The United States Department of State awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholar Fellowship to Associate Professor of History Emre Sencer to conduct international teaching and research.
Sencer will spend 10 months at National University Odessa Law Academy in Odessa, Ukraine, beginning in the fall of 2018. He plans to teach courses in history and political science to a diverse set of students, many of which will be lawyers in training.
Sencer's research during this time will focus on the history of Ukrainian politics and its relevance to larger narratives in the region. The work follows his recent publishing activities in the field of First World War studies, as well as the Expeditionary Forces Symposium at Knox that he organized during spring term 2018.
"My research interests have been steadily shifting towards Central and Eastern Europe. Ukraine is right at the heart of that zone," said Sencer. "The year in Ukraine will help me better understand the region and allow me to focus more on its history."
The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES). The program sends American scholars and professionals to approximately 125 countries, where they teach, lecture, and conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields.
Since the program's inception in the 1946, more than 70 Knox students, faculty, and alumni have earned various Fulbright awards. Sencer will be the 15th Knox professor to have participated in a Fulbright experience.
Abroad, Sencer expects to apply the teaching skills he's learned at Knox while picking up new ones along the way.
"Teaching at such a different institution with more professional aims will broaden my classroom techniques and ways of relating to such a heterogeneous student body... [the courses] will encourage me to broaden my usual historian's view to political science and current affairs as well."
In addition to expanding their educational repertoire, Fulbright fellowships offer faculty the opportunity to network and exchange ideas. Sencer is already imagining ways to open doors between Knox and scholars at Odessa.
"I hope to be in regular contact with a wide variety of scholars working at the institution, while laying the groundwork for interdisciplinary collaboration between them and Knox," he said.