The University of West Georgia recently announced Dr. Danilo Baylen as the institution’s first Fulbright U.S. Scholar in more than a decade. Baylen is the 14th UWG faculty member to attain the fellowship and will be traveling to the Philippines in 2023 to work with undergraduate and graduate students at West Visayas State University (WVSU).
“It means a lot,” exclaimed Baylen, professor of instructional technology, media and design in the College of Education’s Department of Educational Technology and Foundations. “I knew I was following the heels of several colleagues who have been successful, and I feel this recognition opens new opportunities for becoming an international scholar.”
The process for applying to be a Fulbright Scholar was not a short road for Baylen. He began the process in 2016 when he traveled to the Philippines for academic research leave.
One thing the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program looks for in choosing applicants is their ability to build relationships in the host country and represent the United States. Baylen exemplified these qualities and made valuable connections with colleagues in the Philippines from 2016 to 2018. By the time he was ready to submit his application, Baylen had letters of invitation and recommendation from WVSU’s president and vice president for academic affairs.
The program offers more than 800 awards in more than 135 countries for U.S. citizens to teach, conduct research and carry out professional projects around the world. The Fulbright program was founded in 1946 by United States Senator J. William Fulbright and is considered one of the most widely recognized and prestigious scholarships in the world.
While in the Philippines, Baylen will be delivering professional development workshops, seminars, and lecture demonstrations to faculty members at WVSU’s main campus and five external campuses.
“I hope to have a whole experience as a faculty member, from teaching classes to providing research consultations to advanced graduate students and faculty members,” explained Baylen. “I also plan to make myself available as a resource person to other higher education institutions locally or beyond the region, including neighboring countries, with approval from Fulbright.”
Baylen hopes to write about how cultural factors impact the teaching-learning paradigm compared to the U.S. experience. He will be teaching courses that pair students from UWG with students in the Philippines to collaborate on educational models that can be delivered to K-12 students in the Philippines.
Upon returning stateside, Baylen looks forward to sharing his experience with students and faculty and hopes to encourage more members of UWG to pursue Fulbright Scholarships.
“Spending several months at this other university will allow me to continue building more relationships and open new research opportunities and collaborations,” concluded Baylen. “I hope by sharing my experience and process I can influence other students and faculty members to attain their Fulbright Scholarships.”