Fulbright Scholars on the Academy’s Faculty
MMA TAKES GREAT PRIDE in its exceptional faculty, which boasts three current professors who are Fulbright Scholars as well as one professor emerita and two former faculty members. MMA Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Keith Williamson notes, “We have a phenomenal faculty and the fact that five percent of them are Fulbright Scholars is a big deal. They are committed to their work and set a high bar for the rest of us. Because of the Fellows, MMA is able to attract others with the same characteristics.”
The Fulbright Program is a prestigious international educational exchange program, bestowing awards on over 900 college and university faculty and staff annually. Recipients are selected based on professional achievements and leadership potential. These Fulbright alumni work in all walks of life . . . lawyers, environmental specialists, educators, artists, landscape architects, maritime transportation specialists, to name a few. Maine is home to around 230 Fulbright alumni.
Dr. Elaine Potoker, Professor Emerita, Loeb Sullivan School of International Business and Logistics, was awarded her first Fulbright Scholarship in 2007 for work on challenges to trade and workforce development in Central America and the Caribbean at the University of Costa Rica and received a second award as a Senior Specialist in 2012 to continue her earlier work. Potoker has mentored and encouraged current MMA faculty who have applied for a Scholarship. She has also served in leadership positions for the Maine Chapter of the Fulbright Association, serving most recently as chapter president.
Like other Fellows, MMA faculty study, teach, and conduct research that helps find solutions to shared international concerns.
“Having a Fulbright Award is a life-changing event,” said Potoker. “What you’re doing is beneficial to your home country, your home institution, and also the host. The nature of the award is such that you can really appreciate the expertise and the diversity of who gets the award. MMA is pleased to have so many Fulbright Scholars among the faculty who bring their rich experiences to the students.”
Dr. Aaron Kingsbury is an Associate Professor of Arts and Sciences, and holds an MA in geography from Simon Fraser University in Canada, an MS degree in international ecological agriculture from the University of Kassel in Germany, and a PhD in geography from the University of Hawaii. His Fulbright Scholarship was awarded in 2021 and focused on strengthening research capacities in northern Vietnam. He serves as a research advisor for the Agriculture and Forestry Research & Development Center for Mountainous Regions in Vietnam and has been involved in research across the Asia-Pacific.
“I teach a lot of human geography and culture here. Being a Fulbright Scholar has given me lots of context I can add to my classes. My experience has given me lots of flexibility. I can slowly integrate new thoughts and ideas into my teaching.”
Capt. Daniel Parrott is the Department Chair of Marine Transportation. He came to MMA in 2003 after a 20-year career sailing worldwide. He has a BA from Colby College and an MA from the University of Rhode Island. Parrott teaches navigation, seamanship and Bridge Resource Management, and sails aboard the State of Maine and Bowdoin.
“I started thinking about the Fulbright almost from the moment I got here,” said Parrott. “Dr. Potoker encouraged me to apply, and in 2017 I was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Costa Rica. I taught navigation, did some program development, and helped the University of Costa Rica establish their new School of Nautical Science.”
Dr. Paul Wlodkowski is a professor in the Harold Alfond School of Engineering. He was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship in 2014 and spent six months in St. Petersburg, Russia, teaching at the Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping. Wlodkowski graduated from Dartmouth College, holds an MS from the University of Virginia and a PhD from the University of Maryland. He has over thirty years of both academic and industrial experience in materials and reliability engineering, research & development, and teaching.
Wlodkowski was first in Russia in 1988 as an exchange student at Moscow University. He returned in the summer of 2008 as a visiting professor at the Makarov Maritime Academy. “I had discovered my love of teaching at MMA, and the Fulbright gave me the opportunity to return to Russia and teach engineering. When you venture out, you see that the rest of the world is full of tremendous expertise. Fulbright Scholars help bring people and countries together.”
Additional Fulbright Scholars include two former faculty members:
- MR. ROBERT GIFFIN, THE NETHERLANDS, 1989–1990
- DR. NEAL RAISMAN, FRANCE, 1981