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07-11-1997

Clarkson University Professors Sheila Weiss And John Serio Awarded Fulbright Grants

School of Liberal Arts professors Sheila F. Weiss and John N. Serio, both of Potsdam, have been awarded Fulbright Grants to lecture and conduct research in Germany and Belgium, respectively.

Weiss and Serio are two of 1,600 grantees who will travel abroad for the 1997-98 academic year under the Fulbright Program, which was established through Congressional legislation introduced in 1946 by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. The program is designed "to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries."

Weiss will be teaching at the University of Greifswald in the new German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania-- offering a class in German with the English title "Ethics and the Life Sciences" --at the school's History of Medicine Institute next Spring. She will also conduct research on "racial education" and secondary school biology during the Third Reich. This marks the third time she has participated in the Fulbright Program, having been awarded a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship for the 1989-90 school year and a 1977-79 Fulbright Scholarship for dissertation research.

I am deeply honored to have been once again selected for a Fulbright award in Germany, this time for a university in one of the new German states, she said. "Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, I have hoped for the opportunity to teach and pursue research in the 'east.' This Fulbright Grant will enable me to accomplish my goals."

Serio will serve as an senior lecturer at Instelling University in Antwerp, Belgium, beginning in January. He will teach courses on modern American poetry and on the American dramatist Eugene O'Neill. Serio is also no stranger to the Fulbright Program. He was awarded a Fulbright Grant to Greece for the spring 1993 school semester.

If my experience of teaching in Greece is any indication, I look forward to an exciting and challenging time in Belgium, he said. "Fulbrights go beyond fostering cultural and educational exchange between countries, for they also invigorate and renew one's dedication to teaching and research."

Serio has been at Clarkson since 1974. Prior to arriving at Clarkson, he taught at Valparaiso University and the University of Notre Dame. He received his bachelor's degree from SUNY College at Buffalo, his master's degree from Northwestern University and his doctoral degree from Notre Dame. For the last 15 years, he has served as editor of The Wallace Stevens Journal, and, in 1994, published two books on Stevens, a highly regarded American poet.

Under the Fulbright Program, some 4,000 grants are awarded annually to American students, teachers and scholars to study, teach and conduct research around the world, and to foreign nationals to engage in similar activities in the United States. Recipients are selected on the basis of academic and professional qualifications, plus their willingness to share ideas and experiences with people of diverse cultures.

The program is administered by the U.S. Information Agency under policy guidelines established by the presidentially appointed J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and in cooperation with a number of private organizations. Scholarships are awarded through open competition, with final selections made by the Foreign Scholarship Board. Forty-one foreign governments share in the funding of these exchanges.

The United States Information Agency is an independent foreign affairs agency within the executive branch that explains and supports U.S. foreign policy and national security interests abroad through a wide range of information programs. The agency promotes mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through a series of educational and cultural exchange activities.

For further information about the Fulbright Program, contact: U.S. Information Agency, Office of Public Liaison, 301 4th Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20547, phone 202-619-4355.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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