The College of Mathematics and Science (CMS) hosted four Iraqi Fulbright scholars in Summer 2022 as part of the prestigious Fulbright Visiting Scholar for Iraq program sponsored by the United States Department of State.
During the 10-week program, the scholars participated in professional development workshops, mentoring, cultural activities, and research. Seven CMS faculty members from the departments of Biology and Computer Science served as teaching or research mentors to the scholars, engaging in thoughtful discussions about teaching pedagogy and advising interesting research projects that the scholars continue to work on from Iraq.
Iraqi Culture Night, hosted by the scholars in their final week on campus, was a fun opportunity to learn about the history and different geographic regions of Iraq, try traditional Iraqi dances, and eat delicious Middle Eastern food. The scholars also thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in American culture; highlights for them were a trip to the rodeo, driving historic Route 66, visiting many museums, eating lots of delicious ice cream flavors, and being welcomed into the homes of several different families.
The CMS and broader UCO community made the scholars feel so welcome that they talk about UCO as their “American home” and the people here as their “family”. It was a very successful program, and CMS looks forward to hosting another group of scholars in Summer 2023!