Two WLC faculty earn Fulbright U.S. Scholar Awards

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Two Spanish professors in the Department of World Languages and Cultures (WLC) at Iowa State University have recently received Fulbright U.S. Scholar Awards for Research and Teaching for the upcoming academic year. The Fulbright Program is a highly prestigious and competitive award that offers funding to students and professors to study, teach, or conduct research abroad.

Charlie Nagle, associate professor of Spanish and applied linguistics and the director of the Spanish Language program, will be conducting and research in theoretical and applied linguistics at the University of Murcia in Spain for the fall 2021 semester. The working title of his research project is, “Examining the factors that shape willingness to communicate in a second language: Speaker and listener variables.”

“My research project stems from my interest in helping learners communicate successfully in their second language. We have a good understanding of the factors that influence speakers’ willingness to communicate, but we haven’t looked at willingness to communicate from the listener’s perspective,” said Dr. Nagle. “What I’m looking forward to most is collaborating with University of Murcia researchers to gain insight into teaching and research priorities in the multilingual and multicultural Spanish/European context.”

Megan Myers, associate professor of Spanish and co-director of the Languages and Cultures for Professions program, will spend the spring 2022 semester in the Dominican Republic for her Fulbright Award. She will be teaching at UTESA-Puerto Plata, a university in the North Shore area of the country and also working with a non-profit called the Mariposa Foundation that is based in Cabarete.

“My research project merges my interests in both the literature of Hispaniola and community engagement,” said Dr. Myers. “It addresses the impact of community-based learning courses for local university students in the Dominican Republic and as a secondary focus will also analyze how high school students gain new perspectives on Dominican-Haitian relations through literature.”

Chad M. Gasta, chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures shared, “Fulbright Awards are a prestigious honor and are particularly competitive in the field of language and linguistics. To have two of our faculty receive awards within the same year is quite remarkable for any university and underscores the strong reputation of our faculty’s cutting-edge research.”

Upon their return from their semesters abroad for the Fulbright Award, both Dr. Nagle and Dr. Myers will deliver informal talks to their colleagues as part of the WLC’s “Current Research Speakeasy Series” designed to promote and enhance scholarship among the department’s faculty.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to forge lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has enabled more than 390,000 dedicated and accomplished students, scholars, artists, teachers, and professionals of all backgrounds to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and find solutions to shared international concerns. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State.

The Department of World Languages and Cultures is one of the oldest academic departments in the Iowa State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and language was among the first courses offered at Iowa State upon its formal opening in 1869. Today, WLC hosts seven majors, 13 minors, classes in 10 languages, and four cross-disciplinary studies programs. It has a graduate program in anthropology and is home to the Languages and Cultures for Professions program, an innovative second major designed for students in the College of Engineering, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business. For more information, visit: language.iastate.edu.