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Fulbright grants awarded to four faculty members

by Jeanne Baron

June 5, 2011 | WMU News

KALAMAZOO--Three Western Michigan University faculty members received Fulbright Program grants to work overseas during the 2010-11 academic year, and a fourth has will use his newly announced grant to work overseas during the 2011-12 academic year.

The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 and is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the federal government. The program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Grant recipients are selected based on academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

Recent Fulbright Grant Recipients

Dr. Susan M. Hoffmann, professor of political science and director of the University's Institute of Government and Politics. Hoffmann participated in the 2010 German Studies Seminar held over nine days this past summer in Berlin, Schwerin, and Hamburg, Germany. The seminar focused on demographic developments and how they challenge the social security system, employment market and political system, particularly given the larger context of the recent global financial crisis and the German government's response to it.

Albert LaVergne, professor of art and the University's sculpture area coordinator. LaVergne received a Fulbright Lecturing/Research award to spend 10 months at Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria beginning in January 2012. His research and teaching will involve a comparative analysis of traditional and contemporary Yourba sculpture processes and his own unique metal style of fabricating sculptures.

Dr. William McCarty, professor emeritus of finance and commercial law. McCarty received a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach business ethics at Moldova State University in Chisinau, Moldova, from September through December 2010. Before retiring from WMU in 2006, he co-authored several textbooks, wrote numerous articles for legal and international business journals, and led various seminars for college business students in Europe and Asia.

Dr. Carl Ratner, associate professor of music and director of the University's opera program. Ratner received a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture and conduct research at the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music in the Russian Federation from Sept. 15 to Dec 15, 2010. He lectured, coached Russian student vocalists, staged an American opera in concert and gave master classes as well as prepared, performed and recorded a recital of songs by Russian and Russian-American composers.