University named Top Producing Institution for number of Fulbright scholars

woman in front of signage at Dublin City University
Dianne Conrad, associate professor of nursing, is pictured at Dublin City University, where she spent a semester after earning a Fulbright Scholar award.
Image Credit: courtesy photo

Grand Valley was named a Fulbright Top Producing Institution for the number of faculty members who teach and conduct research overseas.

In the 2019-2020 academic year, three faculty members received Fulbright awards. Fulbright is the U.S. Department of State's flagship international education exchange program. The number ties Grand Valley for third among master's degree institutions.

Michael Vrooman, interim chief international officer, said it's exciting to see the work of faculty members recognized nationally.

"As a liberal education serves as the foundation of our teaching, scholarship, and service here at Grand Valley, our faculty more naturally establish connections between their areas of expertise and issues of international significance," Vrooman said. "The Fulbright Program emphasizes and values these intercultural competencies."

Dianne Conrad, associate professor of nursing, spent a semester in Ireland at Dublin City University, where she and a colleague from the University of Detroit Mercy assessed the country's regional health care delivery system and its status of advanced practice nursing roles.

Conrad said her immersion experience contributed to her professional growth as a nurse educator and global citizen, and added the relationship among the institutions will continue.

Robert Adams, professor of computing and information systems, spent the winter 2019 semester teaching at an applied science university in Graz, Austria. He gave lectures, reviewed programming language with colleagues and wrote computer apps. Adams said the experience strengthened his conviction that preparing students to work globally is critical.

"Students need to be made aware that their attitudes, expectations, and assumptions about work, relationships, conflict resolution, problem solving may be unique," he said. "They will learn there may be other ways of addressing issues that are equally valid."

More than 55 Grand Valley faculty and staff members have earned Fulbright awards since 1964.