Dr. Catherine DeLazzero, clinical associate professor of writing at the Katz School of Science and Health, recently received a Fulbright Specialist Award to deliver lectures on writing at Suranaree University of Technology (SUT) in Thailand. The award is given by The Fulbright Program, which offers grants for students, scholars, teachers, professionals and groups for U.S. citizens to visit countries abroad and for foreign citizens to visit the United States. She will be at SUT in Thailand from August 5 to 24, 2019, living in accommodations provided by the university.
She teaches writing in the Katz School’s Associate of Science in Management Program, which just graduated its first cohort of students in 2019.
In 2017, she applied to become, and was accepted as, a member of the Fulbright Specialist Roster, which is composed, according to the website, of “a diverse group of highly experienced, well-established faculty members and professionals who represent a wide variety of academic disciplines and professions [and who have] significant experience in their respective field, as demonstrated by professional, academic, or artistic achievements.”
As a Fulbright Specialist with expertise in writing, she was selected to participate in a project at SUT, located in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand, the country’s largest province by area, located in the northeast corner of the country.
“I will deliver lectures and workshops for faculty and graduate students in the School of Foreign Languages in the Institute of Social Technology at SUT,” she explained. “The topics will include second-language writing research, writing assessment research, writing for communication, and writing for publication. I will also engage with faculty in conversations about creating a writing program and a writing center as well as how to develop plans for writing assessment research.”
Her overarching goal is to exchange ideas and share knowledge about writing, pedagogy, assessment and research to benefit the faculty and students at SUT, with the hope that this is sustained through continued dialogue and collaboration after the visit. “Fulbright’s purpose is to foster mutual learning and understanding between the United States and other countries. In the area of writing, I am excited to learn from faculty and students at SUT, because there is so much diversity in understandings about writing within and across communities, and to develop new knowledge and best serve our students, it is vital to engage in conversations across borders.”
One area she is especially interested in examining is SUT’s use of work-integrated learning to prepare students for success as professionals and Thai citizens. “I’m looking forward to learning more about work-integrated learning and incorporating it into my own pedagogical framework and practice in the Katz School’s writing program. Many of the students at Katz are creative and innovative entrepreneurs and are eager to connect their academic work with their professional endeavors. Many also express the desire to write and communicate in ways that benefit broader communities, and they are already doing important work in this regard.”
What she also wants to bring back from Thailand to her writing courses are “strategies and methods for writing across borders that I can then share with my students. It is important for all of us to expand our vision and imagination beyond the borders of our immediate place, whether that be a classroom, a discipline or a neighborhood, and doing this requires intention and action.”
She added that “when students seek diverse perspectives both within and outside their immediate community, the world becomes both bigger and closer. Writing enables connection with those near and far, and through that connection, we learn. For me, this is one of the most exciting aspects of being in a university: the ability to learn with others to produce new knowledge.”