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Professor of English Awarded Fulbright Grant

Mar 17, 2010

Dr. Jonathan PittsDr. Jonathan Pitts, associate professor of English at Ohio Northern University, was awarded a Fulbright grant as senior lecturer in American Studies and communications in Turkey for the academic year 2010-11.

Pitts’ Fulbright project is titled “The Intercultural Work of Narrative.” From fall 2010 to June 2011, he will teach undergraduate and graduate courses in American studies and communications and lecture around the country on the role of storytelling in relationships between cultures.

Dr. Catherine Albrecht, dean of ONU’s college of arts & sciences, said, “A Fulbright grant is a great honor for Dr. Pitts and the University. Dr. Pitts will not only bring intercultural perspectives to those he teaches in Turkey, but also incorporate rich new insights from his experiences in Turkey into the courses he teaches at Ohio Northern University.”

In addition to his teaching duties, Pitts will research how Turkey has looked to the stories America has created about itself and how it relates to Turkey, which is struggling to write its own history.
“America and Turkey have had a great relationship since Turkey’s inception, and part of my job will be to help this relationship continue,” Pitts said. “I am also interested in the historical legacy in Turkey of its adoption of the American philosopher John Dewey’s ideas about experiential learning. Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, believed, like Dewey, that human freedom was to be gained through education.”

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, sponsors the Fulbright Program, America’s flagship international educational exchange program. Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has provided approximately 294,000 people – 108,160 Americans who have studied, taught or researched abroad and 178,340 students, scholars and teachers from other countries who have engaged in similar activities in the United States – with the opportunity to observe each others’ political, economic, educational and cultural institutions, to exchange ideas, and to embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world's inhabitants.

The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.