At this time next year, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will have two of its professors teaching abroad, sharing their experiences and knowledge throughout Europe.
Gabriel Loiacono, assistant professor of history, and Michael Jasinski, assistant professor of political science, have recently been accepted into the Fulbright Program, which will allow them to pursue research and teaching opportunities abroad.
The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 and is sponsored by the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The program’s goal is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries through the exchange of people, knowledge and skills.
According to its website, the Fulbright program is the largest international exchange program in the U.S., offering opportunities for students, scholars and professionals interested in international graduate study, research and teaching.
Loiacono will be spending the Spring 2013 semester at the University of Pécs in Hungary. He will be teaching American history courses in English, as most students in the American Studies program at the university are fluent in the language.
Loiacono’s interest in American history is what first led him to apply for a Fulbright scholarship. He said he is curious to see how non-Americans view the country’s history when they are familiar with only the very basics at most.
“I became interested in this when I had the opportunity to be in Spain for a couple of months,” Loiacono said. “Just the subjects themselves of what people are interested in reading about the United States are different, so I am very curious to see what they are interested in in Hungary.”
He will be teaching at the University of Pécs from February through June 2013. Loiacono said his goals are to soak up enough of the culture, history and information that he learns to be able to think about American History in context of world history.
“Sometimes as Americans, we are focused on American history with blinders,” he said. “This is something we are trying to change as a whole in the history field, and I hope I can bring this idea of thinking about how others view history to UW Oshkosh when I return.”
Jasinski, a political science professor at UW Oshkosh, will be conducting research and teaching at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, Austria from March through July 2013.
During his time in Vienna, he teach classes on U.S. foreign policy and terrorism.
Jasinski said he is not only interested to see how Austrians view U.S. foreign policy, but he is also excited about the opportunity to bring home his findings and incorporate them into his teaching at UW Oshkosh.
“This is not something you can just read about in a book,” he said. “To study international politics you actually have to travel and see how the world looks from other perspectives.”
The timing of his trip is also something Jasinski said he is looking forward to. He said with Europe in a time of crisis, it should be an interesting time to be in Austria.
“It always helps to see how politics actually affects the people of Europe,” he said. “This is insight you can’t get just by observing through the media. Something is always left out that way.”