“Enter to learn; go forth to serve” and “the world is our campus” do not only apply to students. Retired BYU professor Gloria Wheeler is putting both into practice as a Fulbright scholar in Mongolia.
The former director of the Romney Institute of Public Management is teaching research methods to MBA students at the Institute of Finance and Economics in Ulan Bator, Mongolia’s capitol. She will also teach other courses related to her expertise applied statistics and human resource management, Wheeler said in an e-mail interview.
Wheeler said she applied for the program as a way to extend her service to the world.
“I had just realized that when I retired from BYU at the end of June, I would not be ready to retire from teaching, and I thought it would make sense to use my knowledge and abilities someplace else,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler said she also hopes to extend her horizons culturally.
“I think it’s important for Americans to step outside their comfort zones from time to time and to learn appreciation for others,” Wheeler said. “In this case, although Mongolia is clearly a developing economy and the average person is quite poor, it is an enriching experience to see Mongolians as students and fellow faculty.”
In a time of global economic woes, Wheeler said she hopes her time there will help Mongolia improve its business and economy.
This is not Wheeler’s first experience in the Fulbright program; she taught in Pakistan from 1990 to 1991. However, she said her experience in Mongolia is new and different from her time in Pakistan.
“Here in Mongolia, I am the only Fulbright scholar in the country this year,” Wheeler said. “In Pakistan … there were seven Fulbright scholars.”
Gary Cornia, dean of the Marriott School of Management, said the people of Mongolia are lucky to have a professor of Wheeler’s caliber.
“She was trained at a first-rate university with a first-rate mind,” Cornia said. “We’re real lucky to have her representing us.”
The State Department funds and operates the Fulbright program as a way to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries,” through an exchange of students and professors, according to the State Department’s Web site.
Several professors have represented the Marriott School in the Fulbright program in the past. Scott Smith, a professor of marketing, returned from Moldova in 2007.
“The Fulbright program is an excellent program for academic and faculty development that expands both research and interpersonal opportunities abroad,” Smith said.
Although she is busy teaching and helping develop curriculum, Wheeler said she still finds time to enjoy the uniqueness of her experience.
“I can see the nearby hills from my apartment and from my office window,” she said, “and I can appreciate some of the beauty of this country.”
Source: BYU NewsNet