UNG professor is Fulbright Scholar

Tanya Bennett is English professor

Dr. Tanya Bennett has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award for the fall semester from the U.S. Department of State and Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

The University of North Georgia professor of English looks forward to teaching in an American studies program at the University of Bucharest in Romania from October through January.

She is one of more than 800 U.S. faculty, administrators, professionals, artists and journalists who will conduct research and teach around the world during the upcoming academic year through the Scholar program. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. It is designed to forge lasting connections between people of the United States and other countries, counter misunderstandings, and help people and nations work together toward common goals.

“At this stage of my career, it’s an honor to be able to do this,” Bennett said. “It’s a chance for me to share my expertise, but it’s also a chance for me to expand my expertise by thinking about it from a completely different perspective.”

UNG also had seven graduates selected for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for 2021-22 and has been named a top producer of Fulbright students four years in a row.

Dr. Christopher Jespersen, dean of the College of Arts & Letters, is eager to see Bennett take advantage of the opportunity.

“Professor Tanya Bennett’s Fulbright selection is another exciting example of how UNG faculty are successfully competing for prestigious awards,” Jespersen said. “She’s most deserving and will make an excellent ambassador. Tanya’s dynamic teaching style will undoubtedly be a big hit with Romanian students.”

Bennett researched Europe to discover where her expertise could be most useful. She is excited to teach about literature of the American South. She also looks forward to exploring the Romanian countryside and the literary history of Bucharest, the Romanian capital, during her downtime.

“It’s a country with a complicated history,” Bennett said. “Romanians struggle with some of the same types of human rights issues we have struggled with in the U.S. South.”

Bennett is no stranger to international experiences as a UNG faculty member. She has led study abroad trips to the United Kingdom, France, and Germany and took Honors Program students to Scotland. She traveled to China in 2005 when she was the English department head.

Dr. Laura Ng, assistant dean of the College of Arts & Letters and professor of English at UNG, said Bennett will thrive in Romania.

“She is in a unique position to expose Romanian students to cultural elements that create nuance in readings. She will create a true cultural exchange experience,” Ng said. “As the students learn from Dr. Bennett, she will learn about their culture as well. What she learns there will help Dr. Bennett and the Department of English as a whole create better learning experiences.”

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