7 April, 2017
Becky Duckett, director of Gadsden State Community College’s International Programs and the Alabama Language Institute, has been selected as a scholar through the Fulbright Program, a highly competitive fellowship that enables students and faculty members to pursue academic experiences abroad.
The Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 370,000 participants with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
“We are all proud that Becky is representing Gadsden State in this scholarly endeavor,” said Dr. Martha Lavender, president. “Her participation in this prestigious program expands Gadsden State’s capabilities and reputation of excellence.”
Duckett will participate in the U.S.-Korea International Education Administrators Program. Through the program, she will spend two weeks creating connections with the societal, cultural and higher education systems of Korea. She said she wants to learn as much as possible about Korea’s current education system in order to enhance the economic partnerships that exist in Alabama.
“Gadsden State and other community colleges are engaged in workforce training for the auto manufacturing industry, an enterprise which currently reflects significant Korean investment in Alabama,” she said. “A deeper understanding of the current education system will allow me to explore potential intersections between Korean expectations and Alabama community college workforce development.”
Duckett has been interested in Korea since 1980 when, as a new college graduate, she went to the country to teach conversational English to students at Pusan National University.
“Over the course of two seminal years, both the students and Korean culture captivated me and set me on a lifelong path of international education,” she said.
Since her work in Korea, Duckett has worked for international programs at Furman University, College of Charleston, Anderson College, Greenville Technical College, the University of Louisville and University of South Carolina. She has made presentations on Korea at the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Educators Conference, the Alabama Association of International Educators Conference, the Geographic Alliance, the South Carolina Center for Teaching about Asia and Furman University.
Duckett came to Gadsden State in 2015 to oversee the International Programs and the Alabama Language Institute. The IPO seeks to enhance the academic, cultural and social pursuits of students through knowledge and expertise in admissions, immigration, advising and cross-cultural exchange.
Since joining Gadsden State’s administration, Duckett has been involved in significant collaborative initiatives, such as Study Alabama, a consortium of global engagement and economic development.
“It is an entity comprised of higher education administrators and economic trade specialists committed to cooperatively promoting bi-lateral international commerce and international education exchange,” she said.
She is also instrumental in organizing the Alabama Community College System Study Abroad Consortium, which will provide a unified approach to delivering excellent study abroad opportunities and access to students.
“This consortium effort began as a result of like-minded international education administrators’ conviction that U.S. students must gain global competence, particularly community college students who are being trained to populate the workforce of an already global economy,” she said.
Duckett is eager to participate in the two-week grant program as a Fulbright Scholar. She will leave on her journey on June 9.
“I believe there is great potential for mutually beneficial intersections between the state of Alabama and Korea, and I want to do my part toward improving educational opportunities in my home state.”