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Posted on July 12, 2013

Dr. Sean Madden, a professor in the Department of History and Political Science, recently returned from Russia, where he traveled as part of the Fulbright Specialists program.

Madden conducted a 10-day faculty development seminar on learning and teaching issues in higher education at the National Research University-Higher School of Economics in Moscow.

There he provided information about ways to combine research and teaching, and he discussed other issues of interest to younger faculty members.

“We looked at a lot of best practices,” Madden said. “They were interested in learning more about how to get to know your students and what first-time teachers should do. Most of them had recently earned their Ph.D.s or were still finishing them and were interested in topics such as good curriculum writing, objectives and goals.

“It was intimidating at first,” Madden added. “The young faculty at this research university are competent and bright, and they expected me to be very prepared, as a Fulbright Specialist.

“On the third day, they said, ‘You seem to be really be good at this,’ and I said, ‘I have the same butterflies doing this as I do after 25 years at Cal U. If you don’t have that, evaluate your teaching, because you may be cruising.’”

Madden is one of more than 400 Americans who will travel abroad this year through the Fulbright Specialists Program, created in 2000. The program “provides short-term academic opportunities for prominent U.S. faculty and professionals to support curricular and faculty development and institutional planning at post-secondary academic institutions around the world.”

He joins Dr. Aref Al-Khattar, Dr. J. Kevin Lordon and Dr. Joseph Schwerha as Cal U faculty members who have participated in the Fulbright Specialist program.