Fulbright to India could accelerate SUNY Oswego's study abroad

Joshua McKeown, director of international education and programs at SUNY Oswego, foresees an opportunity to accelerate connections and opportunities in India with his invitation to the Fulbright-Nehru International Education Administrators Seminar, March 19 to April 3.

McKeown is only one of 10 administrators chosen for this highly selective and relatively new program to the emerging nation of nearly 1.2 billion people. “It’s a real honor for our college. I’m honored to have been chosen to represent SUNY Oswego,” he said of the Fulbright program, which covers his expenses for the two-week experience.

Joshua McKeown.“Education is playing a very important role behind the scenes” with both India’s emergence and its ties to the United States, McKeown said. “The next generation is where a lot of joint business ventures, joint research and joint goodwill and understanding will come from.”

The seminar will include visiting universities and senior officials in the higher education ministry, with stops in New Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai, as participants can develop relationships and initiate discussions toward formal and expanded agreements.

“This is a great opportunity for SUNY Oswego to dramatically accelerate what we do in India,” McKeown said. While many of Oswego’s study-abroad programs have coalesced organically over time, this opportunity can help the college “jump-start” collaboration, he added.

Partnership blossoming

SUNY Oswego has already developed solutions-based programs in India, thanks in large part to Geraldine Forbes, Oswego’s distinguished teaching professor in history. Forbes also has a Fulbright invitation to teach in India this fall, which further cements the college’s bonds with the country.

“I have seen that with the right administration, the right expertise, students will go to India and will learn a lot in India,” McKeown said.

Oswego’s existing courses in India, “History of Human Trafficking” and “Schools and Urban Society in a Global Context,” enjoyed notable success through dedicated faculty and compelling academic content, he said.

McKeown sees China, India and Brazil as three rising powers with increasing geopolitical impacts in their developing regions. In the past few years, Oswego has significantly expanded exchange agreements and study-abroad opportunities in China and Brazil, and this opportunity may help to similarly increase interactions with India.

The middle and professional classes in India are larger than the whole United States population, McKeown noted, and the country could be primed for booming economic growth. Entrepreneurship is more free to develop in India than under China’s more constrained society, he added. With mutual ties to the former British Empire, India supports “a more America-like sense of creativity and innovation,” McKeown said.

PHOTO CAPTION: Passage to India—Joshua McKeown, director of international education and programs at SUNY Oswego, will make connections with educators and universities in India during his Fulbright-Nehru International Education Administrators Seminar, March 19 to April 3.

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(Posted: Feb 16, 2011)

Tags: suny oswego, joshua mckeown, human trafficking, geraldine forbes, fulbright-nehru, fulbright, entrepreneurship