Dr. Cynthia Douglas, professor of St. Joseph’s College in New York, and the Atma Jaya Catholic University in Jakarta had made successful collaboration focusing on the role of cultural awareness in English Language teaching and learning through Fulbright Specialist program.
From July 13, 2018 to August 20, 2018 Cynthia and the Atma Jaya Catholic University in Jakarta had worked hand in hand in running and presenting workshops on culture, language, and English language learning. She also helped doctoral candidates in their thesis investigation, and worked with faculty and staff at the university.
Cynthia believes that the Fulbright Specialist program had provided numerous opportunities to learn and grow in her field of academic research. “The ability to discuss and learn about what multiculturalism has meant historically and present-day in Indonesia presented me with another lens for analyzing this area of research which was invaluable in my growth as an academic.”
She further added “The Fulbright Specialist program afforded me the opportunity to inculcate cutting-edge academic information regarding culturally responsive education within the umbrella of multiculturalism.” Her Fulbright Specialist experience in Jakarta was not solely about presenting the workshops or collaborating with students, teachers, and faculty. It was about learning the local culture and sharing with them as well as about building networks between the US and Indonesia through the exploration of what we have in common. All people have so much more in common than our differences. She hopes that the Indonesians with whom she interacted with will have a good impression of Americans, and see that we have so much in common.
The program gave an opportunity to interact with Indonesians who would otherwise maybe never meet an American. It was a chance to learn the intricacies about Indonesian values and customs. She values the experiences of interacting with Indonesians at the markets, warung, and batik shops. Cynthia also learned about the history of Jakarta and its colonial past through visiting museums. She was in Indonesia on the independence day August 17th which makes her feel great to see how Indonesians celebrate their independence.
Cynthia thinks that the Fulbright Specialist program is successful because when she leaves the campus every day, her learning continues. She cherishes the memories of working with local teachers and students, and of learning from them.
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