25 November 2008

Fulbright Scholarship

I had been considering applying for a Fulbright Scholarship since the fall of 2005 when I attended a Fulbright seminar at Norfolk State University. My Fulbright hopes focused on India after participating in the Advocates Asia Conference in Delhi in October 2006. 

Advocates Asia is one of the participating organizations that makes up Advocates International (http://www.advocatesinternational.org/), an NGO dedicated to protecting religious liberty and human rights. Regent Law School generously funded my trip to the conference where I made a presentation to law students from many Asian nations about the provisions in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures for relief of the poor and indigent (slideshow at the end of this post).

I also judged a moot court competition where I was greatly impressed by two Indian oralists. I met quite a few Indian attorneys who encouraged me to pursue a teaching opportunity in India.

I began the Fulbright application process in earnest early in 2007. While not overly complicated, the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CEIS) requires quite a bit of documentation. I simultaneously pursued a sponsoring law school in India from those listed in the Fulbright Program Handbook. The National Law School - Jodhpur (http://www.nlujodhpur.ac.in/) responded quickly. So, with NLU's invitation in hand, I submitted my application to the CEIS in September 2007. I was gratified six months later with an award of a Fulbright Teaching Scholarship for the spring, 2009 semester. I was further encouraged when Regent University granted my request for a sabbatical. Since, then, at an ever-increasing pace, I have been preparing to leave the U.S. for four and one-half months. I am thankful that my wife LaDonna will accompany me but preparing for such a lengthy absence from home has been daunting.

I spoke with Dr. Seshaiah Shasthri, the equivalent of an Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the U. S. He expressed enthusiasm for my visit and gave us good words about our living arrangements on NLU's campus. Our visas arrived today so our preparations will only intensify over the next three weeks.

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