Rachel Yoho, the anti-racist and inclusive teaching specialist in George Mason University’s Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning, received a Fulbright Specialist Program award to work with individuals at the University of Galway in Ireland. Yoho, the 25th person at Mason to receive a Fulbright Specialist award, will lay the groundwork on a project surrounding institutional change.
“There are relatively few people who receive this award so it’s such an honor to be a recipient,” said Yoho. “Going to Ireland includes a great immersive cultural component to the project with lots of opportunities to experience and see new things. I’m excited to develop the personal connections, which are an important part of the Fulbright program.”
The Fulbright Specialist Program is a part of the larger Fulbright Program, with the goal for these accomplished people to share their knowledge as part of a larger cultural exchange, to increase global relationships, entrepreneurial opportunity, and make the world a better place. Fulbright Specialist Scholars are matched with an institution in one of 150 countries overseas, partnering with hosts to provide education, support, and thought leadership according to their priorities and goals.
“This project is particularly fruitful because it merges her disciplinary scholarship in public health with her pedagogical work with the Stearns Center,” said Shelley Reid, executive director of engaged teaching in the Stearns Center. “Since the Stearns Center is invested in supporting inclusive excellence among Mason's internationalized faculty and students, we're looking forward to learning from Rachel how efforts to support inclusive teaching are happening in another cultural context.”
Yoho was specifically chosen by the University of Galway to visit based on her expertise in environmental health and social justice. The host institution will facilitate her Fulbright talk, set up individual meetings with faculty and staff, and build ongoing collaborations.
Yoho is particularly enthusiastic about the opportunity to create connections and potential ongoing collaborations around research, instructional materials, and faculty support. “Both Mason and Galway come from a place of shared values and institutional challenges, and are invested in improving student learning and outcomes,” she said. “We hope to create collaborations around environmental health and approaches to diversity, equity and inclusion.”
After spending two weeks in Ireland, Yoho will return to Mason at the end of May and begin cross-country collaboration on the project. She will have ongoing follow-up reports on the project with the Fulbright committee over the coming months.