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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)October 29, 2003

(Mahwah) – Kathleen Sunshine, a professor of communications at Ramapo College of New Jersey, has received a Fulbright Senior Specialists grant in Communications and Journalism at Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. The Fulbright Senior Specialists Program offers two- to six-week grants to leading U.S. academics and professionals to support curricular and faculty development and institutional planning at academic institutions in 140 countries.

Sunshine will spend two and a half weeks at the university. Chulalongkorn is the premier university in Thailand,” she says. I’ll be working with faculty in the School of Foreign Languages to develop a media writing and a creative writing curriculum; it’s essentially a writing program.”

Another aspect of Sunshine’s grant is to conduct seminars with senior students. She believes working with the students there will be similar to how she conducts her classes at Ramapo, with modifications due to a different educational system. The students and faculty there are developing writing skills in a foreign language – English,” she continues. Together, we’ll develop the courses and the skills needed to teach media and creative writing.”

Sunshine expects the trip will enrich her teaching methods. It will provide an experiential opportunity allowing me to share information about another country and culture with my students. The opportunity offers an aesthetic, emotionally, intellectually and culturally different perspective. Any experience dealing with another culture’s education system enriches your perspective as an educator. It affects the context of your political and social world.”

On a personal note, Sunshine believes the time spent in Bangkok will be a test of her coping skills, both intellectually and socially. There I have to navigate another society through work, not as a tourist. I’ll be living at the university and have a great opportunity to live and work with the students and faculty. I’ll experience the culture from the inside, not the outside.”

Communications and journalism is one of more than 15 professional fields in which grants are awarded. Candidates are chosen from a roster of specialists in a variety of fields through an application process. Applicants recommended by peer review committees and approved by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board become candidates for the Senior Specialists awards. Requests for a specialist are made by foreign academic institutions.

Awardees engage in a variety of activities such as conducting needs assessments, surveys, institutional or programmatic research; presenting lectures at graduate and undergraduate levels; participating in seminars or workshops; conducting teacher training programs; and developing or assessing academic curricula.

Created to complement the traditional Fulbright Scholar Program started in 1946, the Senior Specialists Program aims to increase the number of faculty and professionals who have the opportunity to go abroad on a Fulbright.

The Fulbright Scholar Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and managed by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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