Spring 2008 • Volume 14, Issue 2
ILR plans Pacific Northwest trip
Explore the Pacific Northwest on a trip sponsored by Bradley University’s Institute for Learning in Retirement. The trip to Seattle and Victoria, British Columbia, will be June 23–30. For more information, visit bradley.edu/continue and click on “For Retirees,” call Janet Lange or Wanda Lane in the Office of Continuing Education at 309-677-2523, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A cross-cultural Fulbright experience
Several Bradley professors teach and research abroad through the Fulbright Scholar Program. Administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, the program offers fellowships to U.S. and foreign scholars to lecture and/or conduct research abroad. Last semester, Dr. Dharitri Ramaprasad of Bangalore, India, came to Bradley under the visiting lecturer program.
Ramaprasad learned of Bradley when Dr. Christopher Rybak, professor of education, studied in India on a Fulbright research scholarship during the 2002–03 school year. Rybak said, “The Richmond Fellowship [where Ramaprasad works] was my host, so I interviewed people there about indigenous healing practices. They facilitated me in meeting other healers. Dharitri and I have since talked about finding a way to reverse the process so she could share her knowledge and training with our students.”
Ramaprasad taught counseling skills with Rybak and lectured in other courses at Bradley, as well. Topics included India’s education system as it relates to diversity, as well as Indian perspectives on spirituality and religion, wellness and health, family spirituality, and relationships. “My intention was to help students refine their counseling skills so they can work in counseling settings in schools and agencies,” she said.
Rybak commented, “She greatly enriched the classroom experience. She added many other perspectives including her experience and the type of clients she has worked with.”
Ramaprasad led an experiential workshop for students and counseling professionals. The workshop, on personal growth from an Indian persepective, utilized visual, auditory, and physical mechanisms involving artwork and meditation.
“This has been an enriching experience for me,” she said. “I could learn the American perspective on counseling and mental health issues. You have a structured program with very clear objectives and an evaluation process. I was impressed especially with the evaluation process, and I will take that back to India with me. It all was a very new experience seeing the way universities are run. We do not have credit-based courses. The whole education system is different. The flexibility given in a credit-based system is great, but it would change our whole system and wouldn’t be possible. We have not been able to give choices.”
Rybak noted, “Bringing in the Indian perspective was useful for students. Throughout the curriculum, we talk about the importance of cultural context when relating to an individual.”
Visit our Web Exclusives for a list of Bradley professors who have participated in the Fulbright Program.
National Geographic photo award; Professor in national media; Campus construction | Math professors | Artist Bill Hardin | Cooking up laughs; December grads; BU placement statistics | ILR Pacific Northwest trip; Fulbright experience
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