The Council for International Exchange of Scholars has awarded Fulbright Specialist grants to two College of Journalism and Mass Communications faculty.
Gary Kebbel, a professor of journalism, will be working with the U.S. Mission to the African Union, a cooperative of 54 African nations. Sriyani Tidball, an assistant professor of practice in advertising and public relations, will serve as a communication specialist in communications and journalism with the Centre for Women’s Research in Sri Lanka beginning in January.
The Fulbright Specialist Program connects non-U.S. institutions overseas with the expertise of U.S. scholars and professionals. Kebbel and Tidball will join the ranks of distinguished scholars and professionals worldwide who are leaders in the educational, political, economic, social and cultural lives of their countries.
Kebbel will consult with the African Union on its draft strategic communication plan. Part of that work will be to advise on creating a crisis communication plan and advising on where and how to use social media as an element of these plans. It’s the second Fulbright Specialist grant for Kebbel, who was a Fulbright specialist in online journalism in 2008 in Pretoria, South Africa, helping the journalism department at Tshwane University of Technology advance its digital media curriculum.
Tidball will conduct needs assessment surveys and interview women going to the Middle East to formulate a communication strategy that will help Sri Lankan migrant workers, especially domestic workers, to stay in touch with their families, and in the worst-case deal with abuse. The Centre for Women’s Research focuses on policy and action-oriented research; information and communication; training and gender sensitization; and advocacy, lobbying and networking.
Fulbright Specialist grants range in duration from two to six weeks. Funding is shared between the U.S. Department of State and host institutions. The Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs pays for the grantee’s international travel costs and provides a payment of $200 per grant day. The host institution usually offers to cover the cost of grantee housing, meals and any necessary program-related in-country expenses. The U.S. government founded the international academic exchange program in 1946.