LSC Professors Honored With Opportunity
Published: Friday, May 4, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 3, 2012 21:05
One professor’s initial reaction was, “Oh, f**k”, while the other professor screamed, cried, and then called her son in New York, who automatically thought somebody had died.
Within the year, China and India will play host to part of the Lyndon State community as English professor Dan Williams and human services professor Margaret Sherrer have been named Fulbright scholars.
After applying in August, Williams just recently received the news that he would be teaching in China for ten months and hopes to be placed at the Xi’an International Studies University.
“The weird thing about this was I read it in an email at 7 p.m., but it had been in my email system since 12:30 p.m.,” said Williams. “I just missed it. Ever since they told us the selection would be between March and May, every day I was obsessively looking at my email. I’d do this all the time and I’d run to the Post Office before it closed and see if there was a letter. And then on the day it actually came, I just over looked it until, just by accident, I was going through emails at 7 p.m.”
Williams said that he got the idea of traveling to China from a presentation made by Dean of Academic and student affairs, Donna Dalton, when she returned from a trip abroad. Dalton said that the college she had visited taught their journalism program in English.
“That just made a light bulb go off in my head or something,” Williams said. At that point, the idea of an exchange between Xi’an and Lyndon was suggested and Williams was put in contact with the university’s newspaper editor.
“We started emailing back and forth, exchanging copies of our papers, the Critic for PACE, gave each other feedback, and that sort of blossomed. It’s just been a cool relationship.”
Williams’ interest in traveling abroad and desire to go to Asia contributed to his decision to teach in China, but he worries about the language barrier.
“It (Chinese) is really different from the languages I’ve learned before. That will be a challenge.”
Williams is unsure of who will take his spot at LSC while he is in China, but he is not worried.
“The Critic will be fine. With the editor for next year, the Critic will prosper. I think the journalism program will be fine too,” said Williams. “The way you can tell if you’re successful is if you know things would run fine if you were run over by a truck. I think everything will be fine.”
Sherrer and her husband, a Fulbright scholar as well, will be traveling to India in December to teach and conduct research for four months at Rajagiri College of the Social Sciences.
“My interest in India goes way back to when I was a kid really. It just seemed like the right country,” said Sherrer. “India has so many facets that I find interesting. They have an evolving infrastructure in terms of mental health services, and also a much more open attitude toward death and dying.”
Having never been to India, Sherrer has anxieties about traveling to another country. English is widely spoken, but Malayalam is the language in Kerala, where they will be staying. She also worries about the amount of preparation for the trip ahead of her.
Like Williams, Sherrer intends to return to LSC after working overseas.
“I do intend to come back for fall 2013 semester. I imagine coming back into the day to day Lyndon State world is going to be a little tough, but I’m looking forward to coming back and sharing what I’ve learned,” she said.