Fulbright grants awarded to four WMU faculty members

Contact: Jeanne Baron
Photo of Dr. Richard A. .


Photo of Dr. William W.


KALAMAZOO--Four Western Michigan University faculty members received prestigious Fulbright Program awards to work overseas during part of 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. Grant recipients are selected based on academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

WMU's 2011-12 Fulbright grant recipients were awarded a combination of short- and long-term grants. Three have completed their overseas visits, while a fourth is scheduled to continue his international work through this fall.

  • Dr. Kuanchin Chen, associate professor of business information systems, received a Fulbright Specialist award. Chen spent three weeks at National Chung Cheng University in Taiwan beginning in January 2012. While there, he assessed curriculum opportunities for that University to stay ahead of the competition in higher education and engaged in lectures, research and instruction that guided the business administration faculty's development of a specialty focus in business analysis.
  • Dr. William W. Cobern, Distinguished University Professor of Science Education and Biological Sciences as well as director of the Mallinson Institute for Science Education, received a Fulbright Lecturing/Research award. Cobern spent five months in Turkey beginning September 2011. His research and teaching were about secular and religious issues with respect to the teaching of science. He also gave lectures on the experimental study of science teaching efficacy. While in Turkey, Cobern gave 14 public lectures on both topics at various Turkish universities.
  • Dr. Richard A. Gershon, professor as well as co-director of the telecommunications and information management program, received a Fulbright Specialist award. Gershon spent the 2011 fall semester at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain. While there, he taught two accelerated courses, one for undergraduate students on media management and telecommunications and one for graduate students on digital media and innovation.
  • Albert LaVergne, professor of art as well as the University's sculpture area coordinator, received a Fulbright Lecturing/Research award. LaVergne began spending 10 months at Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria in January 2012. His research and teaching involves a comparative analysis of traditional and contemporary Yoruba sculpture processes and his own unique metal style of fabricating sculptures.