Teaching the World: UNCW to Host International Scholars as Part of Fulbright Award

Monday, December 10, 2018

The late Nelson Mandela believed that “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Thanks to a $201,466 grant co-directed by Watson College of Education’s Amy Garrett Dikkers and Office of International Program’s Jennifer Fernandez-Villa, both the UNCW and American educational experience will be seen through the eyes of scholars from 20 different countries.

The Fulbright Teaching Excellence Achievement Program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State and the International Research and Exchanges Board. It enables secondary school teachers from around the world to come to U.S. host universities for six weeks to engage in targeted professional development and growth opportunities. UNCW is one of 10 in the nation to host the cohorts from January to March.

While at UNCW, the fellows will participate in faculty-led academic and discipline-specific sessions (secondary school math or English as a Foreign Language), technology workshops and gain field experience at local schools. They will also engage in cultural excursions by attending a campus Chinese New Year celebration, watching the Super Bowl, going to Wal-Mart and attending UNCW’s annual Homecoming celebration.

Garrett Dikkers, an associate professor in WCE’s Department of Educational Leadership, has been at UNCW since 2010. She has been involved in similar programs before, but co-directing this type of grant is a first for her. “I’m excited for us and for UNCW students, local teachers and students, as well as our larger community to meet and collaborate with these international teachers,” she said.

Fernandez-Villa, director of international student and scholar services, has been at UNCW for 12 years and received a Fulbright award to Japan in 2008. She echoes this as “a wonderful opportunity for UNCW and Wilmington.”

Excellence in teaching, scholarship and having a global focus are priorities as outlined in UNCW’s Strategic Plan.

The Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement (Fulbright TEA) Program is a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX.


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-- Caroline Cropp