What travel offers to teach us

A few weeks ago, I learned that I’ve been selected for a Fulbright grant to pursue research internationally for the academic year 2022-23. I applied for this specific award, the Fulbright Canada Distinguished Research Chair in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, back in September of 2021, and it’s been a long year of waiting and hoping since then. In fact, I’ve been waiting for many years to find the right time and place to pursue a Fulbright, and I’m still pinching myself over my good fortune. I’m grateful to colleagues and academic leaders for supporting these endeavors.

The Fulbright Program, the United States government’s flagship program of international educational and cultural exchange, offers passionate and accomplished students and scholars in more than 160 countries the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to mutual understanding. These talented Fulbrighters from all backgrounds inspire, innovate, and contribute to finding solutions to challenges facing our communities and our world.
From “The Fulbright Program: Our Mission and Your Future”

I’ll be using this opportunity to follow up on Minding Bodies: to share, observe, and inventory embodied learning strategies, seeking to understand which kinds of activities work reliably for specific purposes, like increasing students’ sense of belonging or deepening their grasp of concepts. I want to explore how learning spaces, including outdoors, can impact the well-being of both students and faculty. Because Carleton University, my institutional host, has identified sustainability and wellness as a strategic direction, and offers special support for experiential learning, I expect to learn a lot from colleagues who share my interests. I look forward to working with Dr. Peter Felten of Elon University, another Fulbright Canada awardee for this year. I’m grateful to Dr. David Hornsby and his team for sponsoring two Fulbright Chairs in SoTL (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning), a relatively new and growing field in higher education and unique in the Fulbright catalog of awards.

The award will mean leaving home for an academic year to live in Ottawa, Ontario — a lovely city and dramatically snowier climate than Columbus, Georgia! I will dearly miss the daily pleasures of life with Nick, to whom I extend a continent of gratitude and love. I’m excited to find memorable new places we can explore together on breaks, and reasons for friends and family to come visit. For now, I’m waiting to see what Ottawa has to teach me, and how a solo adventure in an unfamiliar culture and environment will help me to grow.

Published by susanhrach

Striving to embrace curiosity, share wonder, & exercise love.

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