JACKSON, Tenn. – April 22, 2010– David Austill, professor of accounting and business law at Union University, received a grant from the Fulbright Program to lecture, research and write in Bulgaria over the next academic year.
The U.S. government sponsors the Fulbright Program, which currently sends American professors and professionals to more than 155 countries.
“Fulbright is a reach-out from the United States to other countries to gain mutual understanding,” Austill said. “It’s a sharing of information, both academic and technical, to help mankind in general, but particularly to help the United States.”
Keith Absher, dean of the McAfee School of Business Administration, was among those writing recommendation letters for Austill.
“I have had good support from Union, from the Provost’s office and from the business school,” Austill said.
In addition to strong recommendations, Austill’s application noted his two law degrees, two business degrees, law and CPA licenses and professional practice, university teaching and research in both disciplines.
The Fulbright scholarship in Bulgaria will begin Oct. 1 and end Feb. 1. While details of the trip have yet to be decided, Austill said he knows he will be assigned to Sofia University in the capital city, where he will lecture principally in the business school.
The Union professor said he will also research European employment law, for the purpose of bringing back an understanding of how such law could affect Americans in the future.
In preparation for the scholarship, Austill said he plans to spend two weeks this summer in Bulgaria to acclimate himself to its culture and learn about its history. Although he has not visited Bulgaria before, Austill is a seasoned traveler. He has lectured in China, spent two weeks in Mexico and traveled three times to Western Europe. Most recently, he traveled to Turkey, where he presented a paper at an international conference, and spent nine days in Spain.
Austill said he sees educational value in visiting other countries: “To me, it goes back to the founding of the (United States of America) and the development of the country. You were educated and well-rounded if you traveled to Europe, and that’s what I’ve been doing.”
Austill said he hopes to give other Union faculty members the benefit of his experience as they apply for future opportunities with the Fulbright Program.
By Samantha Adams (’13)