Global Issues on a Local Scale
In 2003-2004, Bellevue Community College
(BCC) hosted its first Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence,
Stella Williams. A scholar, activist and
policy advisor on gender and fisheries trade,
Williams engaged students, faculty and the
community in a year-long exploration of
Nigerian culture and environmental issues.
She also participated in a cross-cultural
examination of Nigerian fisheries and the
Northwest salmon industry. Williams is an
assistant professor in the Department of
Agricultural Economics at the Obafemi Awolowo
University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
Williams taught three classes during her
nine-month visit, one of which was an intensive
interdisciplinary seminar developed and
team-taught with BCC instructors in economics
and English. Entitled "Size Matters:
Growth, Prosperity and Equity in the Global
Village," the seminar examined complex
questions of globalization, population growth,
environmental degradation and social justice.
For the 25 participating students, it constituted
their entire academic experience for the
Williams also offered symposia throughout
the year for students and faculty and served
as a guest lecturer for over 30 classes
and student clubs-Amnesty International,
Model United Nations, Black Student Union-across
the curriculum. She served as an ambassador
to the community presenting programs in
K-12 schools, regional colleges and universities
and civic organizations.
"The visit to Washington, DC was also
a delightful insight into the Fulbrighters
in my cohort and the countries we come from,"
said Williams, who attended the Fulbright
Visiting Scholar Conference. "Spending
four days together, sharing experiences,
asking pertinent questions, learning from
staff at CIES and the State Department that
we met for the first time after corresponding
for so many months was educational and inspirational."
Williams hopes to take home with her many
of the teaching methods and strategies used
in the United States, including distance-learning
technology. She plans to integrate the practical
knowledge she gained about PowerPoint and
other graphic-based education tools into
her lesson plans in Nigeria. Williams was
also inspired by the closer interpersonal
relationships exhibited between teachers
and students at BCC and hopes to adjust
her teaching at home to build these relationships
and empower her students.
"For me, participating with diverse
faculty in an interdisciplinary studies
class was like a workshop where teaching
activities among the team helped to broaden
my outlook and methodology for teaching,"
said Williams. "I will take back home
with me this new experience gained from
participating in an integrated learning
community. I am now ready to engage in multidisciplinary
development in my future teaching at my