Two Fulbright professors share their experiences

By Sarah Hollis | 3/12/18 2:19am

GVL / Courtesy - GVNow

For the 2017-18 academic year, three faculty members from Grand Valley State University were selected as Fulbright Scholars: Lisa Feurzeig, professor of music; Brian Phillips, professor of sociology; and Jitendra Mishra, professor of management.

Feurzeig and Phillips were both selected for the Core Fulbright Scholar Program, while Mishra was selected for the Institute of International Exchange and Council for International Exchange of Scholars Senior Fulbright Nehru Professional-Academic Teaching Scholar Award in International Human Resources Management. 

Mishra did not conduct any research as part of the Fulbright Scholar Program. Instead, he received Fulbright awards for teaching/lecturing.

Applying for the Fulbright Scholar Program is challenging and requires an extensive amount of preparation. 

“The application is rather extensive as one would expect it to be," Phillips said via email. "The statement of intention that potential Fulbright Scholars draft is the most challenging part of the application process and an important aspect of a scholar being accepted to the program."

Mishra believes his long history of achievements in the field of human resources has contributed to his receiving this award. 

“Fulbright is very competitive," he said via email. "Everyone must go through three levels of competition. ... I was fortunate that I got in for teaching. I am fortunate to have been given the opportunity for submitting/implementing 'Philosophy & Design of Undergraduate Business Program,' receiving the Presidential Plaque in 2001 from (former GVSU) President (Arend) Lubbers, 2015 Contributions to a Discipline Award and being nominated three times for the University Teaching Award. 

“These opportunities helped me to build the foundation of Seidman school, which I started and introduced many courses to, as well as an HRM major and many student organizations that are thriving today.”

For his research, Phillips is currently working with other GVSU faculty at the Kraków University of Economics in Poland. 

“Professor Rachel Campbell of the Sociology Department at GVSU and Dr. Lisa Hickman, formerly of GVSU, along with myself, are collaborating with sociology professors at Kraków University of Economics (KUE),” Phillips said. “We are conducting survey research on what college students at GVSU and KUE do to prepare themselves for labor market entry other than (taking) classes.”

Once this research is complete, Phillips expects he will continue collaboration with the KUE. 

“We expect publications and continued collaboration with KUE since this study mirrors the one done by the American Sociological Association’s study of how students prepare themselves for the labor market,” he said. 

So far, the experience has been very rewarding for Phillips, and he encourages other faculty and students to apply for the Fulbright Scholars Program, too. 

“The Core Fulbright Program offers three areas of focus for scholars: lecturing, lecturing and research, and research only. My Fulbright is lecturing,” Phillips said. “As of this point, I find this experience to be very rewarding, and I enjoy working with students and faculty from various parts of Europe.” 

Those interested in learning more about the Fulbright Scholars Program, or who want to apply, can reach out to the Padnos International Center. 

“I strongly encourage faculty and students to apply to the Fulbright Program,” Phillips said. “It may be one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. The Padnos International Center does an excellent job at assisting faculty and students with materials that are important to the application process.”

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