Campus: CSU Northridge -- January 28, 2004

Two CSUN Faculty Members Receive Fulbright Scholar Awards

English professor Robert Chianese and educational psychology and counseling professor Janet Fish have been awarded Fulbright Scholar grants to lecture and study overseas this spring.

Chianese leaves this week for Bulgaria, where he will be lecturing in American Studies at the University of Plovdiv in Plovdiv. Fish leaves next month to share research she has done on the cutting-edge preschool practices of a small town in Italy with educators at Catholic University in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Both recipients said they were honored and excited by the opportunities that go along with being a Fulbright Scholar.

“Not only will I have an opportunity to share our culture with the Bulgarians, but I will have an opportunity to learn about theirs,” Chianese said. “Being a Fulbright Scholar truly means you are a cultural ambassador.”

Chianese will be teaching three classes on American studies in Bulgaria and co-teaching a course on adolescent literature.

“I teach a similar course in our department and you learn a lot about what is happening with American teenagers during the course of the class,” he said. “I am very interested in getting a sense of the problems and issues facing Bulgarian adolescents. I am curious what issues are the same, and what are some of the differences.”

For Fish, coordinator of Northridge’s early childhood education master’s program, this is the third time she has received a Fulbright Scholar grant. The first time was in 1967-1968 when, as a graduate student, she studied bilingual early childhood programs in Uruguay.

In 1986, Fish went to Barcelona, Spain, as a Fulbright Scholar, where she learned about the early childhood education program in Reggio Emilia, Italy.

The town has municipally-supported preschool programs for children from ages 3 to 7 which encourage parent participation and a collaboration with the community in developing long-term projects based on the interests of the children. Fish, who has become an expert on the town and its program, will be sharing what she has learned with early childhood educators in Uruguay.

She also will be following up on research she has done on early childhood development centers established in Uruguay in the 1970s by people fleeing the country’s political turmoil at the time. Chianese and Fish are two of approximately 800 U.S. faculty and professionals who are traveling to some 140 countries this academic year through the Fulbright Scholar Program.

The program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. It is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Since the program’s inception, thousands of U.S. faculty and professionals have studied, taught or done research abroad, and thousands of their counterparts from other countries have engaged in similar activities in the United States.

Recipients of Fulbright Scholar awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and because they have demonstrated extraordinary leadership potential in their fields.

Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler, (818) 677-2130, carmen.chandler@csun.edu


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