Professor recounts Fulbright experience

Yin Xiao – News editor. Eric Schuck, associate professor of economics, shared his teaching experience in Lebanon during his presentation, ”Kefar, Hello, Ça Va: Living, Learning and Lecturing in the Levant, ” on Oct. 6.
This summer, he spent six weeks teaching waterresource management at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon.
“As you know, it’s not a normal place to go,” Schuck said. “Why I was there was because of an opportunity from the Fulbright Senior Specialist Program.”
The program provides professors with short-term chances to teach and conduct research around the world. Schuck said it’s not a semester or one year-long program, but it gives professors possibilities for multiple trips during their eligibility period. The Council for International Exchange of Scholars pays for travel and honorarium, while the university provides room and board. The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the State Department, and the CIES administers the Fulbright U.S. Student Program on the State Department’s behalf.
Teaching in Beirut was Shuck’s second Fulbright scholarship. In 2006, he spent several weeks developing a curriculum for the Integrated Water Resource Management Program at the University of Western Cape in Capetown, South Africa.
“It’s an amazing program,” Schuck said. “In some countries like Lebanon, they especially need professors from the business and education department.”
In his presentation, Shuck also spoke about his impressions of Beirut.
“Civil war left much of Beirut in ruins,” he said. “During the war, the American University of Beirut has never closed [its] campus, never stopped teaching. They should be proud of it.”
The American University of Beirut has about 7,000 students. Schuck said he was surprised that more than half of its graduates are females.
During the presentation, Sandy Soohoo-Refaei, associate director of International Programs, asked Schuck about the relationship between faculty and students at the university. Schuck said it was connected but not close, although he did get to know students on a personal level.
During the lecture, Schuck also shared his travel experiences.
“Beirut has redeveloped very well; it is the only city I want to travel to again,” he said. “Now it’s like the ‘Vegas of Arab world.’”
The presentation was sponsored by the International Programs Office.

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