Two professors earn Fulbright awards

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A pair of Virginia Commonwealth University faculty members recently received Fulbright Scholar grants to travel abroad in 2014.

Jeff South, an associate professor in the School of Mass Communications and director of the Capital News Service, and Shawn Utsey, Ph.D., professor of counseling psychology in the Department of Psychology, each will travel abroad next spring on Fulbright grants. South will travel to China to teach journalism and mass communications courses, and Utsey will travel to South Africa to conduct an oral history project.

“We’re very proud of Jeff South and Shawn Utsey for earning the prestigious Fulbright award,” said Beverly Warren, Ed.D., Ph.D., provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at VCU. “Their experiences abroad will not only be of personal benefit but will greatly enrich our collaborative initiatives at VCU and will strengthen our community partnerships.”

South will teach at Northeast Normal University (NENU) in Changchun, a city of more than three million people, in far northeast China. The school’s spring semester runs from February through July. The courses will be taught in English, although South studied Mandarin Chinese to prepare for the trip.

South said he is looking forward to the experience because in terms of geopolitics, economics, the environment and other areas, the rise of China is arguably the most important development in the world today.

Utsey will collaborate with faculty, staff and students at the Sinomlando Center for Oral History and Memory Work (Sinomlando Center) at the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) in Pietermaritzburg to conduct oral histories with survivors and their families of apartheid-era ethnoviolence.

Utsey said he is looking forward to his yearlong trip to South Africa in 2014 because he has a passion for the people and is interested in determining to what degree apartheid continues to affect the people of South Africa.

The School of Mass Communications and Psychology Department are both part of VCU’s College of Humanities and Sciences.