Dr. Edward J. Yaw, president of County College of Morris (CCM) and a long-time supporter of international educational exchanges, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar Grant to take part in a Community College Administrators Seminar (CCAS) in Russia this spring.
Yaw is one of only five community college administrators selected nationwide to participate in this spring’s Fulbright CCAS program. As a participant, he will spend two weeks meeting with higher education and other officials in Kazan and Moscow, sharing ideas and insights about professional education, workforce development and the performing arts.
“County College of Morris has a long history of international exchanges,” noted Yaw. “This is an opportunity for us to further build upon that and perhaps establish some new partnerships.”
In addition to offering a degree program in International Studies, CCM was a participant in the Congress-Bundestag Program for many years and hosted a number of students from Germany. CCM also was the first community college to host Overseas Education Advisors through the U.S. Based Training program operated by the College Board. That program, in turn, became a springboard for the development of additional international exchanges including the Morris-East European Scholar program that ran for nine years prior to September 11, 2001.
In addition, CCM has developed a sister-college relationship with Cuttington University in Liberia. That relationship has resulted in several faculty and staff exchanges, along with contributions of books and computers.
CCM faculty members, likewise, have participated and continue to participate in numerous international programs sharing their experiences with their counterparts in Russia, Hungary, Morocco, Costa Rica and China. A number of those exchanges were made possible through Fulbright grants.
Yaw’s interest in international education traces back to his high school days when he became the first student in his hometown of Potsdam, NY, to take part in an exchange program. Through the American Field Service, he was able to spend a summer as an exchange student in Berlin.
“As is always the case with such programs, that was a life-changing experience for me,” recalled Yaw. “I also learned a number of important life lessons. I learned about the value of immersing oneself into another culture as a means for appreciating differences and gaining new insights. The process of having to write an essay to be considered for the program also showed me how important strong writing skills are for success. And when I returned and was invited by the Rotary and Kiwanis to talk about my experience, I was able to start developing my public speaking skills.”
When he returns from Russia, Yaw plans to share his experience with CCM students and faculty and with other college administrators and trustees through his participation in the American Association of Community Colleges, the American Association of Community College Trustees and other organizations.
The other college officials selected for the program are Jack Armstrong, president of Broward College, Fort Lauderdale, FL; Margaret Bdzil, program coordinator, DeAnza College, Cupertino, CA: Dr. Adelina Solis Silva, vice chancellor, Alamo Colleges, San Antonio, TX; and Dr. Richard Shrubb, president, Minnesota West Community College, Worthington, MN.