Webster Receives $100k Fulbright Grant

Department of Education grant will fund a six-week travel seminar in Brazil

ST. LOUIS (NOV. 18, 2014) - The U.S. Department of Education awarded a grant of $107,495 to Webster University under the Fulbright-Hays International and Foreign Language Group Projects Abroad program. This grant will fund a six-week travel seminar in Brazil to study Brazilian culture and Portuguese language through the lens of environmental sustainability and will be led by Project Director Deborah Pierce, director of the Center for International Education at Webster.

"Educating students as global citizens naturally entails knowledge of the issues that advance or threaten global sustainability,” said President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble. “This project provides a dynamic international opportunity for members of the Webster University faculty to study with area educators in ways that increase participants' knowledge, inform curriculum and public discourse, and influence environmental commitments worldwide.”

The goal of the GPA short-term project is to provide grants to support overseas training, research, and curriculum development in modern foreign languages and area studies for teachers, students, and faculty engaged in a common endeavor. For this project, Pierce will lead a team of Webster faculty and area high school teachers to several locations in Brazil where they will address critical issues in environmental sustainability, such as industrial pollution, landfill usage, and sustainable agriculture while also participating in rigorous Portuguese language immersion and lessons. Upon their return, participants will write model lesson plans, design curricular modules, incorporate what they learn in existing or new courses dealing with environmental sustainability, and share their experiences at public events.

“The intent of the project is for our team to become more aware of environmental issues that affect the rest of the world and to bring those issues back to the classroom at home,” Pierce said. “Those traveling on this project will work on lesson plans and research projects directly related to the environmental issues we’re studying so that this project will have an impact beyond our period overseas. In addition, the goal is to increase Portuguese language skills amongst participants.”

A total of 10 teachers from area schools will be selected to participate in the project which will take place in the summer of 2015. 

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