AUBURN – James Groccia, director of the Biggio Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning at Auburn University, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to study in Estonia, where he will serve as a visiting scholar at the University of Tartu, beginning this fall.
“Estonia will celebrate its 20th anniversary of independence from Soviet control in 2011 and its higher education system has emerged as a driving force for economic and social change,” said Groccia, an associate professor of educational leadership. “I am honored to be part of this transition at one of the oldest and most prestigious higher education institutions in the region. This experience will greatly inform my work here at Auburn both in the Biggio Center and in the Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Technology.”
As a Fulbright scholar, Groccia will consult with faculty and administration on programs to enhance university teaching and learning; conduct workshops and seminars on teaching and learning at the University of Tartu and other universities throughout Estonia; and participate in European Union-funded research on the evaluation of teaching.
He has been invited to conduct a workshop on student academic success skills and deliver a plenary presentation on professional and ethical values in teaching at the 200th Anniversary Conference of the Tartu Health Care College.
The Fulbright will also enable him to travel to other Baltic and Nordic countries including Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Finland to learn what those universities are doing to support teaching and learning excellence.
Beginning in 2003, Groccia has taught graduate courses each year as part of Auburn University’s 12-hour graduate certificate, which prepares graduate students from all disciplines for academic careers.
The Fulbright Scholar program is governed by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, a 12-member board appointed by the president of the United States that is responsible for establishing worldwide policies for the program and for the selection of Fulbright recipients.
The award is given by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars in cooperation with the United States Department of State and is provided through funds that are appropriated annually by the U.S. Congress, and in many cases, by contributions from partner countries and the private sector.
The mission of Fulbright recipients is to increase the mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of the more than 150 countries that currently participate in the Fulbright program. Participants are chosen based on their academic merit and leadership potential.
(Written by Margaret Ann Killam.)