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UNG faculty member selected for Fulbright-Hays Seminar Abroad Program

Lauren Johnson is the second UNG professor to be selected for the prestigious Fulbright-Hays Seminar Abroad Program.

Dr. Lauren C. Johnson, assistant professor & coordinator of diversity and recruitment initiatives in the College of Education, was selected as the second University of North Georgia (UNG) faculty member to participate in the Fulbright-Hays Seminar Abroad Program.

The Fulbright-Hays program 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.

Johnson’s seminar will aim to provide 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 will also center 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. It also will address the main reform processes undertaken in the last two decades.

"I'm honored to have been selected for this prestigious program," Johnson said. "Traveling to Chile will be 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."

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 (WARC), based in Dakar.

"My experience in Senegal was both challenging and intensely rewarding," McFaden said. "The program was designed to give us as wide and complex a view of Senegalese culture and society as possible. We traveled to many locations around the country and had the opportunity to hear from the top scholars working in Senegal today as well as religious and human rights leaders."

Johnson received her Bachelor of Arts in Latin American studies and 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.

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