School of Education faculty member receives Fulbright Award

Andrea NoelAndrea Noel, associate professor and former chair in the Department of Elementary Education at SUNY New Paltz, has been awarded a grant through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program to travel to the University of West Hungary (UWH) to teach and conduct research there in 2016. The Fulbright Program is one of the most prestigious and competitive scholastic awards programs in existence.

“What the Fulbright confers upon Andrea is something that all of us already know: that she’s an excellent teacher and scholar,” said Michael Rosenberg, dean of the School of Education. “The fact that the Fulbright Commission has recognized her and is providing support for her to go to the University of West Hungary is a great honor for her and for the School of Education, and will provide great value for our students and programs.”

Noel, whose areas of specialization include birth through grade 6 (B-6) teacher preparation, educational psychology and German language instruction, will work with the education faculty at UWH as an instructor, a research collaborator and a consultant for curriculum and program development. She will also continue her own research into approaches to preparing teacher candidates to work with diverse students, especially dual language learners.

“The University of West Hungary offers its students high-quality programs in early childhood education, especially in the training of teachers in bilingual early childhood settings,” Noel said. “It therefore offers me a unique opportunity to learn how another country trains teachers to meet the needs of diverse students and what these teachers believe is crucial to insuring children’s academic readiness.”

Additionally, Noel hopes her visit to Hungary will open international study opportunities for New Paltz students. The UWH offers courses in English that align closely with required courses in the School of Education, so an arrangement allowing UWH courses to satisfy degree requirements could help more students study abroad without interrupting their plans for timely graduation. “The potential is there to create a program allowing New Paltz students to come for a semester and take classes that are really close to those we require in our program,” Noel said.

About the Fulbright Program

Established in 1946 by former U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright, the Fulbright program is a series of merit-based grants sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Its goal is to enable the open exchange of knowledge and skills between nations by providing grants in support of graduate study, advanced research, university lecturing and classroom teaching, both for U.S. citizens interested in working abroad and citizens of other nations interested in coming here. More than 300,000 students and scholars worldwide have received funding since the Program’s inception.

More information about the Fulbright Program is available at the website of the Council for International Exchange of Scholars.