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Rao Receives Fulbright Grant to Teach in Native India

PLATTSBURGH, NY __Dr. Shakuntala Rao, associate professor of communication at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh, was awarded a senior research and lecturer Fulbright grant by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and the U.S. Information Agency to teach in Punjab, India.

Dr. Shakuntala Rao Rao will teach graduate level courses at Punjabi University in Patiala, Punjab. Her teaching will focus on the areas of international communication and media ethics in the United States. In addition to teaching, she will conduct workshops for faculty and students in curriculum development and research methods.

Rao said she was honored to receive the prestigious Fulbright Scholar award.

"This program will give me the unique opportunity to return to India to do what I enjoy most: teaching.  I grew up in India and immigrated to the U.S. in 1986.  My training as an educator and scholar has been in the liberal arts traditions of the American academy," said Rao.

"I am fully committed to the democratic principles of education and to notions of equality, pluralism, and freedom of expression. I want to expose the community from which I come to such American educational values."

Rao is one of approximately 1,500 U.S. Fulbright grantees who will be abroad during the 2004-05 academic year. Under the Fulbright program, American students, teachers and scholars study, teach and conduct research throughout the world, and foreign nations engage in similar activities in the United States.

Individuals are selected based on academic and professional qualifications, and their ability and willingness to share ideas and experience with people of diverse cultures.

Rao joined the Department of Communication in 1992 after completing her doctorate at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She currently teaches classes in International Communication, Media Ethics, and Media and Popular Culture. Most of her teaching materials come directly out of her research in Postcolonial, Media and Feminist Theories.

She has published several articles in both communication and interdisciplinary journals including her most recent publications in Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies (Routledge), JOUVERT: Journal of Postcolonial Studies (University of North Carolina) and Journal of International Communication (Official journal of IAMCR).

She has also served on the editorial team of the ICA journal, Communication Theory and has reviewed papers for scholarly journals such as Journal of Communication Inquiry, Journal of Popular Culture, Feminist Media Studies, and many others. She has won best-paper awards at national scholarly conferences, including best faculty paper awards at ICA (2002) and AEJMC (1998).

Rao was a Fellow at the Institute for Ethics in Public Life at Plattsburgh State for Fall 2003. As a Fellow she worked to integrate new literature and case studies on ethics in journalism and media in the classes she teaches.

She also participated in a colloquia titled, "Media, Ethics, and Politics" at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism in April. She is one of the 10 scholars selected worldwide to participate, and her presentation will be published in a special issue of the Journal of Mass Media Ethics.

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