IFLE Newsletter - March 2016

US Department of Education Newsletter

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FLAS Fellow Tracking Survey Results

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The 2008 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act included a provision requiring the International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) Office to assist Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) grantees in administering a survey in order to track the career trajectories of former FLAS fellows over an eight-year period. IFLE is pleased to announce the release of the first FLAS Tracking Report, which contains information about former FLAS fellows who graduated in 2010, 2011, and 2012.


The results of this survey are very encouraging. Respondents overwhelmingly report that FLAS fellowships have been an asset in their career pursuits, and more than 70% state that their foreign language and area studies fellowships have had a direct impact on their career paths. FLAS recipients state that FLAS training was beneficial to their marketability, professional development, and promotion potential. Employers hiring FLAS fellows include Boston Consulting Group, Brookings Institution, Citigroup, Google, JPMorgan Chase, McKinsey and Company, Oliver Wyman, Teach for America, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Department of State, and many more.


FLAS-recipient students are an asset to employers, in part, because of their language skills and deep expertise in critical world regions. For years, the FLAS program has contributed to our nation’s ability to respond to events in strategically important areas of the world by helping students graduate with strong foreign language and area studies training.


IFLE has always been confident of the positive and continued impact of the FLAS program on the lives and careers of its fellows; we are encouraged to see our confidence reinforced by this study. We are equally certain that support for learning world languagesespecially the less commonly taught languagesand area studies continues to be vital to the nation’s security, economic competitiveness, and international leadership.


Should you have questions or comments on the report, please contact senior program officer Tim Duvall.

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Google Map of IFLE Grantee Institutions, Fiscal Year 2015

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IFLE is pleased to share with you a new Google Map showing our grantee institutions for Fiscal Year 2015. The goal of this map is to offer a user-friendly way to get a sense of the extent of our work and the variety of our grantee institutions. The map features both Title VI and Fulbright-Hays grantee institutions.

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2016 IFLE Program Grant Competitions

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IFLE programs broaden global competencies that help drive the economic success and competitiveness of our nation. We have four competitions planned for the 2016 year:

Fulbright-Hays Programs

  • Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (application available in late March)
    The DDRA program provides grants to fund doctoral students who conduct research in modern foreign languages and area studies in other countries for six to twelve months. Projects deepen research knowledge and help the nation develop capability in areas of the world not generally included in U.S. curricula.

  • Group Projects Abroad (application available in April)
    The GPA program provides grants for overseas projects in training, research, and curriculum development in modern foreign languages and area studies by teachers, students, and faculty. Grants are awarded to colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations, and state education agencies, which then implement programs for eligible teachers and administrators.

Title VI Programs

  • Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (application available in April)
    The UISFL program provides funding for institutions of higher education with limited resources to help them plan, develop, and carry out programs to strengthen and improve undergraduate instruction in international studies and foreign languages. Eligible projects may include, among others: developing an interdisciplinary global studies program; developing a program focused on issues like international business or international health; establishing internship opportunities for faculty and students in overseas settings; and developing study abroad programs.

  • American Overseas Research Centers (application available in May)
    The AORC program provides grants to establish or operate overseas research centers that promote postgraduate research, exchanges, and area studies. Overseas centers must be permanent facilities in the host countries or regions, established to provide logistical and scholarly assistance to American postgraduate researchers and faculty.

Notices Inviting Applications (NIA’s) will be posted on the programs' respective websites when the competitions begin accepting applications. Information on these dates will be posted as it becomes available. 

We hope you'll pass these opportunities on to others in your network!

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My Experiences as a Fulbright-Hays DDRA Fellow: Poland and Czech Republic, 2015

by Peter J. Tunkis, Ohio State University

DDRA Fellow Peter Tunkis Meets Bogdan Borusewicz

As an undergraduate at the University of Florida and a graduate student at The Ohio State University, I’ve always been passionate about my research interests and what I do. When I learned that I had been selected to receive a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education to complete research for my doctoral dissertation, I couldn’t have asked for a better set of opportunities.


An aspiring political scientist, I have long been interested in the inner-workings of parliaments, especially the behavior and activities of elected politicians. We all wonder about this in one way or another—why do politicians do what they do? What makes them tick? The politics and societies of post-Communist Europe are particularly fascinating: rapid changes over the past few decades have seen neighboring countries take different paths towards democracy, some more volatile than others. My dissertation investigates how and why elected parliamentarians risk their careers for uncertain payoffs when it comes to forming new political parties, dissolving old ones, as well as individual defection. DDRA grant funding has allowed me to conduct deeper research in two of these new democracies: Poland and the Czech Republic.


The Fulbright-Hays DDRA program provides an excellent opportunity to engage in scholarly area-studies research for Ph.D. candidates. In my case, I spent a year collecting data, researching archival material, and interviewing current and former members of the Polish and Czech parliaments about their personal experiences, social networks in parliament, and perspectives—something I definitely could not accomplish remotely. I attended a keynote speech at the University of Warsaw by Lech Wałęsa, leader of Solidarity trade union and first President of the Third Republic of Poland. When I met with Bogdan Borusewicz, another original leader of Solidarity and President of the Polish Senate, he had many insights to share from the early days of Polish democracy. In the Czech Republic, I had the opportunity to interview Vladimír Špidla, former Prime Minister and European Commissioner, as well as former Prime Minister Jiří Paroubek.


The material that I am gathering, translating, and organizing will form the cornerstone of my dissertation and additional scholarly publications. I am excited to present novel data on the biographies and parliamentary activities of elected members of parliament since the early 1990s to provide new insights on the development of democracy in this part of the world.


Fulbright-Hays offers opportunities that go beyond research alone, following in the tradition of Senator J. William Fulbright and Representative Wayne Hays’ original goals for mutual education and cultural exchange. Interviews with parliamentarians allow me to grasp the local and national contexts through personal narratives that help define the politics and life in this part of Europe.


Meanwhile, I have also had the opportunity to share my experiences and research thanks to support from my host institutions and the Polish and Czech Fulbright Commissions. For example, I met with prospective Fulbrighters to the U.S. to talk about life at American institutions of higher education. I also participated in the orientation for new American Fulbright Faculty, Student Scholars, and English Teaching Assistants in Prague, working with the Fulbright Commission to present a brief overview of the politics and history of the Czech Republic. Most recently, I delivered a talk about my dissertation to Czech academics, guests from the Fulbright Commission, Fulbright recipients, and staff at the U.S. Embassy.


These interactions have given me experiences that I would not have had without support from Fulbright and the Department of Education. The consequences of my time abroad are far-reaching. The Department of Education’s Fulbright-Hays grants, along with related Fulbright programs administered by the U.S. State Department, foster connections that will last a lifetime—the contacts I have made over the past year will surely help as I pursue my career in higher education as a teacher and researcher. Programs like this encourage citizen diplomacy, foster international collaboration, and keep the door open for future students and scholars.


Peter J. Tunkis is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at The Ohio State University. Thanks to his 2015 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education, Peter has been hosted by the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences. The Fulbright-Hays DDRA fellowship program will begin accepting applications for the 2016 fiscal year this spring. For more information, please visit http://www2.ed.gov/programs/iegpsddrap/applicant.html


Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies at University of Illinois Partners with Lincoln Land Community College to Support Course

LLCC professors Paul Van Heuklom and Ashley Green with UI graduate student Joy Jiao Yang

The Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies (CEAPS) at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana (UI) — a Title VI National Resource Center (NRC) — collaborated this year with Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) in Springfield, Illinois to bolster the community college's East Asia and global studies programming.

In fall 2015, LLCC's Ashley Green and Paul Van Heuklom—in partnership with CEAPS— organized a series of three films and lectures designed to promote "Cultural Values in the Eastern World", a LLCC course to be team-taught in spring 2016. Two years ago, the course was in danger of being dropped from the college catalog because it hadn’t been offered in nearly 20 years. Van Heuklom made the case for saving it, and after hearing about a grant opportunity from CEAPS' Outreach Coordinator Duane Johansen, LLCC received the grant including extensive resources and contacts for additional support. The course currently has 16 students enrolled.


In addition to the monthly film and lecture series, plus word-of-mouth recruiting, other promotional activities for the LLCC course included a hallway display case made possible by a generous loan from UI's Krannert Art Museum,  posters and fliers on campus and around Springfield, and help from the Illinois Times and State Journal Register in promoting the course to the larger community.


The film series exceeded expectations thanks in part to the help of three speakers from UI who helped students gain better understanding and insight into the films. Approximately 70 students, colleagues, and members of the community attended the showing of the Chinese film "Shower" (1999), directed by Yang Zhang. UI graduate student speaker Joy Jiao Yang provided a context for bringing the film to life by comparing events in the film to modern-day Shanghai. Close to 60 people attended the second film by South Korean director Ki-duk Kim: "Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall … Spring" (2003). Guest lecturer and UI graduate student Alex Lee created an interesting contrast between the Zen quietude of this film and the more typically violent films of Kim. Finally, more than 70 people came to the screening of Japanese film "Tokyo Story" (1953), directed by Yasujiro Ozu. Elizabeth Oyler, director of CEAPS, spoke at this event on the technological changes and generational shifts taking place between traditional and modern aspects of Japan.


Brandon Lewis, a LLCC student who attended all three films and lectures, said: “I attended just to learn something new and to have an understanding of a different culture, [and] I loved them! I enjoyed the speakers and had a wonderful time watching the movies.”


Tim Humphrey, dean of Arts and Humanities at LLCC, said, "The partnership between the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies has been a true blessing for our Humanities Department as well as our community. The film series and guest speakers brought some much needed attention to our "Cultural Values in the Eastern World" class. New interest in Eastern thought is evident in the class enrollment. In addition, these films and guest speakers provided valuable insight to our community concerning Asian culture. I sincerely hope that we can continue this partnership."

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K-16 Teachers: Attend a Summer Institute at a Title VI National Resource Center

Summer Teacher Institute

There are dozens of federally funded Title VI National Resource Centers (NRCs) at universities around the United States. One of their many functions is to provide curriculum materials, teacher education, travel opportunities for teachers, scholarly speakers, and more. Through the centers' websites, you can find a wide array of resources: lesson plans, culture boxes, Skype-based classroom speakers, and more.


Many NRCs also organize summer institutes for teachers. Some institutes have funding available to defray travel expenses for out-of-town participants. The University of California, Berkeley has compiled a list of summer institutes for teachers around the country. Information is posted as it becomes available.

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Institute for Curriculum and Campus Internationalization

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Registration is now open for Indiana University's 6th Annual Institute for Curriculum and Campus Internationalization, May 22-25, 2016


This institute will help you and your institution prepare students, faculty, and staff to be effective scholars, practitioners, and citizens of the 21st century. ICCI provides the highest quality learning environment for you to think more deeply and productively about the internationalization of your campus, department, program, curriculum, and courses.


Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Global Change and the Title VI National Resource Center School of Global and International Studies.

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IFLE Welcomes Jadon Marianetti

Jadon Marianetti joined IFLE on January 11th as a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF). In his new role as a Program Specialist in IFLE's Advanced Training and Research Division, Jadon will provide support for universities as they manage and implement Title VI National Resource Center (NRC) and Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) grants for the East Asia, Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, and South Asia regions. Read Jadon's full biography here.

We've Moved!

IFLE and the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) recently moved from our K Street location to the U.S. Department of Education's Lyndon Baines Johnson headquarters building. Please note our new address and updated staff contact information on the IFLE website.


ED's New Instagram Account

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The Department of Education is now on Instagram and we want to hear from you! Share your education stories by tagging @usedgov and #VoicesAcrossAmerica. IFLE encourages you to share your stories about international education, study abroad, and language learning in particular!

Follow us on Twitter @GoGlobalED

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IFLE is on Twitter with the latest from the world of international and foreign language education. Join our @GoGlobalED community of 2,000+ followers and tell your friends! We'll see you in the Twittersphere!

Send Us Your Feedback and Comments

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We want to hear from you! Do you have suggestions for things to include in future newsletters? Ideas for webinar topics? Send them to IFLE program officer Carolyn Collins.


Quote: "The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page." -Saint Augustine

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