Leslie is the Director of Curriculum Internationalization and the Fulbright Scholar Liaison at IUPUI. Leslie joined the Fulbright Association in 2020.
When and where did your Fulbright take place? What did you do during your grant year?
I’ve received two Fulbright Awards. The first was a Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar Award called “Education, Multiculturalism, and Citizenship in Brazil” in 1997. This program engaged K-12 educators from a variety of subject areas in a 6-week program. The second was the two-week U.S.-Korea International Education Administrator Award in 2015. During both seminars, I visited schools or post-secondary institutions, government, and private sector agencies, and I learned about the cultures of each country through site visits, interpersonal interactions, and events. For the Brazil program, I prepared a lesson plan illuminating cultural and linguistic similarities and differences between Spanish-speaking countries and Brazil for high school Spanish-language students.
How has your Fulbright experience impacted your life and career?
Fulbright has had a profound impact on my career and personal life. Participating in the Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar “Education, Multiculturalism, and Citizenship in Brazil” solidified my desire to be an international education professional. It also inspired me to learn Portuguese, which, in turn, allowed me to meet people and establish friendships and working relationships with a number of Brazilians in both the U.S. and Brazil. I ultimately did my dissertation research on a higher education collaboration between the U.S. government and the Brazilian government. The US-Korea IEA Award, in addition to allowing me to learn about international student services at institutions across South Korea, has served as a model for hosting international higher education delegations that I refer to regularly in my work.
What is your most memorable experience as a Fulbright Association member?
My most memorable experiences come from two contexts. The first are interactions with U.S. faculty and staff whose eyes were opened to the opportunities that Fulbright held for them. Many faculty and staff have heard of Fulbright but think it’s not for them for a variety of reasons. Once they learn about the various typed of awards, the experiences of others, and that there’s a great deal of support to help them apply, they are often amazed and motivated to apply. Another context is getting to know Fulbrighters from other countries who really made an effort to integrate themselves into the campus community. It’s great to see Fulbrighters come to the U.S. and actively seek ways to share their culture, meet others, and enjoy their local surroundings, rather than just focus on their research or teaching.
Have you met any Fulbright alumni as a Fulbright Association member?
Through my chapter leadership role and my position as Scholar Liaison on my campus, I’ve met several Fulbright Alumni. They are all impressive in their professional achievements and enthusiastic about sharing their Fulbright experiences. It’s always great to learn about and from them. I think it’s essential to facilitate opportunities for alumni of all Fulbright programs to share their experiences and provide feedback to program administrators and the Fulbright Association.