School of Business Professor Receives Third Fulbright Grant to Eastern Europe

School of Business professor and Fulbright Scholar Gerald Groshek has spent the fall working with the Kyiv National Economics University in Ukraine, having been selected as a Fulbright Senior Specialist.

This is Groshek’s third time visiting Eastern Europe in conjunction with the Fulbright Commission. He is one of only 400 U.S. faculty and professionals chosen this year to conduct projects through the Fulbright Specialists program, which provides short-term academic opportunities of two to six weeks to prominent U.S faculty and professionals.

Groshek’s first Fulbright grant in 2003-04 took him to the University of Economics in Bratislava, Slovakia, where he lectured on international economics and conducted research on the economic integration of Central Europe into the European Union.

The Slovak university asked him to return in 2008, funded again by the Fulbright program, and he helped the administration assess curriculum and advance reform efforts by teaching an upper division economics course, which helped establish a template for local professors.

While in Kyiv on the recent project, Groshek has conducted a series of lectures on international economics and financial markets for upper-level undergraduate students. He has also led teaching workshops aimed at improving the faculty’s pedagogical approaches and research, and met with University administration to explore approaches to operational and programmatic reforms.

He says his work is a small part of the two Universities' efforts to “advance beyond the legacy of decades of stifling control by political authorities under an official ideology…a legacy that had left them at a disadvantage when faced with the challenges of higher education in the 21st century.”

To extend cooperation beyond the Fulbright project, Groshek has worked to invite faculty from the University of Economics to teach courses in the summer in Redlands’ School of Business. “Our students have benefited from exposure to well-qualified international faculty and our foreign colleagues benefit from experience with pedagogical approaches and organizational styles familiar to us.”

Having now a third Fulbright experience, he says “ it’s encouraging to see that past efforts I have undertaken with the (Fulbright Program) have produced positive, if incomplete, results in the Slovak context that will also take root over time in the case of higher education in Ukraine.”

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