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FSU Professor Named Fulbright Scholar

September 19th, 2017 by WCBC Radio

Frostburg State University Associate Professor of Geography Dr. Richard A. Russo has been named a 2017-18 Fulbright Scholar to the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada.

During the fall 2017 semester, he will be a Fulbright Canada Visiting Research Chair at the Canadian Centre for Research on Francophone Communities in Minority Settings, housed in “La Cité universitaire francophone,” a French-language academic unit of the University of Regina.

The award will allow Russo to explore the humanities’ role in supporting the cultural spaces of the minority French-speaking population of Saskatchewan. Russo, of Frostburg, joined the FSU Department of Geography in 2010. He also serves as coordinator for the International Studies major.

“Given the courses I teach in geography and international studies, the knowledge and experiences I gain while in the field will be brought directly into the classroom,” Russo said. Also, he noted the University of Regina belongs to the same study abroad exchange program as FSU. It allows FSU and University of Regina students to study for a semester or year at the other university for the same cost as at their home institutions.

Russo’s project in Canada will look at the links among books, language, place, identity and belonging. Books help create both tangible spaces, such as those created in libraries and bookstores, and symbolic spaces and narratives. These spaces help linguistic minorities maintain their identity. Language preservation and revitalization efforts are multifaceted, Russo said. He hopes this research will contribute to a richer understanding of how a threatened linguistic group’s “textual” side can better support its community of speakers, in this case, French speakers in Saskatchewan. Closer to home, Russo engages in similar research on the Pennsylvania German dialect.

Russo will be blogging about his experience. Visit to follow him.

“International experience is invaluable to those seeking to understand and help address the global and domestic issues of our time,” said FSU Vice Provost Dr. John Bowman. “Fulbright awards to Frostburg State University students, faculty and staff provide the critical support they need for foreign travel, study and research. The Fulbright Program is an important component of international education at Frostburg.”

FSU faculty have participated in several Fulbright programs. Dr. David Dean, professor of history, spent from 1985 to 1987 teaching at the National University of Lesotho and in 1993 taught at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Dr. Phillip M. Allen, former dean of Arts and Humanities at FSU, completed a 1999-2000 Fulbright U.S. Scholar award to the University of Antananarivo in Madagascar. Dr. Hank Bullamore, professor of geography, taught at the University of Turku in Finland in 2000 and later taught at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, in 2008.

FSU also participated in a number of specialized Fulbright programs. Dr. Thomas Bowling, vice president for Student Affairs, participated in the Fulbright International Education Administrators program with advanced study in Germany in 1994. Dr. Keramat Poorsoltan, professor emeritus of management, was selected for a Fulbright Specialist project in Bahrain at Bahrain Institute for Banking and Finance during 2010. FSU hosted Dr. Egon Hedegaard from Denmark as a Fulbright Scholar in Residence in the College of Education during the 2010-11 academic year.

Russo’s experience is administered by Fulbright Canada, a joint, bi-national, treaty-based organization that encourages mutual understanding between Canada and the United States through academic and cultural exchange.

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