Women's Studies director wins Fulbright grant

Moira P. Baker

Moira P. Baker

Radford University is proud to announce that Professor of English and Director of Women's Studies Moira P. Baker has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar Grant to lecture at J.J. Strossmayer University of Osijek in Croatia during the 2013-14 academic year.

The Fulbright Scholar Grant, awarded by the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, was extended for Baker's project "Toward a Writing-Centered Pedagogy: Writing to Learn and Learning to Write in the American Studies Classroom Abroad."

"In Croatia, writing is used primarily as a means of testing or assessment more than as a tool to deepen student engagement in learning," Baker said. "What I would like to learn is whether the writing pedagogy that I use here, based on a Writing-in-the Disciplines model, can be effective in a university where English is the second language, class sizes are quite large, and writing is treated differently."

According to Baker, a typical Croatian student is used to large class sizes and lecture-based pedagogy. Baker's introduction of writing as a means of discovery will allow her students to experience a new form of education.

While in Osijek, Baker will teach courses in Multiethnic American Literature and Contemporary American Women Writers; deliver lectures on American literature and culture at other universities and non-academic venues in Croatia; and assist faculty at J.J. Strossmayer University in setting up workshops and training sessions on writing to encourage student engagement and enhance learning across disciplines.

During the Fulbright application process, Baker found her efforts bolstered by RU.

"I wouldn't be able to do this if it weren't for the support of my chair, my dean and Radford University. That's the bottom line," Baker said. "Radford has helped me develop into the kind of teacher I am. That's why I'm going."

"As a director of a bi-national Fulbright Foundation Board, I am particularly aware of the Fulbright Program’s prestige. I am especially pleased and proud that another member of our Radford faculty has been named as a Fulbright Scholar," RU President Penelope W. Kyle said. Kyle added, "This program was created over 66 years ago and is the flagship international education exchange program sponsored by the U.S. This recognition is, indeed, an honor for Moira and for Radford University. She will now forever be known as a 'Fulbrighter!' "

Baker cited key advocates for her Fulbright application process, including RU Department of English Chair Rosemary Guruswamy, Dean of the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences Kate Hawkins and Provost Sam Minner.

"Moira is a great choice for this," Minner said. "I supported her application, and I was thrilled to hear that she was accepted."

The Fulbright Program is the premier international program that supports American faculty abroad. Competition for a grant is considerable, and many who apply do not receive one, Minner said.

Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. "It is a wonderful thing for her and for our campus. It's nothing but good when our faculty get to go abroad and learn new things and then bring those experiences back to Radford University," Minner said.

The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide. Baker is one of about 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2013-14.

Learn more about Radford University at www.radford.edu.

May 22, 2013
Dan Waidelich
(540) 831-7749