Life on the Farm in Rural Maryland

May 10, 2014: This event took the scholars out into the country to see three farms that are representative of U.S. farming today. Scholars visited two dairy farms – close in location but worlds apart in their modes of operation. One was an organic farm operated by a father and son representing five generations of family farmers who have worked this land. The cows roam freely and the father and son team are passionately committed to the idea of farming “the old-fashioned way.” Over the years they have tapped into a growing organic niche in the US market.

The other dairy farm was much larger in scale, and used a more conventional approach to farming. Using a carefully calculated mixture of purchased grains and grasses produced on the farm, the cows are kept mainly indoors in a controlled environment. They are bred and cared for using techniques that maximize milk production. This is also a successful family operation that goes back many generations and today targets a different segment of the US dairy market.

Finally, we visited a large orchard, again run by a family who had also been farming their land for generations. The 80-year-old patriarch instructed his son to drive us through the property on a hay wagon while he played the harmonica and his wife served us fresh cider and cookies – all to the great enjoyment of the Fulbrighters. All the visits represented a significant departure from the city lives that these Fulbrighters were accustomed to seeing. They saw some of the diverse lifestyles that exist within a short distance of Washington.

Fulbright Farmers in boots

Fulbright Farmers in boots

Patriarch of the Orchard takes Fulbright Scholars for a ride

Patriarch of the Orchard takes Fulbright Scholars for a ride

Wang Zhen, his daughter, and the wonder of baby chicks

Wang Zhen, his daughter, and the wonder of baby chicks

 

Online Instruction: Implications for the Future of Higher Education

April 30, 2014 (Standford University):  Scholars gathered at Stanford University where Candace Thille, Director, Open Learning initiative, discussed the state of the art in online learning, how people learn digitally and how to adapt the design of online courses. Lunch was followed by a tour of the Main Quad and Memorial Church at Stanford then on to afternoon meeting at the Stanford Center for Professional Development (SCPD). SCPD has been offering online advanced degrees in the School of Engineering since 1997.

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A Day at the Ballpark with the Washington Nationals

April 26, 2014: Prior to the baseball game, scholars met with Michael Gibbons, Executive Director of the Babe Ruth Museum in Baltimore, who explained the rules, history, and cultural context of baseball in the US. After lunch, the group walked to Nationals stadium where they were thrilled to see the Nationals claim a 3-0 victory over the San Diego Padres.

Visiting Fulbright Scholars with "Natitude"

Visiting Fulbright Scholars with “Natitude”

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Newly-minted Nats Fan and Visiting Fulbright Scholar Gabriel Balayan of Armenia

Fulbright Day at the Lenape Indian Village

April 19, 2014: For Fulbright scholars who sometimes find themselves surrounded by concrete more than they are used to, a day at the Lenape Village provided a great way to get away from NYC. Winakung, meaning “Place of Sassafras” in the Lenape language, is a re-created Lenape Indian Village, where scholars enjoyed the opportunity to get closer to nature, in much the same way that the original inhabitants did thousands of years ago.

Ukrainian scholar Igor Kizub learns to use a pump drill.

Ukrainian scholar Igor Kizub learns to use a pump drill.

The Fulbright scholars and their families in front of the historic canal village.

The Fulbright scholars and their families in front of the historic canal village.

Enrichment Seminar: Strengthening Communities through Diversity and Action

April 13 – 16, 2014: Lousiville, KY World Affairs Council of Kentucky & Southern Indiana 

Mayor Greg Fischer has made supporting Louisville’s compassionate community one of the three major goals for his first term as mayor. He has stated that “being a compassionate city is both the right thing and the necessary thing to do to ensure that we take care of all of our citizens.” As a former entrepreneur known for his business savvy, the choice to put compassion on the same level as innovation and job growth may seem surprising at first.

Throughout the seminar, Mayor Fischer, speakers and community leaders addressed the scholars to discuss the importance of nurturing a compassionate community, how Louisville is challenging citizens and government alike to commit to this cause, and the benefits as well as difficulties in doing so.

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Friends of the LA River Tour

April 12, 2014: The visit with Friends of the Los Angeles River provided much insight on the environmental issues Los Angeles faces, especially drought, water resource management and recreational facilities.  The scholars walked along a portion of the river and listened to a water specialist discussing  the accomplishments so far and future plans and challenges. Scholars benefitted by learning what is being done to protect and restore the natural and historical heritage of the Los Angeles River.
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