Two St. Thomas College of Arts and Science professors – Mark Neuzil of Communication and Journalism and Edward “Ted” Ulrich of Theology – will travel to the Czech Republic and India, respectively, during the 2017-18 school year as part of the prestigious Fulbright Scholar Program.
The Fulbright Scholar Program offers opportunities for American scholars, artists and professionals to conduct research, lecture and consult with other scholars and institutions abroad.
“Our faculty are well positioned to be awarded these competitive and prestigious fellowships, and they are receiving them with greater regularity, with Heather Shirey in the Department of Art History having only recently returned from her spring semester in China in 2016,” CAS Dean Terry Langan said. “However, to my knowledge we have never had two [College of Arts and Sciences] faculty members win Fulbrights in the same year, so this is a very exciting development.”
Neuzil will be a teaching scholar at Charles University in Prague, where he will teach undergraduate students journalism ethics and graduate students journalism history during the fall semester.
“It’s just a real thrill for me. If you look down the list of people who have been Fulbright [Scholars] before, holy cow. There’s a lot of heavy hitters,” Neuzil said.
Neuzil – whose family is Czech on his father’s side and who grew up in a Czech neighborhood in Iowa – has been to the country several times before, and said he is looking forward to working with their students. (He will be teaching in English to students with a required level of proficiency.)
“I’m also interested in working in another media system for a while. Czech Republic is relatively new, really only been a couple decades or more, so their media system is pretty new,” Neuzil said. “The training of prospective journalists has to be different than what I’ve lived. I’m really curious to see what the students expect, what we can teach them, what they can teach me, how their system is different from ours. I’m eager to meet the people who run TV stations, newspapers and radio and see what they expect from their journalists. It will be exciting.”
Ulrich will be making his eighth trip to India, building on several study abroad courses he has taught there and a 2015 sabbatical. He said that familiarity helped him earn the prestigious scholarship. Over his nine-month stay Ulrich will teach Hindu-Christian Dialogue: A Historical Survey, and write a paper documenting his teaching experiences. He also will conduct research and produce a second article-length paper comparing the development of the views of Aurobindo Ghose and Mahatma Gandhi on passive and active resistance. All of this will take place through the Department of Gandhian Thought and Peace Science at Gandhigram Rural Institute in Tamil Nadu.
“I’m looking forward to just being out there in the environment, in the countryside for nine months,” he said. “My longest trips have been three and a half months; the longer you’re there the more you penetrate into that culture.”