UM Professor Wins Fulbright Grant to Teach Journalism in Vietnam

May 10, 2018

MISSOULA – University of Montana School of Journalism Professor Joe Eaton has won a Fulbright grant to teach journalism at Tra Vinh University in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta in June.

Eaton will teach journalism to faculty and local journalists and assist with developing the school’s journalism curriculum.

“The School of Journalism has always had a strong international focus, and many of our students are interested in becoming foreign correspondents,” Eaton said. “During the past three years, we have taken students to Japan, Germany and India. Our professors have taught in China and other countries. I look forward to building bridges with Tra Vinh University and developing an ongoing relationship between our schools.”

Eaton also is leading 15 UM students to Korea on a reporting trip in May to produce multimedia stories that will run on CityLab, an urban-focused news site owned by Atlantic Media. The trip is part of the Montana Journalism Abroad program, which provides an opportunity for student journalists to gain valuable, real-world international journalism skills in a breaking-news setting through on-the-ground reporting.

Past groups have traveled to India to investigate the environmental aspects of the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve; to Berlin, Germany, to report on the refugee crisis; and to Fukushima, Japan, to study the effects of the nuclear energy crisis. Since fall semester, the Korea team has been reporting, finding sources, studying Korean, developing their itinerary and pitching stories.

“It's going to be a very busy and exciting summer for me, my family and this group of students,” Eaton said. “I’m proud of the collaboration with CityLab and the opportunity for our students to publish their work in a professional media outlet.”

Eaton will travel directly from Seoul, South Korea, to Vietnam. He will live on the Tra Vinh University campus with his wife and 6-year-old son, Julian.

“I am excited to make the trip and to teach journalism in Vietnam. I was last in Vietnam in 1995, soon after graduating from the University of Michigan. That time, I backpacked around the country for a few weeks, staying in the cheapest hostels I could find. I’m excited to see how the country has developed,” Eaton said.

“Like many Americans of my generation, I grew up with a strong interest in Vietnam, mostly because of stories of the war I heard from soldiers of my father’s generation,” Eaton said. “My father served in Vietnam in the U.S. Navy. He met my mother in California on his way home. So, the country plays a part in my family history.”

Eaton joined the School of Journalism faculty in the fall of 2013. He is a freelance writer for magazines and websites, including National Geographic, The Atlantic and Pacific Standard.

Eaton teaches courses in public affairs reporting, investigative reporting and editing.

Before joining the faculty, he worked as an investigative reporter at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Integrity. He also has reported for the Roanoke Times in Virginia and Washington City Paper.

Established in 1914, the UM School of Journalism has trained generations of journalists in print, broadcast, photography and digital media. The school regularly ranks among the top 10 journalism schools in the United States. Learn more at


Contact: Joe Eaton, assistant professor, UM School of Journalism,