Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

August 14, 2000

Whitworth Professor Receives Fulbright Grant
to Help Lead Project on Conflict Resolution in Africa

Whitworth College Professor John Yoder has received a highly competitive Fulbright grant to take part in a project in Kenya on African perspectives and strategies regarding conflict resolution.

Yoder, a longtime member of Whitworth's political and international studies faculty, was among just 21 recipients out of 525 applicants to receive one of the Fulbright Alumni Initiatives Awards and one of only two recipients from small private colleges. The awards are part of a new program designed to sustain and extend the impact of collaborative international projects undertaken by U.S. faculty and professionals who have received Fulbright Awards in the past 10 years.

"The Fulbright program is one of the best programs we have to build good relationships between Americans and people and institutions abroad," said Yoder, who received Fulbright Fellowships to Liberia in 1987 and Kenya in 1998. He has written a number of books and articles about African history and conflict based on his research and personal experiences in Africa.

"You gain a much greater benefit if you can sustain those relationships, particularly in the work I'm trying to do," Yoder said. "I am interested in encouraging people to anticipate and manage situations of potential conflict rather than pick up the pieces after the conflict erupts."

The Alumni Initiatives Award, supplemented by support from Whitworth, will allow Yoder to return to Kenya for two months next summer. He will expand a conflict resolution program he helped established two years ago at Daystar University, one of Africa's leading Protestant institutions of higher learning located just outside Nairobi.

Yoder will teach a foundational course in conflict resolution for Daystar's peace studies program and will collaborate with Daystar professors on conflict resolution workshops in regions of Kenya where there has been recent ethnic strife. He also plans to collaborate with his Daystar colleagues in launching an electronic journal featuring case studies on conflict in Africa and in developing a distance learning course on conflict resolution to be offered jointly through Daystar and Whitworth.

"This project has great potential for leading to increased collaboration between Daystar and Whitworth that will benefit students and staff at both institutions," Yoder said. "While several Whitworth faculty have visited Daystar, we hope this project will lead to more Daystar faculty and administrators visiting Whitworth. And we expect the distance learning course to be a rich and eye-opening learning experience for students from both institutions."

The Alumni Initiatives grant is funded by the U.S. Department of State and the Institute of International Education, an independent non-profit organization that coordinates the Fulbright Scholar Program and most Fulbright student programs.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The college enrolls 2,000 students in over 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.

Contacts:

John Yoder, professor of political and international studies, 509-777-4432 or johnyoder@whitworth.edu.

Greg Orwig, director of communications, 509-777-4580 or gorwig@whitworth.edu.

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