I was awarded the Fulbright Fellowship two times in my career which is a rare distinction in India. My first Fellowship was in 1990-91 and was affiliated with Newhouse School of Communications, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY. I studied TV Program Production, Radio Program Production and International Communication. I, as a student of Prof. Richard Breyer, ages ago deeply appreciated him for brilliance, nobility and generosity. I am grateful for his guidance and support in my brief academic stint at Syracuse University that lifted my career to new heights from where I never looked back.
My Fulbright stint at Syracuse University enabled me to develop expertise in Electronic Media. After I returned to my parent university, University of Mysore, I was given the responsibility to establish a media centre for the benefit of students of higher education. I took up the challenge and was instrumental in the establishment of Educational MultiMedia Research Centre- EMMRC, a UGC centre, the first of its kind in the university system in the state of Karnataka. I established a professional world class TV studio and related infrastructure for the production of educational media products for broadcast media. I am proud to admit that the EMMRC that I established and served as its Director during 1996-2004 is one of the feathers in the cap of the University of Mysore and has achieved academic excellence in higher education in India by winning national and international awards and honors. I thank the Fulbright fellowship for enabling me to make constructive contributions to media intervention in education.
I was awarded a second Fulbright Fellowship in 2006-07 and was affiliated to SIU, Carbondale, IL. During both the Fellowships, I made optimum use of opportunities to visit media houses, meet journalists, visit the official press bureau at Washington DC, universities, libraries, plays, film shows, festivals, international programs, counties, art shows and talks. After the completion of my second Fulbright Fellowship, I was made the Coordinator of a mega project funded by UGC – UPE- University with Potential for Excellence to work on Media Intervention in Social Development. I worked on this project from 2010-2020 and successfully completed the project by publishing a 15 volume series of Development Report on the State of Social Development in the State of Karnataka. I also worked on developing a Media Index to understand the role of media in the development process. I thank Fulbright Fellowship for giving me extraordinary exposure to experts, research databases, media research methods and abundant literature.
OLP- Fulbright has wonderful other programs apart from the regular fellowship. One such program is the Occasional Lecture Program. I took advantage of this multifaceted program. It enabled me to travel to different cities and meet new people. It gave me exposure to educators, students and the system of higher education in the United States. I received invitation letters from two universities, one is Indiana University at Bloomington and the other is Howard University, Washington DC.
Office of the International Programs and Services- There are different kinds of programs for all kinds of students, scholars and teachers. I started attending International Coffee Hour every Friday hosted by the International office and that is how I came to know and made friends with a lot of people from different cultural backgrounds. I regularly attended all their programs and was introduced to American culture, food, lifestyle and festivals. I was invited by an international office to deliver lectures on Indian culture, food, women and Hinduism on various occasions and came across a wide variety of audiences consisting of women from rural areas to the Mayors of Illinois State.
Usha Rani Narayana – Fulbright to India 1990-1