CMU spouses head to Taiwan as Fulbright scholars

Historians are 2 of university’s 3 current Fulbright awardees

Central Michigan University faculty members Jennifer Liu Demas and Lane Demas have been awarded prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar Awards to research and teach in Taiwan.

It works out well that they'll be in the same country — as they're married.

"It's a real honor to receive a Fulbright Award, and even more humbling is that they gave both Jennifer and I awards to the same country at the same time," Lane said.

Both Jennifer and Lane are History faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. Lane specializes in the history of race and popular culture in America, specifically sport and African American history.

He will teach U.S. and African American history at Taipei's National Chengchi University, one of the country's top schools for humanities. His course Race and Sport in U.S. History will be reconfigured to focus on American sport in Asia, as well as Asian and Asian American athletes in the American experience.

"Teaching in Taiwan will allow me to interact with NCCU's excellent students and help transform my American history and American studies syllabi into more interdisciplinary, transnational courses sensitive to the needs of a diverse student body," Lane said.

He said he is excited to represent CMU in Taiwan and hopes the experience will help make him a better professor.

Jennifer specializes in the political and social history of 20th-century China, particularly education, youth culture, student protest and ethnic identity.

She will conduct research at Taiwan's National Central Library. Her research will be part of a project exploring the history of secondary education in mainland China and Taiwan before, during and after World War II.

"I am honored to have received the Fulbright Scholar Award for Taiwan. It will enable me to focus on research there and add the finishing touches to my book manuscript," Jennifer said.

Her book is about the Kuomintang political party in mainland China adapting its educational policies after fleeing to Taiwan in 1949.

The couple are not the only current Fulbright awardees from CMU. Art history faculty member Scott de Brestian will study in Spain this spring through the program.

According to its website, the Fulbright Program was established in 1946 as the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, designed to forge lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, counter misunderstandings and help people and nations work together toward common goals.

Fulbright scholars engage in cutting-edge research, expand their professional networks and work together to find solutions to shared international concerns.

Fulbright alumni include 60 Nobel Prize laureates, 88 Pulitzer Prize recipients and 37 people who have served as a head of state or government.

by University Communications intern Angelica Elizalde.

Jennifer Liu Demas and Lane Demas visit Taiwan in 2008.
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