University's Language Connection Chosen to Host Fulbright Students

May 4, 2012

The Language Connection of St. John’s University has been selected to host a three-week English for Graduate Studies Program this summer for 35 Fulbright foreign students, some of the best and brightest international graduate students coming to this country to commence study this fall. The United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) provides sponsorship as part of its flagship Fulbright Program. The English Program is administered by the Institute of International Education in cooperation with ECA.

Pamela Fairman, Ph.D., Director of The Language Connection, said the program features residential living on two campuses, English language refinement classes, academic service learning, leadership training and cultural enrichment opportunities. “This award represents a strong vote of confidence in The Language Connection’s recently redesigned ESL program,” suggested Dr. Fairman. “And it is an excellent fit for the University because it mirrors St. John’s commitment to fostering leadership, learning and understanding between cultures.”

St. John’s is among a select group of institutions chosen to offer the English for Graduate Studies Program which provides an orientation for international Fulbright recipients beginning graduate study in the United States. Dr. Fairman, who wrote St. John’s grant proposal and coordinates the program, is a recognized expert in English as a Second Language. She has designed highly successful ESL institutes at Hunter College of the City University of New York and at Sacred Heart University. She is the author of Take it Easy, a widely utilized ESL text, as well as 11 other books on the subject. Dr. Fairman was also the lead academic consultant and writer for “Connect with English,” a television series produced by WGBH/Boston.

The Fulbright students reside on the Manhattan campus for one week where they explore the educative, aesthetic and artistic riches of the city while they begin their classroom instruction. The following two weeks are spent in Queens which gives them the opportunity to become familiar with living on a large, traditional campus – the type most will encounter when they begin their graduate studies at institutions across the nation next fall.

The program curriculum includes English classes individualized to emphasize language content relevant to the Fulbright student’s academic discipline as well as graduate level lectures and discussions led by Konrad T. Tuchscherer, Ph. D., Associate Professor of History and Director of the Africana Studies Program and Joanne M. Carroll, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacy and Allied Health. Service to others most in need is also a component, involving volunteer work at locations associated with the University such as the Grand Central Neighborhood Soup Kitchen. In addition to the personal benefits of helping the disadvantaged, the students learn more about American society and culture through contact with service providers, participants and those who receive assistance.

To prepare them to play pivotal roles in government, business and the community in their home countries, the Fulbright students are provided valuable leadership training. Through a series of seminars and workshops, they have the opportunity to develop skills in decision-making strategies, project management and ethical leadership. St. John’s faculty and other experienced professionals lead these sessions to ensure quality, currency and lasting value.

Commenting on receiving approval to offer the English for Graduate Studies Program grant, Dr. Fairman said, “My team at The Language Connection is excited about the chance to offer these accomplished students an intensive learning experience. We look forward to preparing them to meet the challenges and opportunities of graduate study and cultural assimilation.” Anthony Pacheco, Vice President, Global Programs, added, “This program supports the University’s leadership role as a Vincentian institution committed to global education and service. Hosting this talented group of young women and men will enrich our campus environment as well as create a smooth transition for them as they begin their studies at universities across the country.”

 The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. Since 1946, it has provided more than 310,000 participants from over 155 countries with the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Fulbright Program grantees are among the more than 50,000 academic and professional exchange program participants supported annually by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit