Garrett receives second Fulbright Scholar Award

March 20, 2018
Dr. Richard Garrett

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – Dr. Richard Garrett, senior lecturer of English at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, recently received the second Fulbright Scholar Award of his career. During his first Fulbright experience in 2012-13, Garrett taught academic writing, literature and language courses at Moldova State University in Chisinau, the capital of the Republic of Moldova. His most recent Fulbright will take him to Jordan, a country in the Middle East, this fall.

The Fulbright Scholar Program, sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State, strives to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. It provides participants with the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Garrett and his wife, Dr. Catherine Douillet, lecturer of sociology at UW-Platteville, and their two children will move to Jordan in August, and remain there until June 2019. While in Jordan, Garrett will teach linguistics, sociolinguistics and academic writing at the University of Jordan in Amman, the capital of Jordan. In addition to teaching, Garrett will give presentations, conduct language and writing workshops and lead English conversation groups outside the classroom. He also will visit a number of historical and tourist sites in the area, including the ancient city of Petra, the Dead Sea and Jerusalem.

Garrett said he is excited about receiving the award and having an opportunity to teach at the University of Jordan, one of the most prestigious universities in the Middle East.

“I am looking forward to teaching English language classes to Jordanian students and observing how their knowledge and awareness of English compares to that of students I have worked with at UW-Platteville and in eastern Europe and China,” said Garrett. “I am also looking forward to learning about Jordanian, Middle Eastern and Muslim culture from my students and colleagues. In our globalized world, it is critical for our students to have knowledge of other cultures because once they become professionals, they will be working with people from other countries. Perhaps I can impart some of the knowledge I’ll acquire in Jordan to my UW-Platteville students, when I return.”

Garrett, who has always had an interest in the Middle East and in Muslim culture, said that Jordan is a stable country bordered by several other countries that are less stable, including Syria. He noted that the hundreds of thousands of refugees currently flooding into Jordan are changing the face of the country, and he is interested in learning more about how this is impacting Jordanian society.

Garrett said the majority of the population in Jordan speaks English as a second language, so communicating there may not be as much of a challenge as it would be in other Middle Eastern countries. Nonetheless, he is looking forward to the opportunity to learn Arabic. His 10-year-old daughter is already studying the language.

Several of Garrett’s colleagues offered congratulations and noted that the knowledge and insights he gains in Jordan will benefit the entire campus community upon his return.

“All of Richard’s colleagues in the Department of Humanities congratulate him for his second Fulbright award,” said Dr. Shane Drefcinski, professor of philosophy and chair of the Department of Humanities at UW-Platteville. “He is not only an excellent instructor, he is also an outstanding scholar.”

“Our rural campus will greatly benefit from Richard’s first-hand knowledge of the Middle East,” said Dr. Daniel Leitch, assistant director/associate professor of education, Fulbright Scholar representative at UW-Platteville, and past recipient of a Fulbright Scholar award. “Richard possesses a proven track record of bringing back insights from his travels and transferring those insights into classroom activities that increase our students’ cultural sensitivities. I heartily congratulate Richard on receiving this highly prestigious award. The Fulbright Scholar Award is internationally recognized as the flagship program for eminent scholars.”

“I was excited to learn that Richard was awarded another Fulbright, this time to Jordan,” said Donna Anderson, director of International Programs at UW-Platteville. “This is truly an honor and distinction not only for Richard, but for the UW-Platteville community. The Fulbright program is the largest and most prestigious program of its kind in the world. It provides wonderful opportunities for faculty from the U.S. to teach and do research in countries around the world as well as for international scholars to teach and research here in the U.S. Richard will have the opportunity to build connections with others in Jordan and bring those connections and experiences back home to UW-Platteville, our students and our community.”

Garrett began the three-phase application process in August 2017. The process involved an initial peer review organized by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, followed by a review through the host country. Garrett's application was then forwarded to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board in the United States for final approval.

In addition to teaching in Moldova, Garrett lived and taught in France for two years, in India for four months, and teaches every summer in Wuhan, China as a visiting UW-Platteville professor.

Written by: Laurie A. Hamer, University Relations Specialist, College of Liberal Arts and Education, 608-342-6191,


Subscribe to news at University of Wisconsin-Platteville using our RSS feed.