Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Associate Professor Dr. Roberto L. Torres named a Fulbright Scholar, will serve in Mexico during 2006-2007

KINGSVILLE - April 27, 2006

Contact: Jason Marton
jason.marton@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4143

The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FSB) has selected associate professor of bilingual education Dr. Roberto L. Torres of Texas A&M University-Kingsville as a Fulbright Scholar grantee to Mexico.

The principle purpose of the Fulbright Program is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of the more than 150 countries that currently participate in it.

The Fulbright Scholar Program is the U.S. government's flagship program in international educational exchange. Fulbright grants are made to U.S. citizens and nationals of other countries for a variety of educational activities, primarily university lecturing, advanced research, graduate study and teaching in elementary and secondary schools. The Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) helps administer the Fulbright Scholar Program on behalf of the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Torres will be heading to the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon (UANL) in Monterrey, Mexico for scholarly work in their College of Psychology during the fall 2006 and spring 2007 semesters. According to Torres, that scholarly work implies instruction and/or training, with possibly some program development or program evaluation for the college. The research component of his Fulbright Scholar stay will deal with the psychological factors of learning a second language. Among these factors are affection, attitudes, and learner and teacher beliefs.

“In this era of international turmoil, where there is a need for greater and better international understanding, the role of Fulbright Scholars is especially important,” said Dr. Rumaldo Z. Juá rez, president of Texas A&M-Kingsville.  “The fact that we have one of our own, Dr. Torres, selected for this prestigious international award is a tribute to the quality of our faculty and the important role that individuals in higher education can play in bridging the gap of misunderstandings that exist in today’s world.”

According to the FSB, Torres “joins the ranks of some 273,500 alumni of the program. Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs, university presidents, journalists, artists, professor and teachers. They have been awarded 35 Nobel Prizes.”

In addition to meeting the established Fulbright Scholar objectives, Torres has some personal goals in mind that he hopes to meet. They include publishing and doing presentations of his findings and experiences while a Fulbright scholar. He also expects to be a good representative of A&M-Kingsville, especially of his department and the College of Education, and to strengthen the existing academic relations between Texas A&M-Kingsville, UANL and other institutes of higher education in Mexico.

Torres noted another long-term goal, that of advancing to other levels of the Fulbright for Faculty categories. He mentioned in particular the Senior Specialist Program (designed to provide short-term academic opportunities – two to six weeks – that give greater flexibility to pursue a grant that works best with academic or professional commitments) and the Fulbright Distinguished Chair Program (viewed as among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program).

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