“WELCOME TO THE MOST AMERICAN of the American cities,” said Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel at the MOOCs panel discussion event that took place at the University of Chicago Hyde Park campus on Monday May 7, 2013.
The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) is the organism that oversees all the Fulbright programs in the world, and meets four times a year. For the first time, this board met in Chicago, May 6-8.
In order to reach out to the Fulbright community, the Department of State worked closely with the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association to organize a series of activities while the Fulbright Board was in town. Several events took place at the Quadrangle Club of the University of Chicago.
The first event was an information fair that showcased exchange and career opportunities with the United States Department of State. Representatives from programs like the Fulbright-Hays Scholarship, Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, Critical Language Scholarship, Institute of International Education and U.S. State Department Diplomat in Residence, among others, were present at the fair.
The second event was a panel discussion, “Fulbright 2.0—E-Learning, MOOCs, OERs, and the Future: What does New Technology Mean for Global Education,” that took place right after the fair. “We are here to see how technology is changing world education,” Tom Healy, President of the Fulbright Foreign Board said when addressing a packed room of participants.
The objective of the panel was to explore and discuss the evolving role of e-learning technologies around the world and the potential applications within the Fulbright Program. Among the panelists there were Clay Pell from the U.S. Department of Education, Henry Bienen, President Emeritus of Northwestern University, Katie Day Good, Fulbright alumna-MTVU to Mexico, and Shai Reshief, President of the University of the People. The panel was moderated by Laura S. Trombley, President of Pitzer College and member of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
Right after the panel discussion, a reception celebrating the “extraordinary history of the Fulbright Program in Chicago” was offered.
The special guest at the reception was Hanna Holborn Gray, President Emeritus of the University of Chicago and a 1950-51 Fulbright Scholar to the UK.
On Tuesday May 7, the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board visited Northeastern Illinois University, invited by its President Sharon K. Hahs, and Ana Gil-García, board member of the Chicago chapter of the Fulbright Association and professor at the same university.
During the FFSB board visit to Chicago, Stephen Reilly, Executive Director of the Fulbright Association in D.C. had the opportunity to meet with all the board members and discuss his vision on how to move the national Fulbright Association forward by creating new programming and increasing membership.