government of South Africa has mandated that the public universities implement student-centered pedagogy and assessment on every campus. The CAE at each school is assisting faculty with the implementation and the students through interventions. As a member of the CAE staff, I am carrying the Clarke University Mission to the students in South Africa."
-Lynne Niznik, Ph.D
Chair and Associate Professor of History/Political Science
"I arrived safely in Poland and am currently exploring my new home, the city of Łódź. I've consumed many pirogues and pączki (a traditional Polish donut), and have braved the public transportation both to and from the University of Łódź.
I will teach two graduate classes in the Department of Media and Transatlantic Studies. The first will examine the interaction between aesthetics and politics in eighteenth and nineteenth-century American portraiture. The second course will explore the depiction of family, immigration, and ethnicity within American film. I am very excited about interacting with Polish students.
Classes do not officially start here until February 18th, and I am very anxious to return to the classroom to begin teaching. There is an energetic scholastic community in Poland, and I have already been asked to give lectures across the country. I will visit Krakow to give a lecture at Jagiellonian University and will also travel northwards to the University of Gdansk to do another. There is a sizable group of Fulbright Scholars here in Poland, and a large group of us are making plans to travel to Rome in March to be in attendance during the Papal Conclave. There have only been three papal conclaves during my entire life, so I am very excited about seeing some world history first hand.
I will spend six months in Poland, and I am certain this entire experience will be a wonderful challenge. But if I continuously urge Clarke University students to push themselves outside their comfort zone, this is a chance for me to lead by example. I'm confident I shall return to Clarke a better citizen of the world, and this, in turn, will make me a better citizen for Clarke."
-Bryan Zygmont, Ph.D
Assistant Professor of Art History
About the Fulbright Program
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the US government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late US Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. The program operates in over 155 countries worldwide.