The Fulbright Reflections series of panel discussions provides a unique opportunity for the public to personally meet New Zealand alumni of the Fulbright exchange programme, who will share their ideas and inspirations on a particular theme. They will engage with the audience in discussion and you will get to know these remarkable New Zealanders as people. These personal reflections will have wide appeal to people of all ages and interests.
Marking the 65th anniversary year of Fulbright New Zealand, three esteemed Fulbright exchange alumni who work in the tertiary education sector in New Zealand – Wayne Edwards from IPC Tertiary Institute (International Pacific College), Roberto Rabel from Victoria University of Wellington and Kristian Schmidt from WelTec – will discuss their own experiences of international educational exchange and why such experiences are still relevant six-and-a-half decades after New Zealand’s Fulbright programme began.
Wayne Edwards is President of the IPC Tertiary Institute (International Pacific College) in Palmerston North, and an Emeritus Professor at Massey University.
Wayne was 1970 Fulbright New Zealand Exchange Teacher at Gill Elementary School in Farmington, Michigan. The experience broadened his horizons in many ways and began a career-long involvement in and commitment to international education.
Wayne worked for 29 years at Massey University in Palmerston North, where he was Professor of Educational Administration and Head of the School of Educational Studies. In 1995 he was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to education and intercultural programmes.
He received a second Fulbright award, a Travel Award, in 2004 to present at the American Evaluation Association’s annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia, and to further his knowledge of the evaluation of educational institutions and programmes – an area of increasing importance in many countries today.
Roberto Rabel is Pro Vice-Chancellor, International at Victoria University of Wellington. His role involves overseeing the university’s internationalisation strategies and serving as a member of the university’s senior management team.
Roberto received a 1978 Fulbright New Zealand Graduate Award in 1978 to complete a Master of Arts degree in American Studies at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, where he stayed on to complete a PhD in American Diplomatic History.
Roberto worked at the University of Otago from 1986 to 2006, as a lecturer in the history department and then in management roles, before taking up his current position at Victoria University of Wellington. He is the author or editor of more than 40 books and articles, including an official history, New Zealand and the Vietnam War: Politics and Diplomacy (2005). He is National Vice-President of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, serves on numerous advisory boards, and has received awards from the governments of Vietnam and Poland for services to their countries.
Kristian Fanene Schmidt received a 2010 Fulbright New Zealand Graduate Award to complete a Master of Education in Comparative and International Education at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. After graduating in 2012, Kristian spent a year working in Student Affairs at Lourdes University in Sylvania, Ohio, where he developed and implemented support initiatives targeted at black and latino students.
Having recently returned to New Zealand, Kristian is now lecturing in the recently established Bachelor of Youth Development programme at WelTec’s Auckland campus. He hopes to continue working in education to advance Māori and Pacific achievement in Aotearoa and beyond.
Join these Fulbright alumni at the Fulbright New Zealand office on Friday 22 November, from 12:30-1:30pm, as they discuss why education exchange is still relevant today. Places are limited so please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 974 4119 by Wednesday 20 November. Feel free to bring your own “brown bag” lunch.
The Fulbright exchange programme is one of the largest and most significant scholarly initiatives in the world, with more than 300,000 alumni. Included are heads of state, ambassadors, artists, politicians, presidents, teachers, professors and thinkers. The programme was begun in 1946 by American Senator J. William Fulbright “to bring a little more knowledge, a little more reason and a little more compassion into world affairs and thereby to increase the chance that nations will learn at last to live in peace and friendship”. To find out more about the Fulbright programme and opportunities for educational and cultural exchange between New Zealand and the United States of America, visit the Fulbright New Zealand website at www.fulbright.org.nz