Biola University professor of applied linguistics Kitty Purgason of the Cook School of Intercultural Studies was awarded the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program grant to train teachers of English from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board in July 2016. In the spring semester, Purgason will be lecturing in Dushanbe, Tajikistan at the Lomonosov Moscow State University of Dushanbe as part of a project to improve English language teaching throughout the region.

“I am very grateful for my previous experiences around the world and for what I've learned from students and colleagues — all that has opened the door for this grant,” said Purgason.

Purgason is one of more than 1,200 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research, and provide expertise abroad for the 2016-2017 academic year through the grants provided by the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.

“I look forward to refreshing my knowledge of classroom realities and updating my knowledge about English language teaching around the world — making me more effective as a faculty member in Biola University’s department of Applied Linguistics and TESOL,” said Purgason.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries that are needed to solve global challenges. The Fulbright program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the program, which operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.

Biola recognizes the achievements of professors who receive the Fulbright Scholarship award and believes these scholarship opportunities strengthen professors’ abilities and experience both in and out of the classroom setting.

Purgason holds her doctorate in applied linguistics and serves as the chair of Applied Linguistics and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at Biola University. She has lived in 14 different countries including India, China, and Turkey. Purgason has previously received two Fulbright fellowships and also served as a U.S. State Department English Language Specialist.

Purgason will be teaching in Tajikistan from February through June 2017.

Written by Erin Wilson, public relations intern. For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, media relations specialist, at (562) 777-4061 or