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Fall 2015 Fulbright Scholarship Informative Events

Fulbright Scholarships for Students
Students are invited to learn more about Fulbright Scholarships by participating in three informative events on campus scheduled for 8/25, 8/27, and 9/2.  Attend as many of these events as you can.  The Fulbright Program of the U.S. Department of State connects American students with more than 150 countries by offering undergraduate and graduate students funding for an academic year of study, research, and teaching.  Please remember the campus application deadline is Tuesday, September 8, 2015.

UA Student Fulbright Winners Share Tips for Overseas Scholarships
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 | 3:30 pm | 900 Anna Avenue

UA Fulbright winners will share their experiences and explain what it is like to serve on a Fulbright grant overseas.  Student-to-student, they will offer tips for the application process and answer questions.  Following the panel, there will be a reception celebrating our UA Fulbright success.  Fulbright Campus Program Advisors will be available to answer questions about the application process.  Open to the Public.  To be held at the UA Center for Community-Based Partnerships, 900 Anna Avenue (directly behind the Arby’s on University, near Newk’s). 
For more information and a map, click here. 

The Fulbright Scholarship: Overseas Opportunities for Students
Thursday, August 27, 2015 | 3:30 PM |  258 BB Comer

Dr. Michelle Williams, a Fulbright Ambassador who served as a Student Global Health Researcher in 2011, will speak about the Fulbright Scholarship.  She will explain how to apply.  Everyone is invited to hear about Fulbright Overseas Scholarship Opportunities for Students.
For more information, click here.

How to Win a Fulbright Scholarship to Go Abroad for a Yea
Wednesday, September 2, 2015 | 3:30 PM | 3108 Ferguson Student Center

UA Student Fulbright Winners will share secrets for a successful Fulbright application.  Everyone is welcome to come and learn about Fulbright opportunities.  Campus Fulbright Program Advisors will be present to answer questions about the application process.
For more information, click here.


TUSCALOOSA "” The University of Alabama is hosting an international gathering that begins this Sunday of university faculty, staff, students and community partners engaged in research that brings community and academic leaders together to solve problems and promote change.

Some 550 delegates are expected at the National Outreach Scholarship Conference (NOSC), Sunday through Wednesday [Sept. 30"“Oct. 3]. Some 75 colleges and universities in 35 states, Canada and Africa will develop the theme "Partner. Inspire. Change."

All sessions will be at the Bryant Conference Center unless otherwise stated.

NOSC 2012 will focus on an integrated approach to higher education known as engagement scholarship that combines teaching and research to solve critical problems through campus-community partnerships.

"This is a great opportunity to host one of the most powerful events in higher education today, as University faculty, staff, students and community partners explore best practices in working together to solve critical problems our communities face," said UA President Guy Bailey. "We look forward to welcoming the engaged scholarship community to our campus."

Following several pre-conference events over the weekend, Bailey will welcomes delegates at 2 p.m., Monday in Sellers Auditorium. In the opening plenary, a panel of current and former university presidents will take stock of engagement scholarship as currently practiced. On the panel will be President Bailey; Dr. David Wilson, president, Morgan State University; Dr. William Muse of the Kettering Foundation, former president, Auburn University; and Dr. Lee T. Todd Jr., former president, University of Kentucky.

At 3 p.m. Monday in Sellers Auditorium there will be a homecoming for keynote speaker James Joseph, former U.S. ambassador to South Africa who taught at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa and was a local civil rights leader in the 1960s. Today, he is public policy professor and founder of the United States-Southern Africa Center for Leadership and Public Values at Duke University. His address: "The Civic Engagement Imperative: Higher Education and the Public Good."

As host and a founding member of NOSC, UA has a tradition of using its resources to help communities at home and abroad solve problems, said Dr. Samory T. Pruitt, UA vice president for community affairs and a founding member of the NOSC Board of Directors.

"UA brings benefits to the state through initiatives that include automobile industry development, rural health research and delivery, and improving opportunities for minorities and women in business and in the mass media," Pruitt said.

Through its small grants program, UA has launched scores of projects leading to additional research funding in excess of $5 million in science, medicine, education, library studies, engineering and the arts.

"Scholars at research universities use internal initiatives to go after external resources to expand their studies and consequently add to society's body of knowledge," Pruitt said. "This process adds to our students' learning, our faculty's resources, and improvements in the communities with whom we form partnerships."

This year's meeting will feature some 234 research presentations in 89 concurrent sessions in three tracks "” faculty/staff, students, and community partners. Some 63 research proposals are from UA and Auburn University faculty, staff and students or their community partners.

"By bringing this important international conference to Alabama, these two great institutions will showcase our progress in science, engineering, the arts, social sciences and the humanities," Pruitt said.

Janet Griffith, UA assistant provost, and Dr. Ed Mullins, director of research and communication for the Center for Community-Based Partnerships, along with Dr. Chippewa Thomas, Auburn University's director of faculty engagement, are members of the NOSC Leadership Committee, which planned the conference.

As host, UA will treat participants to local flavor by serving Alabama food and providing specially made conference bags created by the seamstresses of Black Belt Designs of York.

The two universities will co-sponsor "Barbecue, Blues, and Blue Jeans," featuring the Alabama Blues Project, a Tuscaloosa-based group at 6:30 p.m., Monday, in The Zone of Bryant-Denny Stadium,

Research presentations and special programs show the range of engaged scholarship on campus and throughout the world. (For a complete program listing, go to the conference website at

Other highlights:

"¢ "Making the Most Out of NOSC," for students and first-time attendees, led by UA Dean of the Graduate School David Francko. "” 1 p.m., Monday, Birmingham Room

Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship Editorial Board meeting and reception. "” 3:30 p.m., Monday, Hotel Capstone Presidents Room

"¢ "The Science of Outreach: Formulas for K-12 STEM," Dr. Tuere Bowles, NC State University. "” 3:45 p.m., Monday, Hotel Capstone Fitzpatrick Room

"¢ "A Vision for Aging Communities and Congregations: Successful Aging Conferences," Dr. Michael Parker, University of Alabama. "” 3:45 p.m., Monday, Mason Room

"¢ "Inspiring Generational Change: Reconnecting Relationships to Community, Land and Education on Local Ground: Developing the Life Skills Journey for Children," Antoinette Freitas, University of Hawaii, Manoa. "” 3:45 p.m., Monday, Lackey Room

"¢ Carnegie 2015 Community Engagement Classification Reclassification: What Does It Mean Now? Dr. Lorilee Sandmann, University of Georgia. "” 4:45 p.m., Monday, Sellers Auditorium

"¢ Poster Session 1 and cocktail reception, 19 posters on display. "” 5:30 p.m."“6:30 p.m., Monday, Rast Room

"¢ Breakfast Plenary, "The Future of Morality: What Role Should Colleges and Universities Play?" Stephen Black, director, Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility, University of Alabama. "” 7:30 a.m., Tuesday, Sellers Auditorium

"¢ International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame Breakfast, with Emerging Engagement Scholars Workshop. "” Tuesday, 7:45 a.m., Hotel Capstone Governors Room

"¢ "Bamboo as Catalyst for Creative, Educational and Economic Engagement Opportunities," poster symposium by Dr. Marcy Koontz, University of Alabama, and a team of students and community partners. Koontz has pushed bamboo-related research since 2010, using community-engaged scholarship principles. She is leading efforts to build a learning park made with bamboo adjacent to Kentuck Park in Northport. In partnership with the Northport community, the educational park serves students and promotes bamboo as an economic boost for rural economies. "” 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, Hotel Capstone Fitzpatrick Room

"¢ Dr. Jonathan Scherch of Antioch College in Seattle will also make a bamboo presentation, "From Rhizomes to Resilience: Black Belt Bamboo and Sustainable Partnerships." "” 2 p.m., Tuesday, Mason Room

"¢ "100 Lenses: How Arts-Based Youth Partnerships Transform Students' Lives," featuring UA doctoral student Elliot Knight and his partnership with the Black Belt Community Foundation, UA's Center for Community-Based Partnerships, the Alabama State Council of the Arts, and public and private schools in the Black Belt region. Using photography, film and writing, 100 Lenses depicts the region through the eyes of its youth. "” 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, Central Room

"¢ "Building More Than Homes: Habitat, Academic and Corporate Sponsorships," Elissa Bakke, Southern Indiana University. "” 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Mobile Room

"¢ "Department Heads' Perceptions about the Scholarship of Engagement," Dr. Patricia Sobrero, NC State University. "” 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Central Room

"¢ "Developing Volunteer Boundary Spanners: Connecting Universities to Local Communities," Jenny W. Jordan, University of Georgia. "” 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Hotel Capstone, Fitzpatrick Room

"¢ Magrath Presentations. "” 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Birmingham Room

"¢ "Using Farmers Markets as a Model for Community Engagement," Andrea Mabry, University of Alabama, research findings from UA's student-run, campus farmers market featuring local food, products, activities for children and entertainment. "” 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Wilson Room

"¢ "Living Democracy: Moving Beyond Service in Alabama Communities, Nan Fairley, Auburn University. "” 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, Lackey Room

"¢ "Partnering in the Alabama Black Belt," Pamela Dorr, HERO Housing, Greensboro, Alabama. "” 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, Wilson Room

"¢ Magrath Regional Awards/Lunch, moderated by Roy Clem, executive director, Alabama Public Television. "” 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sellers Auditorium

"¢ "Imagine a Truly 21st Century Engaged University," Dr. Dave King, Oregon State University. "” 2 p.m., Tuesday, Birmingham Room

"¢ "The Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at UA," Dean Robert Olin, University of Alabama. "” 2 p.m., Tuesday, Mobile Room

"¢ "Community Partners and Students: Tips for Getting Published In Engagement Work," led by UA's Dr. Cassandra Simon, editor, Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, assisted by Dr. Jessica Averitt Taylor, Northern Kentucky University, and Vicky Carter, UA doctoral student. "” 2:45"“4:45 p.m., Tuesday, Hotel Capstone, Fitzpatrick Room

"¢ "From the Ground Up: The Evolution of a Partnership," Dr. Elizabeth Wilson, University of Alabama. The presentation will document the Holt Community Partnership, a university-school-community partnership developed to revive Holt's economy. "” 3 p.m., Tuesday, Central Room

"¢ Lessons Learned: Theories and Local Evidence of Successful Community Practices,

Dr. John Peters, University of Tennessee. "” 3 p.m., Tuesday, Wilson Room

"¢ "Shoulder to Shoulder Global: A Partnership for Change in Ecuador," Dr. Melody Ryan, University of Kentucky. "” 3 p.m., Tuesday, Hotel Capstone, Murphy Room

"¢ Measuring and Reporting Outreach and Engagement: A Public Value Perspective,

Nancy Franz, Iowa State University. "” 4 p.m., Tuesday, Birmingham Room

"¢ Poster Session 2 and cocktail reception, 34 posters. "” 4:45"“6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Rast Room

Tour of Foster Auditorium and Malone-Hood Plaza led by civil rights expert and former UA administrator Dr. Culpepper Clark and UA women's basketball coach Wendell Hudson. "” 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

"¢ Breakfast plenary, "Fits and Starts: Visions for the Community Engaged University," Speakers: Dr. Kevin Kecskes, Portland State University; and Dr. Kevin Foster, University of Texas at Austin. "” 8 a.m., Wednesday, Sellers Auditorium

"¢ "Engaging Youth, Engaging Neighborhoods: Photovoice, Narrative, and Critical Geography," Kevin Burke, University of Notre Dame. "” 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, Wilson Room

"¢ "Who’s Publishing What? Publication Patterns in Seven Community Engagement Journals,” Dr. Diane Doberneck, Michigan State University; also, Dr. Jessica Taylor, University of Northern Kentucky, "Improving Scholarly Writing." "” 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, Rast Room B

"¢ "KEMET Academy: A Sustainable Community Development Model for K-12 Support," Cheryl Seals, Auburn University; also, "STEM Outreach from Higher Ed to K-12: Collaborative Partnering," Lisa Grable, NC State University. "” 9:30 a.m., Wednesday Lackey Room

"¢ Closing Plenary "” Poster awards, closing remarks, 2013 invitation by Texas Tech delegation, Dr. Samory Pruitt, University of Alabama, presiding. "” 11:30 a.m."“12:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sellers Auditorium

"¢ Civil Rights Tour to Selma, Alabama. Visit Brown Chapel AME Church and First Baptist Church in Selma, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., joined the movement; National Voting Rights Museum in downtown Selma; walk across Edmund Pettus Bridge, where "Bloody Sunday" took place March 7, 1965. "” 1"“8 p.m., Wednesday

"¢ Tour to Auburn Rural Studio Tour, Safe House, and Pie Lab. Visit Auburn Rural Studio projects, as well as the Safe House Museum and Pie Lab in Greensboro about 40 minutes from Tuscaloosa. The Rural Studio, a design-and-build program of the Auburn University School of Architecture, teaches students social responsibility while providing sound business and living structures for poor communities. The Safe House Museum is situated in a small house once used to conceal Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Pie Lab restaurant is distinctive as a place for people to engage in conversation centering on engagement and social justice. "” 1"“8 p.m., Wednesday

"¢ Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship Think-Tank, chaired by Dr. Pat Sobrero, NC State University. "” 1"“4 p.m., Wednesday, 7:30 a.m."“noon, Thursday, Thames Room

Plenaries Set the Tone for NOSC 2012 Conference

One way to judge a conference is to look at the plenaries, those sessions intended for attendance by all delegates. The word plenary means "complete" and "fully attended." That is the goal of NOSC 2012 five plenaries.

UA's NOSC 2012 planners were determined to have a strong plenary lineup, says Janet Griffith, co-chair of the Conference Leadership Committee. "Our plenaries are poised to be among the strongest for NOSC in recent years. We tried very hard to get a broad geographic and disciplinary representation," she said.

The opening plenary, Monday at 2 p.m., will feature new Alabama President Guy Bailey, who as president of Texas Tech was instrumental in that institution becoming a NOSC member. Also on the panel will be Dr. William Muse, Kettering Foundation, former president of Auburn University; Dr. Lee T. Todd, Jr., former president of the University of Kentucky; and Dr. David Wilson, president of Morgan State University

Following the opening plenary, beginning Monday at 3 p.m., former ambassador James Joseph, now at Duke University, will deliver the keynote address, "The Civic Engagement Imperative: Sellers Higher Education and the Public Good." This is also a plenary, the second of the conference.

The third plenary, Monday at 7:30 a.m. will feature Stephen Black, director of UA's Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility. Under Black, Alabama's service-learning and ethics leadership has become internationally prominent. Statewide eye exams and income tax filings are two highly successful programs under Black's leadership.

The fourth plenary, Wednesday at 8 a.m., is entitled "Fits and Starts: Visions for the Community Engaged University." The speakers will be Dr. Kevin Kecskes of Portland State University and Dr. Kevin Foster of the University of Texas at Austin. Both are engagement scholarship leaders on their respective campuses.

The fifth and final plenary will conclude the conference and feature announcement of the poster awards, closing remarks by Dr. Pruitt, and an invitation from the host Texas Tech to attend the 2013 conference under its new name, Engagement Scholarship Consortium, in Lubbock, Texas.

Veteran conference delegates and planners say that while plenaries are not the only measure of a successful conference, they are often what conferees remember about a conference after returning home and thus play a major role in a conference's success.

Looking at what churches do, what they don't do and what they could do

By Kirsten J. Barnes, CCBP Graduate Assistant

Dr. Michael Parker is using churches to get the word out about his research related to elder care and social work.

Though the use of churches and faith-based organizations, Parker hopes to expand the reach of his research to communities throughout the state.

"Getting churches recruited "” Protestant, Catholic, black and white is a difficult task," said Parker, who is the co-author with James M. Houston of A Vision for the Aging Church: Renewing Ministry for and by Seniors.  "We spend a lot of our lives publishing information in journals and very few people read them. We operate in tribal gatherings and we rarely have the opportunity to share what we know with the people who need to hear it."

Parker believes that faith-based organizations can and should be doing more to assist in the dissemination of information, particularly where the elderly are concerned.

"We're looking at what churches do, what they don't do and what they could do," said Parker, associate professor in the School of Social Work at The University of Alabama and board member for the Center for Mental Health and Aging at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

In addition to presenting his research as the National Outreach Scholarship Conference at 3:45 p.m., Monday, Mason Room, Bryant Conference Center, Parker organizes training conferences for elders, their adult children and church leaders.

He says most people do not plan for caring for their parents; they react to their parent's needs or a medical emergency.

In addition to teaching adult children about caring for parents, he also works on helping elders retain value in the community.

"This can add life to years and years to life," Parker said. "Most academics want to make a difference, but we must translate this information so that they can act upon it," one the primary goals of engaged scholarship.

Another program Parker is working on with congregations is the Life Review Project, which helps the elderly write their own life stories in a creative way.

"This is a chance to connect with future generations and to put your own life into perspective before it's too late," Parker said.

Additionally, Parker is working with the Veterans Administration and its faith-based information outreach efforts to assist the elderly in determining if they are receiving all the benefits they are entitled to.

As engaged scholars seek out community partners, Parker says that churches and faith-based organizations should not be left out.

"We realized that veterans are a part of congregations," said Parker, who is a retired Army lieutenant colonel.

His presentation will incorporate a neurologist, gerontologist and various social workers as they discuss the various ways in which they have incorporated faith-based organizations into their social work research.

Still Not Clear What Engagement Scholarship Means? Take a Look at the Careers of UA's Pauline and Philip Johnson

By Kirsten J. Barnes

Center for Community-Based Partnerships

(Editor's note: NOSC 2012 at The University of Alabama will feature 234 engagement research presentations; yet many still ask "what is engaged scholarship?" Work by two engineering professors at The University of Alabama provides insights into the field, while also highlighting aspects of a sister discipline, service-learning.)

Husband and wife engineering professors Drs. Philip and Pauline Johnson concluded that their University of Alabama engineering students were naive when it came to understanding global engineering. Few had traveled outside the United States; some had not even been outside the Southeast. Those who had traveled abroad had mostly gone to tourist spots.

Members of the UA Engineers Without Borders chapter, which helped a Peruvian village with a safe drinking water and tourism ecology project, are shown here with their sponsors. Drs. Pauline (in pink shirt and visor) and Philip Johnson (just behind her in Indiana Jones hat). Their research has been published in several peer-reviewed journals, with academic and community partner colleagues.


Having visited 99 countries, many of them in the third world, they were determined to do something about their students' insularity.

"There are a lot of places in the world that are much, much, different from the United States," said Dr. Philip, who has taught in UA's civil, construction, and environmental engineering department for 23 years. "As an educator who routinely talks to students about sustainable engineering projects, I know that unless they go to a third-world country they don't fully understand what that means."

The couple are co-sponsors of UA's Engineers Without Boarders and have helped develop the International Engineering Service-Learning Program at UA. Together they create learning experiences based on modern engineering practices through partnerships with UA's Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility and Center for Community-Based Partnerships. In all, the couple has accompanied more than 50 students on international trips to Peru, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Dr. Philip is a petroleum and civil engineering specialist, while Dr. Pauline's expertise is in water and wastewater treatment.

"We started in 2005. I think we've had seven trips abroad with the students," said Dr. Pauline, who is in her 18th year on the UA faculty. "Engineers Without Borders likes for you to go back to the same community to build on what you've done and check on the systems you've already created."

In addition to partnering with UA groups and non-profits in the destination country, students collaborate with universities in the host country. In Peru they worked with students and faculty from the University of Iquitos, which provided field equipment and took part in field testing, surveys, group discussions, shopping for supplies and social outings.

These experiences build invaluable soft-skills (problem solving, communication) while introducing them to the inevitable global challenges of their career path, according to the Johnsons.

In an article they published along with Noam Shaney of Peru in the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship (JCES) in 2008, they asserted that service-learning opportunities developo leadership, teaming, management, communication and cross-cultural skills. In addition, the students grow personally as they learn flexibility, adaptability, maturity, independence and the ability to analyze, adjust to and appreciate local culture and context. The students also gain a global perspective, an appreciation of the societal implication of their work, and the satisfaction of working with a client in taking an international community project from conception and planning to fruition.

Their purpose in traveling widely with their students, Dr. Philip said, was "to do something for the students to help them experience the world. When you work with people on projects and incorporate the locals from the community, you really get a different perspective and feel for the community."

Because these trips are in conjunction with the student organization Engineers Without Boarders, the students set the agenda and decide which country to visit and which projects to take on once they arrive.

Many of the students they get are the very best students in the College of Engineering, and are already motivated when they join Engineers Without Borders, which provides outlets for this motivation.

These trips have career implications for many students. For example, one student joined the Peace Corps after returning from a trip. Another student had her immediate sights set on medical school but instead pursued a master's at Oxford University before starting medical training, where she will focus on diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS.

Engineers Without Borders, which helped a Peruvian village with a safe drinking water and tourism ecology project, is shown here with their sponsors. Drs. Pauline (in pink shirt and visor) and Philip (just behind her in Indiana Jones hat). Their research has been published in several peer-reviewed journals, with academic and community partner colleagues.


The Johnsons say most of the students have the opportunity to travel with them on only one trip because of costs. However, Ynhi Thai is an exception. As an undergraduate, she traveled with them to Peru in 2006 and Cambodia in 2009. Born in Vietnam, Thai immigrated with her parents to the United States where they made Long Beach, Miss., their home.

"On the first trip we were basically surveying the area to see what the villagers needed," said Thai, who completed her master's degree in medical anthropology from Oxford University this month (August 2012), after earning her bachelor's in chemical engineering from UA in 2010.

During her trip to Cambodia, Thai participated in a project to build a water treatment plant for the 20,000 people in the province. "Our first job was to test the water filters to make sure they were working properly and that the people knew how to take care of them."

Although her international background gave her some idea of what to expect in the area, it was still an enlightening adventure. A developing country "is really eye-opening," she said. "The trip encouraged me to initiate a project in Cambodia."

When the group returns from a foreign project, the Johnsons encourage them to develop their own ideas, which helps them become decisive leaders, traits essential to a successful engineering career where failure to prioritize can sink a budding career.

Having discovered that in real-world Amazonian settings that expensive equipment is not the best way to go, Thai and a UA professor submitted a proposal to the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation to purchase a water treatment tester for field use. They knew there was a need for an inexpensive, portable water testing kit that didn't require power, said Thai. "It's important when testing water to be able to get good results right away." Their grant was funded for $100,000.

Not all of the Johnsons' work is international. They and their students have taken on water and recreational projects in nearby Hale and Greene counties and have helped with storm-damage repairs in several communities near the University.

But as their JCES article points out, international settings seem to create the greatest opportunities for learning. "Experience abroad forces students to deal constructively with cultural differences and situations they would not otherwise face," Dr. Philip said, adding "there is no comparison between working in an environment where getting supplies is relatively easy and in primitive environments, where a one-way trip to the hardware store is twelve hours from the village you're working in."

The Johnsons' published research concludes that overseas projects facilitate valuable across a broad learning spectrum, but especially in organizational and communication skills; learning without the aid of formal instruction; experiencing other cultures; personal growth; and expanding views of the developing world.

In addition to their article in JCES, the Johnsons have also published "Safe Water Evaluations in the Peruvian Amazon" (with Andrew Magee, Rebecca Macdonald, and Beth Todd) and "Illuminating Villages and Minds in Rural Peru" (with Hannah Betty and Todd), both in the International Journal for Service Learning in Engineering.

With the ability to work in environments and work across language and cultural barriers, the Johnsons' students gain intangible skills and knowledge about themselves as people and professionals. They develop confidence, Dr. Philip said, "because the obstacles put in front of them seemed overwhelming, but they managed to put it together pretty well "¦ [and] they return home believing they can accomplish anything."