Richard Porter, director of International Student and Scholar Services, and Joan Goodman-Williamson, executive director of International Relations, will travel to India and Taiwan as part of the International Education Administrators Program.
Two staff members in the Texas Tech University Office of International Affairs (OIA), have been selected to participate in the International Education Administrators (IEA) program, part of the U.S. Department of State's Fulbright Scholar Program.
In March, Richard Porter, the director of International Student and Scholar Services, and Joan Goodman-Williamson, executive director of International Relations, each will attend an intensive, two-week IEA seminar. Goodman-Williamson, who holds a doctorate degree in philosophy, architecture and critical theory, will participate in the Fulbright-Nehru International Education Administrators program in India. Porter, who holds a doctorate degree in higher education leadership, will travel to Taiwan for the U.S.-Taiwan International Education Administrators program.
“I am glad to see two senior members of our international team selected to participate in the prestigious Fulbright International Education Administrators program,” said Sukant Misra, Vice Provost of International Affairs. “This selection is a testimony of the reputation of Texas Tech's internationalization commitment. I am certain their experiences in India and Taiwan will grow them professionally and will motivate all of us in our efforts to comprehensively internationalize our campus.”
In addition to India and Taiwan, the IEA program offers three seminars in five other countries: Japan and Korean; France and Germany; and Russia. Porter, who was previously awarded a Fulbright to South Korea in 2008, said Taiwan was the best choice for him because of his background in the region. It also will allow him to visit some of the institutions in the area that have already partnered with Texas Tech.
“I lived in Japan for six years and have visited most of the other countries in that region of the world. Taiwan was the one country I only visited for a few days,” Porter said. “My participation in the Taiwan seminar will benefit the campus-wide internationalization effort by expanding our understanding and outreach in East Asia. I expect to learn about new ways to approach student and scholar exchanges and how Texas Tech and institutions in Taiwan can collaborate to benefit both student learning and faculty research.”
Each seminar includes campus visits to public and private universities and colleges; tours of historic and cultural sites and meetings and discussions with faculty, administrators and leading education experts in the government and within non-governmental organizations. For Goodman-Williamson, these interactions will help bring about a better understanding of the current higher education system in India, what it aspires to be and the challenges that exist in the 21st century.
“The meetings will include opportunities for discussion and exchange about best practices, policies, potential collaborations or partnerships and how we, as educators and administrators, can best facilitate the preparatory and ongoing comprehensive work focusing on the internationalization of our campuses and communities, academically and culturally,” Goodman-Williamson said. “From India, as a growing major economy whose education sector is the second-largest system in the world, with more than 800 universities and about 39,000 colleges, there is much we can learn and share about education, research and innovation for global citizens.”
Goodman-Williamson said Texas Tech, like other universities across the U.S., is experiencing growth and diversification of faculty and student bodies while also facing challenges due to dwindling resources for meeting the demand for higher education.
“Texas Tech's growing global community presents incredible opportunity in my work with our international alumni and international scholars, our young Texas Tech students and through my work with donors,” Goodman-Williamson said. “I have the privilege to sit at the perfect intersection of change and growth – not only in what we are currently doing, but also in what we hope to achieve globally.”
Unlike other Fulbright awards, which focus on research, the goal of the IEA program is to give U.S. international education and higher education administrators the chance to learn about the societal, cultural and higher education systems in other countries while learning how to serve and encourage international and prospective study-abroad students at their home institutions.
“I love opportunities like this to learn and make connections,” Porter said. “I'm grateful for the support I received from the leadership of the Office of International Affairs in the application process and for this tremendous opportunity to visit Taiwan and represent Texas Tech at the various institutions I will visit with other awardees from around the U.S.”
Porter said he plans to present what he learned to various groups upon his return.
“I look forward to sharing this experience with the campus and larger community through presentations at the International Cultural Center,” Porter said. “As a regular presenter at the Association of International Educator's national and regional conferences, I also hope to present a session there. That will give me an opportunity to share with the broader international community and leaders in the field.”
The program also helps participants create an extensive network of U.S. and international colleagues. Goodman-Williamson said this fits right in with the work she does at the OIA.
“My work has afforded me a view as to what smart, committed individuals can accomplish,” Goodman-Williamson said. “In our information age, attention and credibility are among our most limited resources. Thus, exchange programs that develop two-way communication and personal relations among students and young leaders or international education administrators can be the most effective catalysts for real academic freedom, social change, innovation and openness.
“I'm enormously grateful to the team of individuals associated with the Fulbright-Nehru International Education Administrators program for this opportunity to develop communication and personal relations with colleagues in India. I love the chance to teach and connect with people, and the experience of learning something new and different from what surrounds me. Getting to interact with others whose experience and lives are so similar and yet so different from my own is a dream come true.”