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Lyon Professor Chosen for Fulbright Program

Dr. Wesley Beal, Associate Professor of English at Lyon College, has been selected by the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program to spend the fall 2018 semester at the University of Hong Kong, where he will teach, do research, and make presentations to different academic groups.

The Fulbright programs offers nearly 500 research, teaching, or combination teaching/research awards each year to promote the relationship between educational exchange and international understanding. In addition to their scholarly work, Fulbright teacher/researchers are expected to serve as cultural ambassadors, displaying cultural adaptability and sensitivity.

Beal will be accompanied by his wife Courtney and their two children and hopes to make many short visits throughout the region—especially to mainland China and Japan. He says this will be “a tremendous opportunity to bring my family on a study-abroad adventure!”

He also notes that the University “is a unique institution” that combines both the English and the American models of higher education. It puts special emphasis on internationalization and bringing in global scholars, billing itself as “Asia’s Global University.”

Beal says he applied for the program because he was looking for a new challenge and because the University would be well-suited to his current research on the academic novel. “I expect it will be instructive to learn how such an institution understands the academic mission, as well as how the faculty and students there might view the representation of the academy in the American academic novel genre,” he said.

He also hopes to create some international experiences for Lyon students by promoting discussions between them and the University’s students or faculty. He also hopes that his experience will help him globalize his Lyon courses and contribute to the College’s ongoing work to “introduce students to the world in all its thorny and paradoxical interconnections.”

The program was named for Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright, who was the longest serving chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He profoundly influenced American foreign policy, and his vision for mutual understanding shaped the exchange program he proposed and sponsored in 1946. It has had extraordinary impact around the world, with more than 250,000 Fulbright students, scholars, and teachers who have advancing Fulbright’s concept of building international understanding.