Kevin F. F. Quigley
In 2007, when I was a Fulbright Senior Specialist while serving as president of the the Peace Corps alumni association, Khun Pornthip Kanjaniyot, the Executive Director of the Thai Fulbright Program, suggested that there was someone she wanted me to meet: Bruce Svare.
Although she didn’t say this, Khun Pornthip implied that Bruce Svare reminded her of me, a Peace Corps volunteer who had developed a deep connection to Thailand. Every year since Bruce’s Fulbright in Thailand in 2006, he returned to continue to work with faculty and students to strengthen the discipline of psychology. This is a remarkable streak Bruce has continued ever since, even during the pandemic, although for a couple of years his “return” was done remotely.
What is the lasting impact of [the Fulbright and Peace Corps] programs? And how do these programs shape their participants’ careers, generate new knowledge, and produce innovative collaborative approaches?
During that first meeting over delicious Thai food, we discovered many common interests, especially our connections to the Peace Corps and Fulbright programs. Bruce’s brother-in-law Mark Gearan was the director of the Peace Corps during the Clinton Administration, and I had been a volunteer in Thailand in the 1970s.
That conversation continued how these iconic programs involving intensive cross-cultural experiences lead to long-standing relationships built on empathy. An important aspect of that conversation was what is the lasting impact of these programs? And how do these programs shape their participants’ careers, generate new knowledge, and produce innovative collaborative approaches, etc.
Given this interest in capturing and narrating stories about the long-term impact of the Fulbright Program and perceiving that there was no clear mechanism to do this, Bruce began thinking about creating an on-line, peer-reviewed journal by and for Fulbrighters. He connected with Rob from Fulbrighter. About a year ago, Bruce asked me to join him in an effort to make a reality the idea of creating this journal.
In launching Fulbright Chronicles, we set a number of principles:
- The Chronicles will be an independent journal by and for Fulbright alumni regardless of what program they were in;
- The journal will reflect the global reach and programmatic breadth of Fulbright program through our editorial team and articles;
- Contributions will be peer-reviewed and should go beyond the Fulbright experience to discuss the impact that experience had.
Once we agreed to go ahead with plans to establish the Chronicles, we worked with Rob from Fulbrighter to help us identify editorial members. With that help, we received more than 140 applications for these volunteer positions. Keeping the principles above in mind, we narrowed the applicant pool to 20 and after another submission of application materials, we selected the remarkable and dedicated editorial team.
With the help of the editorial team and their commitment to the Fulbright Program by our remarkable contributors, we are very pleased to introduce the inaugural issue of Fulbright Chronicles.
We cordially invite you to join us in documenting and telling stories about the impact of the Fulbright Program.