Faculty member selected for Fulbright-Hays Seminar Abroad

Dr. Lauren C. Johnson, assistant professor and coordinator of diversity and recruitment initiatives in UNG’s College of Education, studied in Chile this summer through the Fulbright-Hays Seminar Abroad Program.

Johnson is the second UNG faculty member selected for the program, which provides short-term study and travel seminars abroad for U.S. educators in the social sciences and humanities to improve their understanding and knowledge of the people and cultures of other countries.

“I’m honored to have been selected for this prestigious program,” Johnson said. “Traveling to Chile was an amazing experience, and I look forward to incorporating what I learn about education reform and social justice education into my courses here at UNG.”

Johnson’s seminar provided a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of Chilean society, culture, values, and institutions, by highlighting the social, economic, political, religious, and ethnic contexts that have influenced reform processes and social movements from the past to the present day.

The seminar also centered on underlying issues, such as the historical and contemporary relationship between church and state and how religious thought and practice have influenced, and been influenced by, the development of Chilean democracy.

Last year’s UNG recipient, Dr. Kelly McFaden, associate professor of education, focused her travel on exploring religious and cultural diversity in West Africa, particularly how Senegal managed to maintain relative social harmony while balancing the integration of indigenous religions with Islam and Christianity. She also explored African Christianity and African Islam in Dakar, Senegalese culture and politics in Toubacouta, and Diola society and tradition in Ziguinchor, which was hosted through the African Studies Center at Boston University in collaboration with the West African Research Center, based in Dakar.

Johnson received her Bachelor of Arts in Latin American studies, her Master of Arts in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) from Columbia University and her Ph.D. in applied anthropology from the University of South Florida.