David Siegel
(Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Siegel selected for Fulbright specialists project

By Rachel Castro
ECU News Services

A professor at East Carolina University will visit South Africa this summer as a Fulbright specialist to lecture on access and inclusion.

David Siegel, associate professor of higher, adult and counselor education in ECU’s College of Education, will give a series of lectures and workshops on the role of access, inclusion and diversity in promoting national and economic development.

Siegel is one of more than 400 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad this year through the Fulbright specialists program.

“Fulbright encourages not only an exchange of knowledge and understanding but new perspectives. Visiting post-apartheid South Africa is a particularly exciting prospect because the country is seeking to transform itself,” said Siegel.

Siegel visited South Africa in 2010 to deliver a paper to the students of the University of Stellenbosch, just east of Cape Town. His presentation was on a book he wrote that year titled "Organizing for Social Partnership," on the “cross-sector approaches to addressing issues of diversity and education.”

A representative of the University of Johannesburg, in the audience, later approached him about an extended visit in South Africa and bringing him to his institution.

Siegel’s lectures will focus on how the collaboration of academic institutions, businesses, government and non-profit agencies can facilitate access to higher education, improve employment opportunities and promote social problem solving.

This is especially useful in Johannesburg as the people of South Africa are trying to redress the destruction of the pervasive Apartheid regime that ended in 1994. Opportunities for the people of South Africa were nonexistent, said Siegel. Now, there are policies to promote equality.

“I am looking forward to learning about an entirely different system of higher education and how it operates within that society.”

Siegel hopes to bring back what he learns in South Africa to ECU’s classrooms because “cross-cultural competence is a huge part of education.”

Siegel’s research on the dynamics of cross-sector collaboration has appeared in journals such as Higher Education, Innovative Higher Education, the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, and the Journal of Further and Higher Education. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan’s Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education.

Recipients of Fulbright Scholar awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement. The Fulbright Program, America’s flagship international educational exchange activity, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. During its 60 years of existence, thousands of U.S. faculty and professionals have taught, studied or conducted research abroad, and thousands of their counterparts from other countries have engaged in similar activities in the United States. More than 285,000 emerging leaders in their professional fields have received Fulbright awards, including individuals who later became heads of government, Nobel Prize winners, and leaders in education, business, journalism, the arts and other fields.