TU administrator awarded Fulbright Scholarship for International Education

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wendy Sheets in BerlinWendy Sheets, assistant director of the Center for Global Education at The University of Tulsa, received a Fulbright International Education Administrators (IEA) award to further intercultural opportunities during a two-week program in Germany. Sheets is TU’s first recipient of a Fulbright administrative grant in more than a decade.

“It was a great experience to see what European administrators are envisioning for their programs and how TU can partner with institutions to better benefit our American students studying abroad and international exchange students coming to TU,” said Sheets, who recently returned from the Fulbright program.

The Council for International Exchange of Scholars, which administers the federal Fulbright Scholarship Program, chose Sheets among the 24 U.S. university administrators in the areas of international exchanges, career services, alumni affairs, international student advisors, and development and fundraising in higher education.

Fulbright IEA seminars introduce participants to the society, culture and higher education systems in Germany, Japan or Korea through campus visits, meetings with foreign colleagues and government officials, attendance at cultural events and briefings on education. Participants gain new perspective on the need to internationally diversify U.S. campuses and insight into how it can be done.

Sheets’ selection for an administrative award builds on TU’s strategic steps to increase study abroad opportunities and better internationalize its campus. Since 2006, study abroad participation has grown 80 percent, with TU students studying in 31 countries last academic year. Approximately 13 percent of TU undergraduates now have a significant international experience by the time they graduate.

Part of the growth in participation can be attributed to the TU Pioneer Scholarship, which began in 2007 to support students who are the first from TU to study in a particular location. The Pioneer Scholarship has supported 71 students to study in South Africa, Ghana, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Thailand, Senegal, and Bonaire, among many other locations.

The Center for Global Education is also a co-administrator of the award-winning NanoJapan program, which supports American science and engineering students to work on nanotechnology research projects in Japan. TU is a leader in encouraging science and engineering students to study abroad, with more than six times the national average of science and engineering students with international experience.

Since 2004, Sheets has been managing Tulsa’s reciprocal exchange programs, providing support, orientation and cultural programming to visiting exchange students, and advising Tulsa’s students in their pursuit of academic opportunities abroad. Prior to joining the CGE, Sheets was the program coordinator of the International Center at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She is proficient in French, has studied and worked in France, and has traveled extensively throughout Europe. She has a B.A. in French and Women’s Studies from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

For more information about international educational programs at TU, visit www.utulsa.edu/globaleducation.

Amethyst Cavallaro