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Olin Professor Named U.S. Fulbright Specialist

Rebecca Christianson, an associate professor of Applied Physics at Olin College of Engineering has been named a Fulbright Specialist. Christianson will spend 4 weeks in Tunisia at ESPRIT School of Engineering.

Opened in 2003, ESPRIT has grown from 40 students to 5,500 and is located in the heart of Tunis. The school emphasizes a “learning by doing” philosophy and most classes are project-based.

Christianson will be focused on sharing pedagogical information and co-creating interdisciplinary projects as well as faculty workshops. “I think this will expand my understanding of the world in ways that are very exciting,” said Christianson.

Tunisia is a predominantly Muslim country where the primary languages are French, Arabic, and Berber.

It is this kind of an extended immersion in a different culture that Christianson was looking for when she applied to the program. Like its well-known counterpart for students, the Fulbright Specialist is an exchange program that pairs highly qualified US academics and professionals with host institutions so that they may share their expertise. The US State Department initiated the program in 2001.

After being accepted into the program, academics have three years to express interest on any project that may align with their expertise.

Christianson plans to blog about her experience.

“Sharing what we do here at Olin is part of our mission, we are delighted that one of our faculty will be able to do so under the auspices of the Fulbright—one of the most widely recognized and competitive exchange programs in academia,” said Provost Vin Manno.