Professor Joanne M. Lisosky has been awarded with two Fulbright awards, completing programs –in 2003 in Kampala, Uganda at Makerere University and 2011 in Baku, Azerbaijan at Baku Slavic University. Now, Lisosky is amidst a three-year term reviewing applications of Fulbright hopefuls.
During her time in Baku, she was immersed in the community and worked closely with the US Embassy; when the State Department asked for recommendations for reviewers, the Embassy in Baku submitted her name. When she was offered the appointment, she said “yes”.
Hundreds of faculty from around the country peer review applications for the Fulbright Program. Lisosky is assigned to Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Along with two colleagues from other universities, they review applications for Fulbright faculty teaching and research appointments to Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia.
This year they reviewed more than 90 applications, about the same number as the year before. The applications come to her electronically in late August, then she combs through them looking for applicants that are a good fit for the country and assignment.
“It’s really a blast reviewing the work of my fellow Fulbright hopefuls,” Lisosky says. “I’ve picked up a slew of knowledge about some of the most current revelations in the fields of medicine, literature, computer science and a host of other disciplines.”
The candidates recommended in the peer review are considered for awards to more than 130 programs around the world. The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, appointed by the U.S. president, makes the final selection of candidates.
Along with her two Fulbright awards, Lisosky has taken her teaching on the road by leading more than 120 students on communication study abroad courses to Australia, Switzerland and Uganda. She has served as a freelance journalist at the UN in Geneva, an academic consultant to UNESCO in Nairobi.
Her book, “War on Words: Who Should Protect Journalists?” was published in 2011 after her last Fulbright appointment.
Today, there is no limit on how many Fulbrights one person can receive in a lifetime, (it used to be just two), and there is no limit as to how often you can serve (formerly a five-year gap was required between Fulbrights).
“I am in the throes of trying to get my husband to join me on a Fulbright the year we retire… wish me luck!” Lisosky says.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.