Cobb to network with United Kingdom peers on STEM education

MURRAY, Ky. — Dr. Stephen Cobb, dean of the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Murray State University (MSU), is joining a select group of Murray faculty members who have been chosen in the past for Fulbright awards. Cobb is receiving the 2013 Fulbright International Education Administrator Award in the United Kingdom.

This is Cobb’s second Fulbright honor. In 1995, he was awarded a Fulbright lectureship in Moscow, Russia, where he taught courses in laser physics and physics education.

As a recipient of the Fulbright International Education Administrator Award, Cobb will join representatives from the U.S. who will travel to Great Britain for a series of seminars, meetings and lectures during a three-week period in August.

The prestigious Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. It is a highly competitive and merit-based program designed to increase mutual understanding and sharing of knowledge between the people of the United States and those in other countries.

The Fulbright International Education Administrator (IEA) seminars are designed to help America’s higher education senior administrators experienced in international education create empowering connections with societal, cultural and higher education systems of other countries. Grantees have the opportunity to learn about the host country’s education system as well as establish networks of U.S. and international colleagues.

Host locations in the United Kingdom include Imperial College London, University of York, University of Sussex, Durham University, University of Birmingham, University of East Anglia, Royal Holloway University, University of Stirling, University of Edinburgh, Robert Gordon University and the University of Aberdeen.

The IEA program consists of briefings, campus visits, appointments with selected government officials, cultural activities and meetings with British international education professionals. Interactive sessions with U.S. and U.K. administrators will be facilitated to share best practices in higher education in both directions across the Atlantic.

“I’m honored to receive this Fulbright IEA appointment, and excited to represent MSU and the U.S. as we visit these universities in England and Scotland,” said Cobb.

Cobb joined the faculty of Murray State University in 1988, and holds the rank of professor of engineering and physics. Now in his sixth year as dean, he previously served 14 years as department chair. He has participated in numerous international professional conferences, consulting activities, faculty development opportunities and leadership of study abroad courses.

He attributes his selection to the global focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs in higher education. “My hope is to learn more about STEM education in the British university system,” Cobb said. “I think it will be instructive to compare curricula, instructional methods, and successful strategies for recruiting and retaining students in these important disciplines. And I’m sure the experience will reinforce my view that our students need to be culturally aware and prepared to work in an international environment in the future.”

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