Nevada State College welcomes first Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence

August 2014 marks a historic occasion for NSC history students: this month the college welcomed Dr. Eduardo De Mesa as NSC's first ever Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence. Dr. De Mesa will teach courses on both medieval culture and his specialty, early modern European history.

The idea to bring a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence to NSC began two years ago when Dr. Peter La Chapelle was chair of the Humanities department in the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Dr. La Chapelle wanted to add a more international component to the department's curriculum, so he submitted a proposal for a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence, a program aimed at bringing scholars to the United States to increase international involvement at the collegiate level. The Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence (S-I-R) Program assists U.S. higher education institutions in expanding programs of academic exchange. By supporting non-U.S. scholars through grants for teaching at institutions that might not have a strong international component, both the U.S. institution and the scholar grantee benefit. http://www.cies.org/program/fulbright-scholar-residence-program#sthash.92gzrDX8.dpuf

The Fulbright S-I-R is a program of the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The program is funded by Congress through the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES).

Dr. De Mesa is an accomplished author and historian. He has authored two books, and is preparing to publish a third in November. He has given several presentations, in addition to attending and organizing numerous conferences and seminars. He has also co-authored chapters from various historical books, written book reviews and published articles in popular journals.

I m very happy NSC and Peter gave me a good chance to come here, Dr. De Mesa said. He contends that his past experiences in academia have been more research-focused than instructional, and is looking forward to concentrating his efforts on teaching. With this opportunity, I will become more balanced between teaching and research, he said. I am very pleased about that.

Dr. De Mesa has extensive experience, having taught The Birth of the Modern World at the University College of Dublin, and completed a Summer Seminar of Military History Fellowship for the United States Military Academy at West Point.

NSC faculty and staff believe Dr. De Mesa brings a unique perspective to the college. Originally from Spain, he spent five years teaching and studying in Ireland, where he defended his dissertation for his Ph.D. It's a great opportunity for our students to see how these subjects are taught in other countries, Dr. La Chapelle said. It gives them a deeper understanding of the culture they are studying.

Over the years, Dr. La Chapelle and other faculty members have asked NSC history students what they would like to study. Many students expressed a desire to learn more about European history, which is why Dr. La Chapelle sought out a scholar from Spain. Spain is a mix of cultures, backgrounds, and people, and we are excited to have an international expert here to serve as a guide to our students, he said. Beyond Dr. De Mesa's nine-month stay at NSC, Dr. La Chapelle wants the college to discuss ways to bridge/connect with Spanish institutions. He believes the S-I-R program is the gateway to that discussion.

This means a lot; it's our first Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence, Dr. La Chapelle said. It's really exciting I m sure there will be great conversations coming out of this.

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