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Rook Fostering Educational Collaborations between U.S. and India through Fulbright

Dr. Stephanie RookWINTERVILLE—Dr. Stephanie Rook, dean of Pitt Community College’s Arts and Sciences Division, has travelled to India as one of 12 recipients of the 2013 Fulbright-Nehru International Education Administrators Seminar award.

Through the Fulbright Program, Rook and a team of academic administrators from throughout the nation are visiting colleges and universities in New Delhi, Mumbai and Cochin this month to facilitate higher education collaborations and exchanges between the United States and India.

During their stops, which also include various research institutes and non-governmental organizations, team members are meeting with high-ranking university administrators and public sector officials who play key roles in the planning and administration of higher education in India.

Rook, who is one of two community college representatives in the group, said she would also be visiting the Woodstock School in Mussoorie to establish faculty and student exchanges, with a particular focus on PCC’s pre-engineering and biotechnology programs.

Prior to her trip, Rook said she and her fellow team members would be responsible for “enhancing the international dimension” of institutions they visit by exploring opportunities for faculty exchanges, student study abroad programs, collaborative research projects, and pursuit of innovative curricular design.

“As representatives of the United States visiting India, (we) will help fulfill the principal purpose of the Fulbright Program, which is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of the more than 150 countries that currently participate in the Fulbright Program,” Rook said.

Proposed to Congress in 1945 by Sen. J. William Fulbright, the Fulbright Program has emerged as the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program.

In the aftermath of World War II, Sen. Fulbright viewed his proposal as a much-needed vehicle for promoting "mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries of the world." His vision was ultimately signed into law by President Harry Truman in 1946.