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Misericordia University Announces Fulbright Awards for 2020-2021
Dr. Barbara Schwartz-Bechet

Misericordia University is pleased to announce that Dr. Barbara Schwartz-Bechet, dean, College of Health Sciences and Education, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award as the Canada Research Chair in Early Learning for the 2020-2021 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Dr. Schwartz-Bechet is one of over 800 U.S. citizens who will conduct research and/or teach abroad for the 2021-2022 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Fulbrighters engage in cutting-edge research and expand their professional networks, often continuing research collaborations started abroad and laying the groundwork for forging future partnerships between institutions. Upon returning to their home countries, institutions, labs, and classrooms, they share their stories and often become active supporters of international exchange, inviting foreign scholars to campus and encouraging colleagues and students to go abroad. As Fulbright Scholar alumni, their careers are enriched by joining a network of thousands of esteemed scholars, many of whom are leaders in their fields. Fulbright alumni include 60 Nobel Prize laureates, 88 Pulitzer Prize recipients, and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.

Dr. Schwartz-Bechet was selected as the Canada Research Chair in Early Learning to research the effectiveness of current programs in mental health literacy for preservice teachers; the project will identify knowledge around mental health and mental illness of preservice teacher candidates and assess the undergraduate program at the University of Calgary and the curriculum of the schools where the preservice teacher will conduct their field and clinical experiences.

“On behalf of our leadership team and campus community, I am privileged to congratulate Barbara on becoming a Fulbright Scholar,” said Daniel J. Myers, Ph.D., president, Misericordia University “In my short time as president, it has become clear that our institution offers great opportunity for research and discovery and collaborative methods and technologies. Dr. Schwartz-Becht’s experience as a Fulbright participant will improve the state of teaching and the welfare of teachers, while establishing new collaborative opportunities and networks for our university.”

Dr. Schwartz-Bechet’s scholarly research is wide ranging, as it includes research articles on recreational opportunities for students with disabilities, internationalization in higher education, and the use of technologies in learning. She has published a series of manuscripts that address emotional and behavioral disorders and absenteeism, motherhood in precarious times, and perceptions of mothers’ talks and actions with children during and following periods of civil and social unrest in the United States.

Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County's first four-year college and offers 56 academic programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels in full- and part-time formats. Misericordia University ranks in the "National Universities" category of U.S. News and World Report's 2021 edition of Best Colleges. The Princeton Review recognizes Misericordia as a 2021 "Best Northeastern" college, and Money Magazine includes Misericordia in its 2020-2021 "Best Colleges" list. College Consensus and the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education rank Misericordia among the top colleges and universities nationally. For more information about Misericordia University, visit www.misericordia.edu.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to forge lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, counter misunderstandings, and help people and nations work together toward common goals. Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has enabled more than 390,000 dedicated and accomplished students, scholars, artists, teachers, and professionals of all backgrounds to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and find solutions to shared international concerns. 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 more than 160 countries worldwide.

Fulbrighters address critical global challenges 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 60 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 86 who have received Pulitzer Prizes, and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.

In the United States, the Institute of International Education supports the implementation of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program on behalf of the U.S. Department of State, including conducting an annual competition for the scholarships.     

For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit http://eca.state.gov/fulbright.