Costa Rica native Mario Solís will teach at the Honors College for the 2023-2024 academic year.
For the first time ever, the Texas Tech University's Office of International Affairs (IA) and Honors College have been selected to host a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Program awardee. Mario Solís from Costa Rica is the recipient for the 2023-24 academic year which begins on Aug. 24. The philosophy professor from the University of Costa Rica was selected by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
“At first, I was amazed by such an announcement,” said Solís. “Of course, I was quite happy about being selected in such a competitive process. Then, I felt a huge sense of responsibility and started preparing myself to give my best and acquire the right state of mind to learn as much as I can from this promising and challenging academic interaction.”
The focal point for the Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Program is to bring visiting scholars from abroad to U.S. colleges and universities, adding a more international culture to their curricula, campuses and surrounding communities. Solís is one of more than 45 Fulbright Scholars-in-Residence, and among 1,000 foreign faculty and professionals who will teach and pursue research in the U.S. for the upcoming academic year.
“Having Mario Solís as a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at Texas Tech represents an extraordinary opportunity to foster knowledge sharing and cultural exchange across both institutions and countries,” said Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo, vice provost for International Affairs. “His visit strengthens a long-standing relationship Texas Tech has with the Fulbright Program – the U.S. Department of State's flagship international exchange program – through the growing number of Fulbright grantees at Texas Tech over the years.”
Solís will teach a course in the Honors College as well give guest lectures, host seminars, mentor students, and collaborate with the Departments of Philosophy, Classical and Modern Languages, and the Thomas Jay Harris Institute for Hispanic and International Communication. He also will engage with off-campus organizations such as the South Plains College and the Hispanic Organization of Women.
The decision to embark on this experience for Solís was quite simple in nature but intriguing, nevertheless.
“I have some academic experience overseas (Essex, U.K. for my Ph.D. and Uppsala, Sweden, for my post-doctorate), as well as in my home country at the University of Costa Rica,” said Solís. “I knew well that being a good scholar means having the experience of teaching and researching in new social and academic environments. Therefore, I decided to go through the process and engage in the promising Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Program.”
Solís said students can expect to experience an amalgamation of subjects in his class over the next two semesters.
“I think they can be sure I will impart a good number of ‘takeaways' on philosophical inquiry, argumentation, critical thought, language and meaning, as well as engaging in reflective undertakings on significant issues such as equality, social justice, and particularly on the profound question of, ‘the best way to lead one's plan of life.'”
As the U.S. government's flagship international academic exchange program, the Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). Approximately 160 countries participate in the program, which has seen more than 400,000 people from all backgrounds — students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals — participated since its inception in 1946. Past program participants include 62 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 78 MacArthur Fellows, and thousands of leaders across the private, public, and non-profit sectors.