October 13, 2016

SPA Colloquium - The Fulbright Experience

The Core Fulbright Scholarship program sends more than 800 U.S. faculty and professionals abroad each year.

Founded by U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946, the scholar program disperses competitive, merit-based grants for international educational exchange for students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists. More than 20 Ball State faculty members have received the award since its founding. 

Dom Caristi, Ball State Professor of Telecommunications and official Ambassador for the Fulbright Scholar Program, discussed his experience with the program at the Sponsored Projects Administration Colloquium Series session Wednesday. 

"I've never met a Fulbright recipient who regretted the experience," Caristi said. "That's why they continue to have an attachment to the program."

Caristi has received the award twice since 1995 and continues his involvement in the program as an ambassador.

"Everyone who has done it has something positive to say about it, and that's the reason so many faculty continue their association with the program long after they receive the award," he said.

Dom Caristi, Professor of Telecommunications and official Ambassador for the Fulbright
Scholar Program, discusses his experience with the program at the SPA Colloquium Series session Wednesday. 

Justin Miller, Director of Sponsored Projects Administration, highlighted the various types of agendas set for Fulbright Scholar grant recipients at the SPA Colloquium Series session Wednesday.

"Some people will do more teaching than research and others will do a mixture of both," Miller said. "Every award is a snowflake - in that they are all unique."

Caristi said the application process to receive the grant can seem daunting, but it's well worth the effort.

"You have to make sure you are a good fit for what they are looking for," he said. "I have been turned down before, but every situation is different."

Attendees of the SPA Colloquium Series session on Wednesday discuss the
 application process involved with the Fulbright Scholar program. 
Miller said the program is a great opportunity for Ball State faculty in their research and teaching endeavors. 

"We have a really high success rate here at the university and it's been a great opportunity for Ball State faculty," he said. "Our role at SPA is to help with the application process and administer the award." 

Reasons to apply for a Fulbright Scholar grant:
  • Exposure to Different Culture and People in more than 150 different countries 
  • Prestige 
  • Rewarding Experience

The next full Core competition, for academic year 2018-2019, will open in February 2017. 

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