Campus: CSU Long Beach -- April 30, 2004
English, Liberal Studies Professor at Cal State Long
Beach Traveling to Rwanda as Part of Summer Fulbright-Hays Group Project
Nancy Sheley, a faculty member in English and Liberal Studies departments at
California State University, Long Beach, is bound for the African nation of
Rwanda in July as a participant in the summer 2004 Fulbright-Hays Groups Project
Sheley was honored by her selection to visit the African nation devastated in
1994 by the genocide of roughly 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
"The opportunity to travel to Rwanda this summer with the Fulbright-Hays Group
is, in a word, challenging. I have never been to Africa before, so I have much
to learn," she said. "This is not simply a tour of Rwanda. Our group's purpose
is a cultural exchange and will stimulate discus-sions on conflict resolution
and peaceful solutions to living in a country so devastated by genocide."
The Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program provides short-term study and travel
seminars abroad for U.S. educators in the social sciences and humanities for the
purpose of improving their understanding and knowledge of the peoples and cultures
of other countries. Seminars are four to six weeks in duration and held in
countries outside of Western Europe.
Sheley's five-week trip, which is under the direction of Professor Ernest Uwazie
of CSU Sacramento, leaves July 6 and returns Aug. 10. The project/seminar theme
is "Culture, Ethnicity, National Reconciliation and Development in Post-Genocide
The project is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and the CSUS Center
for African Peace and Conflict Resolution in collaboration with the Center for
Conflict Management at the National University of Rwanda, Butare, near Kigali.
As part of the 14-member team, Sheley's responsibility will be that of a
recorder/writer. "As a result of my experience, I hope to produce a narrative
and other writings that will be used as part of a video and/or Powerpoint
presentation," she said. "I also intend to write one or two journal articles
about the experiences, especially focused on schools for elementary age children,
teaching methods and materials, and the status of women in Rwanda."
In preparation for the trip, Sheley is required to attend four pre-trip workshops
in Sacramento, to learn more about Rwanda's history, culture, government, court
and educational systems and current issues. The team members will also receive
training in conflict resolution.
After the trip, Sheley said the group will attend at least two follow-up
sessions--one this fall to debrief and another in May 2005 to present its
In looking forward to her trip, Sheley said, "Mostly, I am committed to making
this trip an exchange between peoples. I hope to answer questions about my
country and our lives in America as well as to learn more about the lives and
hopes of our friends in Rwanda. As a student of American Studies, I am very much
interested in how the United States is perceived in areas outside its geographical
boundaries. I would like to know how Rwandans' view of the world and of Americans
is shaped and expressed."
Sheley received her bachelor's degree in English from Murray State University,
her master's degree in English from the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign, and her Ph.D. in American studies from the University of Kansas.
Media Contacts: Rick Gloady, 562/985-5454,
Shayne Schroeder, 562/985-1727,