RVCC Professor Honored with Prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Award

Thursday, June 6, 2019
lauren braun in rome

Dr. Lauren H. Braun-Strumfels of Lambertville, Raritan Valley Community College Associate Professor of History, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to Italy to research and teach U.S. History and American Studies. The award was announced by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Dr. Braun-Strumfels, Co-Director of the College’s Center for Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship, has been teaching full-time in RVCC’s Humanities, Social Science, Social Work and Education Department since 2010.

The RVCC professor is one of over 800 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research, and/or provide expertise abroad for the 2019-2020 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Fulbright award recipients are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.

“We are truly honored that Professor Braun-Strumfels’ scholarly work and academic expertise are being recognized on the national level with the highly respected Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award,” said Dr. Deborah E. Preston, RVCC Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost. “Lauren is the first RVCC faculty member in over 10 years to be honored by the prestigious Fulbright Program, and it is especially impressive that she was selected for the highly competitive Scholar Program in Italy,” Dr. Preston continued.

During the period of her Fulbright Program award, Dr. Braun-Strumfels will research and lecture at the University of Roma Tre in Italy. Her work is part of a project, “Immigration Restriction in Transnational U.S. History,” which focuses on U.S. immigration restriction and Italy’s role in shaping U.S. policy. The RVCC professor will teach graduate seminars on U.S. foreign policy and immigration history in the University’s Master of Arts program in International Studies. She also will mentor graduate students and advocate for the crucial role that community colleges play in American higher education.

In addition, as part of the Fulbright, the RVCC professor will give public lectures on her upcoming book, tentatively titled Italy in America: The Transnational History of U.S. Immigration Restriction, 1891-1908 (University of Illinois Press). The book sheds new light on the construction of U.S. "gatekeeping" legislation and the enforcement of immigration restriction. Dr. Braun-Strumfels’ book disseminates new evidence on this topic in English for the first time. She believes that presenting this research in the classroom will provide students with a multinational perspective on immigration history and state-building. While in Rome Dr. Braun-Strumfels will collaborate on a second book that will situate the U.S.-Italian relationship at the turn of the 20th century, a crucial time in the history of immigration "gatekeeping.”

“Viewing U.S. history through an Italian perspective illuminates the past in ways that U.S. archives alone cannot,” said Dr. Braun-Strumfels. “Migration has, and continues to play, a significant and controversial role in both nations,” she added.

As a result of her project, Dr. Braun-Strumfels hopes to establish an ongoing relationship between Roma Tre and RVCC through curricular and programmatic focus on Italian-American history, culture, and relations, and to invite selected graduates of the Roma Tre M.A. program to teach U.S. history at RVCC on a periodic basis as adjunct faculty.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. 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 over 160 countries worldwide.

Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given more than 390,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Fulbrighters address critical global challenges in all disciplines, while building relationships, knowledge, and leadership in support of the long-term interests of the United States. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in many fields, including 59 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 84 who have received Pulitzer Prizes, and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.

For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State, visit http://eca.state.gov/fulbright or contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Press Office by telephone, 202-632-6452, or e-mail, ECA-Press@state.gov.

Ranked by BestColleges.com, WalletHub.com, and Niche.com as the #1 community college in New Jersey, Raritan Valley Community College has been serving as an academic and cultural center for Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for 50 years. The College has been nationally recognized for its service to the community, environmental stewardship, and commitment to diversity. It is home to a Planetarium, Science Education Institute and 3M Observatory; a 1,000-seat Theatre offering professional performances for all ages; and an Honors College for high achieving students.

The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training, small business assistance through the Small Business Development Center, professional development, and adult and youth personal enrichment courses. RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 6, 2019

Media contact: Donna Stolzer, 908-526-1200, ext. 8383

PR #153