Back to:
Current year's news releases
All news releases
News and information home

UW-Eau Claire Associate Professor Wins Fulbright-Hays Award

RELEASED: May 2, 2005

Dr. Kate ReynoldsEAU CLAIRE — The director of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's teaching of English to speakers of other languages and teaching English as a foreign language programs will spend five weeks in Thailand, Laos and Vietnam this summer in an effort to better understand the culture and schools of that region.

Dr. Kate Reynolds, associate professor, is among the educators who will participate in the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad seminar, titled "Highlighting Southeast Asian Heritage & Culture in the Curriculum."

"I am really excited about this opportunity," Reynolds said. "I've not been to Asia though I've trained students to teach in various countries in Asia and I've taught students from Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. I want to know more about the culture and there's no better way to learn it than through first-hand experiences. I want to share the realities of this region and these cultures with my students."

More than 200 K-12 and university-level educators applied for the Fulbright-Hays seminar, with just 18 selected to participate. The group will travel in Thailand, Laos and Vietnam from July 8-Aug. 12, visiting schools, meeting with educators, attending seminars and workshops relating to the people and culture, and participating in other activities intended to further their understanding of the region.

Reynolds was selected because of her interest in Southeast Asia, her opportunities to work with students of this heritage, her professional role and her past experiences, Elizabeth Burmaster, state superintendent, said in a letter informing Reynolds of her selection.

At UW-Eau Claire, Reynolds interacts with and advises a variety of students, ranging from non-native English speaking education students to native English speakers interested in teaching English in foreign countries or teaching English as a second language in American schools.

"This experience will help me know more about the cultures of my Hmong, Thai, Vietnamese and Laotian students so that I will be able to guide them while they're navigating the American university system in the commanding English program or in their careers as educators," Reynolds said, noting that she realized how valuable the summer experience will be while advising a Hmong student who was preparing for a job interview at a local school district. She was offering the student advice with only limited information about her culture, she said.

And as a member of UW-Eau Claire's Commanding English Program Advisory Board, Reynolds helps bicultural students develop academic and language skills to the level needed to be successful at UW-Eau Claire.

"With more detailed and personal information and a personal connection to the cultures being experienced, I believe that I will be more likely to further develop coursework, curriculum, instruction and services," Reynolds said of additional ways she will use what she learns during her travels on the UW-Eau Claire campus. "I will be more capable of integrating CEP students in the activities of the university through a deeper understanding of their perspectives, backgrounds, cultures and experiences."

While the five-week itinerary is intense, Reynolds said she's looking forward to the challenging journey.

"It's going to be amazing," Reynolds said. "The colors, the sites, the sounds, the people — I'm anxious to experience it all."

-30-

JB

Back to:
Current year's news releases

All news releases
News and information home


Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.