University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations

August 21, 2006
Contact: Joy Washington, USA Office of Public Relations, (251) 460-6638

USA College of Education Professor Receives Fulbright Scholar Award

Dr. Jack Dempsey, chair of the department of professional studies in the College of Education

Dr. Jack Dempsey, chair of the department of professional studies in the College of Education at the University of South Alabama, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship grant sponsored by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Dempsey will conduct research and lecture in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, during the 2006-2007 academic year. A professor in the instructional design and development program at USA, Dempsey said he is honored to receive this award.

“I have developed great relationships with a number of the international students, including Malaysian graduate students that have studied in my academic program and worked with me in the USA Online Learning Lab,” he said. “This experience has a profound and enriching effect on me as an educator and encouraged my interest in other countries.”


Dempsey is one of approximately 800 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad to some 150 countries this upcoming academic year through the Fulbright Scholarship Program. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright Scholar Program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. The program builds mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries.

Dempsey has an extensive background in instructional design, and has always been intrigued by Southeast Asia and wanted to travel there. He said he is grateful for the opportunity to share his expertise and learn more about Malaysia and other Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

“For more than 20 years, I have been involved in education and training adults at various levels,” he said. “Although the details of my Fulbright assignment are not settled at this juncture, I understand that I’ll be affiliated with Multimedia University, which is a fairly new national university focusing on the IT and multimedia industry. Also, I have proposed to work with university faculty and administrators, conduct workshops, and assist with curriculum and institutional development, particularly related to technology-based education.”

Dempsey said another primary goal is to collaborate with Malaysian academics on ongoing and future research projects related to instructional design and the use of educational technologies. He said a real plus for him is the possibility of establishing bilateral ties with Malaysian university faculty.

“Like many of my colleagues in the U.S., I had been focusing on American educational theories, American research, American practices, and American academic programs,” Dempsey said. “It is an easy thing to do because we live in a large country and there is a great deal going on. But, there is also a great deal going on in the rest of the world in higher education and, to me, it has become increasingly important to interact with colleagues in other countries.”

The Fulbright Program, American’s flagship international educational exchange activity, has been in existence for more than 60 years. Thousands of U.S. faculty and professionals have studied, taught or done research through this program.

“Dr. Dempsey's receipt of a Fulbright Award recognizes the excellence of his scholarship and the great potential for his contribution to instructional design in a global society,” said Dr. Richard L. Hayes, dean of the College of Education at USA. “The College of Education is extremely proud of his selection and of his membership on our faculty.”

Recipients of the Fulbright Scholar award are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and because they have demonstrated extraordinary leadership potential in their fields.

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