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Two legal studies professors selected for Fulbright programs

19 April 2017
19 April 2017, Comments: Comments Off on Two legal studies professors selected for Fulbright programs

Professors Joanne Katz and David Tushaus (second and third from left) traveled with student Chrissy Clark (second from right) to Indonesia last year. Katz and Tushaus will travel abroad this year through the State Department’s Fulbright program.

Two members of the legal studies faculty at Missouri Western State University will teach and study abroad this year as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Scholar Program. David Tushaus, professor of legal studies, has been appointed as a Fulbright Specialist to assist the University of The Gambia Faculty of Law with its clinical legal program. Joanne Katz, professor of legal studies, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to Vietnam to teach mediation and restorative justice.

This is not the first time abroad for either professor. Tushaus was a Fulbright Scholar in Varnasi, India in 2012. Tushaus and Katz traveled with student Chrissy Clark to Indonesia last summer to present workshops at two law schools and an international conference. Katz has lectured in India and Indonesia and presented at several international conferences. Both see such international connections as vital.

“Working abroad builds bridges and relationships with interesting people who can help you see the world in a much richer way,” Tushaus said. “Working with colleagues abroad on a common goal like improving access to justice for others gives me an opportunity to teach and learn about another culture, the challenges other people face and how helping to meet those challenges can make a difference. This goes beyond just seeing the sights and tasting the foods of another culture. This is a chance to become immersed in another culture that cannot be accomplished by just passing through on a sight-seeing tour.”

“In all of my varied experiences, I have embraced the universal experience we share as legal academics,” Katz said. “We are trying to engage the next generation in creating a world where the principles of justice and access are interwoven into the legal profession. My interest in mediation and restorative justice are shared by many around the world.  In some situations, I have been able to bring information that the locals do not otherwise have access to. It gives me hope that during a time where we see a world focused on our differences, I see how we are alike.”

Tushaus will visit The Gambia for six weeks this summer to help develop the capacity of the Legal Aid Clinic of the Faculty of Law. Tushaus said the law school and its clinic are relatively new with limited resources.

“The clinic was just founded in 2012,” he said. “It has not had an opportunity to establish reliable funding or institutionalize practices to become an effective teaching tool that helps to provide access to justice for its citizens.” Tushaus will work with school officials to help build the clinic’s capacity.

Tushaus has been at Missouri Western since 1999, and served ten years as chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, Legal Studies and Social Work. Prior to that, he worked at Legal Aid of Western Missouri for 14 years. Tushaus received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Missouri-Columbia and his Master of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning and Juris Doctor from the University of Iowa.

The Fulbright Specialist Program provides awards to more than 400 U.S. academics and professionals annually to work in partnership with academic, non-profit and cultural institutions in more than 100 countries.

Katz will teach at the School of Law at Foreign Trade University in Hanoi this fall.

“Growing up in the 1960s, Vietnam was on the television every night,” she said. “I have long dreamed of going to visit this nation, where we see that our enemy can become our friend. Since I’ve been granted the Fulbright Award, I have found information about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visiting Foreign Trade University in 2012.  She was there to celebrate 20 years of Fulbright in Vietnam and called the school ‘the Harvard of Vietnam.’”

Katz has been at Missouri Western State University since 1991. In addition to teaching legal studies, she was director of the Regional Community Policing Institute at Missouri Western from 2000 to 2002. Katz received her Bachelor of Arts in American Culture and her Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Katz is one of more than 800 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research, and/or provide expertise abroad for the 2017-2018 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide.

Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given more than 370,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Fulbrighters address critical global issues in all disciplines, while building relationships, knowledge, and leadership in support of the long-term interests of the United States. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in many fields, including 57 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 82 who have received Pulitzer Prizes, and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.

For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State, please visit eca.state.gov/fulbright or contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Press Office by telephone 202-632-6452 or e-mail ECA-Press@state.gov.

Missouri Western State University is a comprehensive regional university providing a blend of traditional liberal arts and professional degree programs. The university offers student-centered, high quality instruction that focuses on experience-based learning, community service, and state-of-the-art technology. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit www.missouriwestern.edu.

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