Director of Global Initiatives anxious for October seminar

Recipient of the Fulbright award, Jeffrey Grilliot, director of Global Initiatives, will take part in a seminar in Germany from Oct. 7 to Oct. 25 to help reconstruct the country’s educational system.

“I felt honored, happy, and motivated to learn more when I found out by e-mail that I was the recipient of this award in April of 2006,” Grilliot said.

Grilliot said he is excited to bring a new structure of curriculum back to the University and focus on research after his experience at the three-week seminar in Germany.

This program was proposed and established by Sen. J. William Fulbright in 1945 right after the atomic bombs were dropped in Japan.

This program was established by Senator Fulbright to prevent another world war. The Fulbright program can be best described as an international educational exchange program. The Fulbright award was signed by President Truman Aug. 1, 1946.

“Sen. Fulbright believed that the way to lasting peace after World War II was to increase America’s understanding of other people, cultures, and ethnicities, and their understanding of us,” Diane Regan, director of Faculty/Staff Immigration Services and Fulbright Programs adviser, said.

Grilliot said through his exposure of traveling and working in 90 different countries, he understands the different cultures and has a different perspective from others that haven’t traveled to other countries.

“I’ve seen the advantages and disadvantages in other countries’ educational systems and that’s the different perspective I’m going to bring to the panel in Germany when discussing the reconstruction of their system,” Grilliot said.

In addition, Grilliot said the Fulbright program has made it possible for his perspective to be shared.

“Fulbright provides the opportunity to faculty, students, and administrators to share and interact with each other different ideas,” Grilliot said.

The process of applying for the Fulbright award as a student, faculty member, or administrator is long and strenuous.

Grilliot applied for the program in October of 2005. He had to complete the extensive application, write an essay and get three recommendations.

And Grilliot was encouraged by colleagues that are part of the Fulbright program based in New York because they were aware of his experience in international education for the last 25 years.

Grilliot said he feels very honored to receive this prestigious award because more than 90,000 Americans and over 130,000 citizens from more than 140 countries apply each year for the Fulbright program.

But Grilliot is very excited to have a chance to go to Germany, he’s not foreign to countries overseas.

“I have traveled pretty much everywhere there is to travel such as to Brazil, China, Russia, India, and so on,” Grilliot said. “I have also worked with students from Germany for the last 25 years when I was the Director of International programs in the early 90s.”

Coming from a small town, Versailles, Ohio, Grilliot said he never got a chance to travel so when he got the opportunity to be a guidance counselor in Brazil after he received his master’s in 1981 from the University, he quickly became interested in international education and affairs.

“My continuance of traveling to different countries has shaped me,” Grilliot said. “It has made me aware of world events, and different cultures.”

Grilliot is most excited to go back to Germany because international education seems very important now.

“The world is more interconnected,” Grilliot said. “It’s more important now for the United States to understand everyone’s educational system and this program will be the start of that awakening.”