Fullbright scholars prepare to explore the land of Turkey

Some members of Grambling State University will glance a different scenary this summer while participating in the Fulbright Seminar in Turkey.

The participants will depart on June 26 and return June 29, visiting Istanbul, Bursa, Ankara, Cappadocia, Konya, Alanya, Anamur, Antalya, Pamukkale and Izmir. Major conferences will be held at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Ege University and Dokuz Eylul University in Izmir.

The purpose of the Fulbright Seminar is to strengthen area studies and international education at American colleges and universities. The proposed four-week seminar is designed to provide first-hand exposure to the society and culture of the host country to American teachers who are interested in comparative studies and multi cultural education.

The group will consist of 15 scholars in the social sciences, humanities and education: art, history, political science, economics, sociology and social work. They are as follows: Carol Apt, Gay Lynn Boyd, Karim A. Dhanani, Juliana Barbara Flinn, Vanessa Hill, Marsha Gayle McGee, Eurydice Osterman, Carolyn Frances Pevy, Leonore M. J. Simon, Catherine Turner Steckline, Melanie C. Thomas, Linda Turnbo, Ralph Lamar Turner, and Brenda Wall.

The participants are from Grambling State University, South Carolina State University, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, University of Louisiana at Monroe, Oakwood College, Auburn University-Montgomery, East Tennessee State University, and Covington High School.

The participants met on the campus of GSU May 19 – 20 for a mandatory orientation. During the orientation they were told about program regulations, traveling abroad, how to stay well as they travel, the Islamic faith and the Qur’an, and the Turkish culture. Also, they received helpful tips from someone who had traveled to Turkey and Oner Moral, a native of Turkey.

According to Francis Abraham, who started GSU’s program, GSU was the first small school and HBCU to participate in the Fulbright program. GSU received its first full grant in 1974.

The project director of Fulbright Seminar is Subhadra Abraham, an associate professor of psychology at GSU.

Since the primary purpose of the project is to learn as much as possible about the peoples and cultures of the host country, the program will include the following:

n a series of lectures by host country scholars on the nation, its history, cultural heritage, political system, educational system, marriage and family, religion, economic development, ethnic groups, language and literature, art and architecture, etc.

n visits to various universities and other cultural centers for informal meetings; and

n educational tours to major cities and townships.

The program is an interdisciplinary seminar designed to enhance and enrich multicultural and international studies on the campuses of American colleges and universities. The key objectives are to develop an appreciation of the cultural heritage of the people, develop comprehensive curriculum units, and gather teaching materials and learning packages.

Participants are required to develop a curriculum module on a theme of their choice. When they return to their campus, participants are expected to integrate their knowledge and experience into the courses they teach as well as revise existing curriculum and develop new programs of study.

It is hoped that components of culture as well as information on social, economic and political situation will be integrated into courses in sociology, history, political science and other areas. We are also interested in exploring opportunities for faculty and student exchange and other collaborative programs. This will definitely lead to a better understanding between the people of the two countries.