Dr. Syed E. Hasan, University of Missouri-Kansas City professor emeritus of geoscience and 2016 Fulbright alumnus, recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to serve as a resource person for the cohort of U.S. students and scholars who have been selected for the 2017-18 Fulbright program.
The Fulbright program, of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), selects a large number of qualified applicants each year for their academic merit and leadership skills to teach, study, and conduct research for enhancing international understanding and relations among the nations of the world.
Upon its selection of scholars, the ECA holds an annual three-day, pre-departure orientation (PDO) meeting organized for the U.S. Fulbright grantees in Washington, D.C. During orientation awardees receive instructions and expert advice designed to help them adjust to foreign culture and work environments in the best possible manner.
During his stay, June 14 – 16, in D.C., Hasan was one of four panelists and resource people for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where 152 U.S. grantees will work and live during the 2017-18 academic year. He shared his previous experiences and observations while serving as a Fulbright Senior Scholar at Qatar University during the spring 2016 semester. He also offered useful guidance for accompanying spouses and children. Hasan emphasized patience and perseverance as two key elements to assure a positive and productive outcome; and advised scholars not to “go out with the expectation that things work in the Middle East the same way as you’re used to in the Unites States.”
Hasan also led an “Observations and Assimilation” roundtable for MENA awardees guiding them through the complex, and often confusing, aspects of new culture and offered tips on how to successfully navigate through it without compromising one’s own identity.
Dr. Hasan has maintained an active scholarly schedule since retirement and is working on his second textbook, Introduction to Waste Management, set to publish in the fall of 2019. He traveled to Cape Town, South Africa in the fall of 2016 to present a keynote lecture at the Geoscience for Environmental Management session of the 35th International Geological Congress, which was attended by over 4,000 delegates representing 117 countries. Earlier this year, he gave a graduate seminar on Medical Geology at the Department of Earth & Planetary, University of California-Davis, and he will travel to Moscow, Russia in August to present a keynote lecture at the biennial international meeting of the International Medical Geology Association.
Since its inception in 1946, nearly 370,000 Fulbrighters from 160 countries, have participated in the program. Among the alumni are 57 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize Winners, and 37 Heads of State or Governments. The Fulbright program involves bilateral exchange, and awards nearly 8,000 grants each year.