WSU Magazine Spring 2011 : Page 16

community have given me valuable perspective that I continue to share with students and business leaders.” Ten years later, Shane's brother, Paul Schvaneveldt , an associate professor of child and fam-ily studies at WSU, became a Fulbrighter, as they are known in the program. He traveled to Ecuador to research, develop and implement a parenting-education curriculum. He wanted a program that was sustainable and culturally appropriate for Latin America. LEARNING AND SHARING The Schvaneveldts are two of nine faculty Fulbright recipients at Weber State since 1999. The scholars have traveled from Belarus to the United Arab Emirates, with the stated goal of “promoting mutual understanding be-tween the people of the United States and the people of other countries of the world.” Fulbright scholars are cultural and educational emissaries. “You don’t go to another country and tell them what they’re doing wrong,” Paul said. “You share your experience and expertise, but you learn from each other. You build capacities within students and faculty in your host country. The Fulbright program wants scholars to develop what they call mutual understanding, a sense that we have a lot in common and that stereotypes are just mostly stereotypes.” Paul embraced an exchange of ideas, conduct-ing focus groups and administering 1,500 sur-veys to better understand the complex dynamics of Latin American families. Only after he asked many questions, listened carefully and thorough-ly analyzed the data did he and an Ecuadorean colleague help teachers and school counselors develop a parenting-education curriculum, which they shared with hundreds of families. Paul gave but also received. He returned from six months in Ecuador with a deeper understand-ing of families and a reservoir of examples for his own WSU courses. The same is true for visual arts professor Suzanne Kanatsiz , who received a one-year Fulbright appointment at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) University female campus. At the same time, she had a solo exhibition of her art at a contemporary gallery in Dubai. Her works blend a unique understanding of the Eastern and Western art traditions — a union that came natu-rally to Kanatsiz, whose father is from Istanbul, Turkey, and mother is from New Jersey. Kanatsiz is the only Fulbright fine arts scholar to be sent to the UAE. She spent her year devel-oping a degree program in the visual arts, as well as teaching global and Islamic contemporary arts — a first at the university. Her experience intensified her desire to transcend differences between the East and West. WSU students have been amazed by her images of Dubai and of Arab women studying at a university. “The students conceptualize Arabs as they are depicted in some movies, dressed in rags and riding camels,” Kanatsiz said. “When I share my images and experiences of the Middle East, it dispels stereotypes, which is wonderful.” The work of Kanatsiz and Paul Schvaneveldt led the Institute of International Education to recognize WSU as one of 23 master’s institutions nationwide to produce two or more Fulbright scholars in the 2009-10 school year. PASSING ON THE FULBRIGHT ENTHUSIASM WSU Fulbright scholars have not only become cultural ambassadors, but also have become Fulbright ambassadors. For example, associate English professor Hal Crimmel spent spring semester 2004 teaching courses in environmental literary criticism at the University of Salzburg in Austria, an area of study that was relatively new, particularly in Europe. He arrived back brimming with ideas for three new courses at WSU, as well as with the enthusiasm to volunteer on the Fulbright Senior Scholar peer-review board. The board matches top scholars with short-term teaching opportuni-ties around the world. After five years on that board, Crimmel now serves as the chair of the Intermountain West Fulbright Teacher Exchange peer-review com-mittee, which reviews high school teachers who apply for foreign exchange teaching positions. Top to bottom: Paul Schvaneveldt and the children he worked with in Ecuador. Shane Schvaneveldt in Japan. 16 wsu magazine | spring 2011

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