MISSOULA – Mary Nellis, an international student adviser at the University of Montana, received a 2017-18 Fulbright grant to travel to the International Education Administrators seminar in Korea this June.
Nellis has worked as an international student adviser for UM’s Global Engagement Office: International Students and Scholars Services for more than 10 years. A UM alumna, she began a career in international education as a student employee 15 years ago.
The IEA seminar is the only nonacademic Fulbright award, designed to help U.S. international education professionals and senior higher education officials create empowering connections with the societal, cultural and higher education systems of other countries. The application process is highly competitive, and only eight awards were granted nationally.
“I am humbled and proud to have received this award and be part of such a prestigious program,” Nellis said. “It is a bit overwhelming, actually, to be included in such an elite group. I am very excited to meet my professional counterparts in Korea and expand my knowledge in the field of international education.”
Grantees spend two weeks in the host country visiting universities and colleges; participating in briefings with faculty and administration, government officials and leading educational experts; and touring historical and cultural sites. Countries currently participating in the IEA seminar include India, Taiwan, Russia, Japan, Korea, France and Germany.
“What excites me most is what I will learn about myself, and how my culture influences my actions both personally and professionally,” Nellis said. “This is at the heart of what I do. It is my passion and why I love working with students and scholars from around the world.”
The Fulbright Program, established in 1946, is overseen by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Nellis’ grant is funded through annual appropriations from Congress and contributions by partner countries and the private sector.
Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs, university presidents, journalists, artists, scientists and teachers. The Fulbright Program has had more than 370,000 participants, including 58 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 31 MacArthur Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients and thousands of leaders across private, public and nonprofit sectors.
To learn more about the Fulbright Program, visit http://www.cies.org/. For more information on the IEA seminar, visit http://www.cies.org/program/fulbright-international-education-administrators-seminars.