De Soto receives 2012 Fulbright grant to Ukraine

By Ann Friou
University News Service
August 22, 2011

William De Soto, associate professor of political science at Texas State University-San Marcos, has been awarded a Fulbright grant to lecture in the 2012 spring semester at the Ivan Franko National University of L’viv in Ukraine.

De Soto will teach courses in American government and American political thought. The title of his project is "Helping Build Civil Society in Modern Ukraine."

"Ukraine is a young country that has existed as an independent state for only 20 years. The challenge that Ukraine shares with many young nations is building government institutions that work effectively and promote the long-term wellbeing of the country and its citizens," De Soto said.

"As a political scientist, I am interested in understanding what helps a government be both successful and accountable to its people," he said. "I will be teaching two courses in the spring semester. I hope to visit campuses in other parts of the country and exchange ideas about both political life and academic life. It's a privilege I am grateful for."

Founded in 1661, the Ivan Franko National University of L’viv is one of the oldest universities in eastern Europe. L’viv is located in the L’viv province in western Ukraine and is a United Nations world heritage site renowned for the appeal of its architecture.

At least one Texas State faculty member has received a Fulbright grant each year since 2002, said Steve Wilson, professor of English at Texas State, who advises Fulbright applicants on the campus.

In 2009 and 2010, Texas State was recognized as one of the top producers of Fulbright Fellows among American colleges and universities at the master’s level. Fulbright grants were awarded to two Texas State students in 2009-2010: Jessica Spangler, geography and German, who traveled to Germany, and Michael Trice, technical communication, who traveled to England. In 2010-2011, Fulbright grants were awarded to two faculty: Roseann Mandziuk, communication studies, who traveled to Poland, and Daris Hale, music, who traveled to Tanzania. The ranking is published by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, which administers the Fulbright program.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

The program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas and is sponsored by the United States Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Approximately 310,000 "Fulbrighters," 116,900 from the United States and 192,800 from other countries, have participated in the program since its inception over 60 years ago. The Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 new grants annually. Currently, the Fulbright Program operates in over 155 countries worldwide.

Fulbright participants are emerging and current leaders in every field of human endeavor. Forty Fulbright alumni have received Nobel Prizes for their work.