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Fiala receives Fulbright for international educators

May 12, 2020

For the first time since 2004, Flagler College has landed a Fulbright award thanks to International Center Direct Lisa Fiala, who was one of 12 professionals across the United States selected for this particular award.

Lisa Fiala headshot

Fiala will travel to France this fall to meet with representatives of higher education institutions and international organizations in Bordeaux and Paris including Université de Bordeaux, Université de Paris, OECD and the Sorbonne, where she will learn more about higher education in France and discuss potential collaborations for Flagler College.

“Having worked on international programs for more than 15 years now, I am very familiar with Fulbright and its excellent reputation, however, this is the first time I applied for a Fulbright award myself, and I am thrilled and honored to have received this opportunity,” Fiala said.

She plans on focusing on learning more about the French education system and what possibilities exist for partnerships with other schools and institutions in France.

“My hope is to make connections with institutions we could eventually form partnerships with for future projects, exchange and research programs,” she said.

She received the Fulbright International Educators Administrator award from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Fiala is the first person at Flagler to receive this type of Fulbright award, as well as the first Flagler staff member to receive a Fulbright. Two Flagler faculty members have received Fulbrights, the last one being Craig and Audrey Thorn Distinguished Professor of Religion Timothy Johnson, who received his in 2004.

More than 800 U.S. citizens will teach, conduct research, and provide expertise abroad this academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.

In the International Center, Fiala focuses on programming and student services such as guidance for international applications, immigration processing and advocacy on a variety of minority and underrepresented populations’ issues.

With the launch of Flagler’s new strategic plan and its emphasis on diversity, cultural and student-focused initiatives, the International Center will play an even more central role on campus. Fiala said the center’s mission to internationalize campus is essential to achieving key goals within the plan.

“It is exceedingly important for our students to graduate with a global perspective and have an understanding of the world around them,” she said. “Internationalizing the campus is crucial in our effort to graduate true global citizens – preparing students for a multi-cultural community in a global world.”

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

Fulbrighters address critical global challenges in all disciplines, while building relationships, knowledge, and leadership in support of the long-term interests of the United States.

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