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Georgia Southern Faculty Member Awarded Fulbright

01-11 Barbara priceA Georgia Southern University College of Business Administration professor will share her knowledge in economic-related statistics and quantitative methods at The University of Debrecen in Hungary on a lecturing grant from the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.

Barbara Price, Ph. D., will spend her spring semester instructing Hungarian undergraduate and graduate students in required business courses, participating in special lectures and collaborating with fellow professors on applied research projects. Because economic and business classes at Debrecen are taught in English, Price doesn’t anticipate a language barrier to affect teaching and learning outcomes. The Georgia Southern professor, who specializes in business forecasting and optimization of resources, hopes to offer beneficial knowledge and experience to students and faculty — beyond textbook facts.

“The professors at the University of Debrecen are quite outstanding, but many were educated while Hungry was under communist rule and therefore struggle to make the applications within the capitalistic setting that students would benefit from,” Price explained. “I bring real world experience and understanding of capitalism at a level these professors do not possess, and from this I expect positive collaborations to develop. I think we can all gain from comparing our education, culture and understanding of business.”

This will be Price’s second trip to Hungary for academic purposes. In 2008, she traveled with a group of faculty from several Georgia schools for the four-week Fulbright-Hays Curriculum Development Seminar, “Tradition and Transformation in Hungary and the Czech Republic.” Together the group spent two weeks in each country (in both urban and rural settings), learning about their education systems, meeting with local faculty and administrators, attending lectures and serving as cultural representatives from the U.S.

Price said she learned a great deal during the previous trip overseas, but the upcoming Fulbright experience will be much longer and more intense. From January 23 to July 7, Price will live in Debrecen faculty housing — completely immersed in the Hungarian culture, which is especially appealing to her considering her ancestry.

“All four of my grandparents were immigrants from Hungary, so I’m looking forward to really reconnecting with my familial history,” Price said. “They were laborers, not wealthy, so it took enormous courage for them to pick up and move across the world. I believe this opportunity will help me learn more about my heritage, while also providing opportunities to share knowledge, advance Georgia Southern’s outreach, and establish lasting partnerships with faculty abroad.”

Ultimately, Price said the experience will help students at Georgia Southern as well. She hopes to bring back a thorough understanding of a post-communist capitalistic society to share with students.

“The award will provide a deeper understanding of higher education in Hungary and a greater appreciation of the scope of applications of quantitative tools employed by the faculty colleagues with whom I would have the opportunity to interact and collaborate,” Price said. “The evolution of the Hungarian economy will offer a wealth of material for me to bring into the classroom as we discuss economic trends and the effect of changing environments on economic predictability.”

Price is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2010-2011. These programs offer faculty, administrators and professionals grants to lecture, conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields, or to participate in seminars.

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