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NEWS

Texas Professor Earns Fulbright Grant to Research Buddhism in Taiwan

From angelo.edu

Dr. Laurence Musgrove, an English professor at Angelo State University (ASU) in West Texas, has received funding from the 2023 Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program to conduct research on Buddhism’s role in teaching and learning English in Taiwan this summer. The grant will cover travel and lodging expenses as Musgrove spends four weeks participating in the seminar “Global Issues Animating Taiwan.”

Originally scheduled for the summer of 2020, the program was postponed to 2023 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the US Department of Education, this forum, run by the International and Foreign Language Education Office, seeks to “introduce participants to Taiwan’s rich cultural heritage through meetings with academic scholars, business leaders, and politically active citizens. Seminar participants will be introduced to the country’s current and future priorities, such as innovation, education reform, immigration, and sustainability.” (U.S. Department of Education)

Musgrove and fellow seminar participants will undergo a four-week virtual pre-departure orientation administered by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies at George Washington University before setting off for Taiwan. Once in Taiwan, they will attend lectures and take part in a number of immersive experiences to gain first-hand familiarity with the culture of Taiwan as well as its history, society, religion, and more.

Commenting on the award, Musgrove said: “After a 30-year career in higher education as a writing program coordinator, director of general education, and department chair. I’m happy to serve as a faculty member and focus on a research agenda that examines the cross-cultural value of Buddhism and its potential for improving teaching and learning in English studies.” (Angelino)

A central role of the program is offering direct experiences to US educators to further enhance their understanding of Taiwan and their ability to participate in and teach about Taiwanese-related projects and topics.

Musgrove commented: “During this seminar in Taiwan, I will identify scholarly materials related to Humanistic Buddhism, also known as Buddhist Humanism, a non-theistic philosophical and psychological system of beliefs, values, and practices grounded in the inherent dignity of all people, the interdependence of human life, and dedication to the welfare of all.” (Angelino)

Musgrove has taught at ASU since 2009. In that time he has served as the chair of the Department of English and Modern Languages from 2009–19 and from 2016 onward he was the faculty advisor for ASU’s Oasis Magazine arts and literary journal.

“I will apply what I learn to courses I teach at ASU in composition, literature, and creative writing,” Musgrove added. “I will also share my learning with university colleagues and through outreach by way of community lectures in San Angelo.” (Angelino)

Musgrove is an accomplished poet, with works published by the Buddhist Poetry Review. He also has four books of poetry and a number of poems published in numerous journals dating back to 2004. Additionally, he has published several book chapters, short stories, and cartoons, and is the editor of the Texas Poetry Assignment online poetry journal.

Musgrove has worked to incorporate his understanding and practice as a Buddhist into his life as an educator. In an article in the journal Educational Perspectives, he wrote: “Buddhism itself is best understood not as a religion, but as a pragmatic theory of education with its corresponding pedagogy.” (35)

In elaborating, he writes:

. . . writing teachers do not teach writing alone; they necessarily teach causality, impermanence, and interbeing. They design assignments that help students understand (a) the causes and effects of language choices, (b) the beneficial progress that can occur in the process of writing, and (c) the usefulness of calling upon other sources, reviewers, and editors. They also teach suffering, equanimity, and freedom.

(37)

The Fulbright Program, which includes the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program, offers competitive, merit-based grants for international educational exchange for students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists, and artists. It was founded by US senator J. William Fulbright in 1946. It funds US-based scholars traveling internationally as well as international scholars who wish to travel to the US.

References

Laurence Musgrove. 2021. Educational Perspectives. Vol. 1(1), 34-41. Accessed at: https://epjournaldotorg.files.wordpress.com/2021/03/5buddhisteducator-1.pdf

See more

Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program: Fiscal Year 2019 Informational Webinar (U.S. Department of Education)
English Professor Chosen for Fulbright Program in Taiwan (Angelino)
Laurence Musgrove (Buddhist Poetry Review)
Fulbright Scholar Program

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