WIU Management Professor Named Fulbright Scholar to Romania
March 25, 2013
MACOMB, IL - A chance meeting at an educational conference and years of dedicated research and teaching have brought a Western Illinois University faculty member the second Fulbright Scholarship in one year.
WIU Management Professor Joe Dobson has been awarded the prestigious honor from the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. WIU Agriculture Professor John Carlson was named a Fulbright Scholar in 2012.
The award will allow Dobson to spend the Spring 2014 semester in Romania teaching management classes, including principles of management and advanced organizational behavior, at the University of Babes-Bolyai. The Romanian university has 50,000 students, and classes are taught in Romanian, Hungarian and English.
"I was already going to be on sabbatical during that time and I really wanted to teach in Eastern Europe," Dobson said.
At a teaching conference in Canada over the summer, Dobson met two Romanian professors who teach at American universities and discussed his interest in Eastern Europe. The two professors put Dobson in contact with a Romanian professor; the result was an invitation to teach at Babes-Bolyai.
"I had to send my syllabus, and they came back with the invitation," Dobson said. "But they said, 'We can't afford to pay you,' and they suggested I apply for a Fulbright award."
After completing the necessary paperwork and submitting an essay, Dobson was notified in late 2012 that he had made the Fulbright Board's first cut for finalists. Then, in late February, he received a letter notifying him he had been named a Fulbright Scholar.
Dobson said Babes-Bolyai officials were particularly interested in his classroom work because WIU's College of Business and Technology is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
"They want to see the teaching methods and curriculums of an AACSB business college, and I am always interested to hear a different culture's take on things," he said.
The Fulbright award will help pay for Dobson's airfare, housing and a living expense stipend while he is in Romania from February – June 2014.
He said he looks forward to examining the teaching culture in Romania, including the style of business that is taught in the Romanian classrooms. He also is excited to travel in the region, including exploring areas such as Transylvania. Dobson has made several trips to Europe during 10- to 14-day teaching travels with WIU students to London and Paris, but he has always had a desire to visit Eastern Europe.
"Everything just fell into place," Dobson said. "I was pleasantly surprised when I received the Fulbright letter, I was very honored. The Fulbright Scholarship shows that there is support for cross-cultural exchanges."
The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Program was developed by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State. Since the program began nearly 60 years ago more than 300,000 Fulbright Scholars have been named to study and teach in over 150 countries.
For more information about the Fulbright program, visit fulbright.state.gov.