The start of a new school year is particularly exciting for Lone Star College-CyFair’s Katrieva Jones Munroe as she will be teaching the 2009-2010 academic year in Russia as a member of the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.
“I’m excited. I get to live in another country for a year and become truly immersed in the culture,” said Jones Munroe, professor and lead faculty in the Computer Information Technology (CIT) department. “I also want to build partnerships with IT industries in Russia and open opportunities for students interested in summer exchanges and/or internships.”
“Professor Jones Munroe is extremely knowledgeable about computers and their applications,” said Maria Sanders, Dean of Math, Humanities and CIT. “Her participation in the Fulbright Program will open many doors for us to build partnerships with Russia for the benefit of our students as well as the members of the Cy-Fair community.”
The Fulbright Program, America’s flagship international educational exchange program, provides scholar recipients the opportunity to observe each others' political, economic, educational and cultural institutions, to exchange ideas and to embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world's inhabitants.
“This is my first opportunity to work with the Fulbright organization. I think it will benefit me in many ways,” said Jones Munroe. “Personally, it’s a life goal to teach abroad. Professionally, it will give me the experience in internationalizing curriculum in computer science so that students in the United States can have a broader perspective.”
Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. Jones Munroe offers more than a decade of experience in the information technology industry, with achievements in higher education and in software development, as well as philanthropic missions in Haiti and Thailand.
Teaching at Russia’s Bashkir State University, Jones Munroe will work in the computer science department to implement a hybrid teaching approach that concentrates on skills-based training for Russian students. She will be mapping industry skill set standards with computer science curriculum to improve a student’s marketability.
“I will work with the university to help define IT skill sets standards for Russia to benefit their students,” she said. “I have three goals: make curriculum more skill-based to make students more employable, identify skill sets for the IT industry in the area and thirdly, a lofty goal, help build internships.”
One of the challenges in achieving her goals might be the lack of cultural diversity and some possible biases as Jones Munroe is a woman of color. The winter weather in Russia, which can reach 20 below, will also be an adjustment, but not the language as she will work with a translator.
Jones Munroe, whose husband and 5-year-old son will be going with her to Russia, is also excited to see sights, such as Moscow and St. Petersberg.
Jones Munroe, the first LSC-CyFair Fulbright recipient, is one of approximately 800 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, which operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.
About the Fulbright Program
The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Each scholar is selected by a 12 person committee appointed by the President of the United States of America. Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided recipients the opportunity to observe each others' political, economic, educational and cultural institutions, to exchange ideas and to embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world's inhabitants. The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars.