KU News Release
Jan. 12, 2011
Contact: Alison Watkins, International Programs, (785) 864-4963
KU hosts State Department’s international faculty orientation
LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas is hosting the national orientation program for 70 junior faculty members from the Balkans and former Soviet republics. This is the fifth consecutive year KU has hosted the program.
At the request of the American Councils for International Education and with funding from the U.S. Department of State, KU’s International Programs office is coordinating the five-day Junior Faculty Development Program orientation. The program is designed to help the fellows acclimate to the United States and its higher education system before they go to host institutions across the country for the semester.
Orientation activities include presentations about higher education and culture in the United States and site visits to KU’s Edwards Campus and Johnson County Community College. Participants also will meet with KU faculty, staff and students, go bowling and learn folk dancing with local musicians. The program ends today.
“Initiatives like the JFDP program have a powerful impact on the lives of the faculty members competitively selected for participation in the program, but also have a profound effect on the U.S. institutions and communities that host them,” said Charles Bankart, assistant vice provost for International Programs. “Programs like JFDP truly bring the world to the U.S. and the U.S. to the world by building long-lasting and meaningful professional and personal relationships between the fellows and their hosts. In addition, as the national orientation site, KU and Lawrence enjoy the additional benefit of having all the scholars together in one place and the added opportunity of engaging so many people from the community as we seek to provide the fellows with a warm welcome and solid introduction to U.S. culture, language and education.”
Sponsored by the U.S. State Department, the Junior Faculty Development Program increases access to academic resources and new educational perspectives and promotes the development of a growing network of academics in the United States and the countries represented. Staff members from the American Councils for International Education, which coordinates the program, will participate in the orientation, along with KU faculty and staff. Mary Ellen Koenig, chief of the European and Eurasian Programs Branch in the Office of Academic Exchange Programs at the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, will attend part of the orientation.
Following the orientation, four fellows will stay at KU for the spring semester to work with faculty members and attend courses in the schools of architecture, design and planning; education; and law and the C-CHANGE program.
KU has hosted fellows since Junior Faculty Development Program began in 1994. The Applied English Center hosted 18 of the fellows for a month before the orientation for language and culture instruction. This is the sixth year the Applied English Center has provided this part of the Junior Faculty Development Program.
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