As soon as I returned from Athens, I began reading the proposals from Kosova’s applicants for the Junior Faculty Development Program. In short, the JFDP provides an opportunity for early-career faculty and administrators in the humanities and social sciences to spend five months in the US, where they will pursue a project that will enhance their work when they return to their home institutions. For most, the projects involve learning about new resources, teaching methods, and assessment.
I learned about the JFDP two years ago, when I was writing my Fulbright proposal. I contacted the theatre at the University of Prishtina and was put in touch with Elmaze Nura, a young theatre professor who recently had completed an JFDP at the University of Kansas. We then e-mailed each other about what I could offer UP that would be of most value to their students and curriculum. Catering my Fulbright proposal to the specific, practical needs of the theatre program was, I believe, the reason I got my grant. Thus, volunteering to read these JFDP proposals was my way of saying thanks.
The Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) is a program of Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State. JFDP is administered by American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS. JFDP is a non-degree, professional development program that provides promising junior university faculty with the opportunity to:
- expand knowledge and expertise in their respective academic fields by attending classes and working with faculty members at universities in the United States;
- garner new educational perspectives with exposure to U.S. educational philosophy and methods;
- gather new academic materials and resources, and;
- forge relationships between U.S. universities and their home universities, in order to support ongoing contact and collaboration.