Professor James Winship will draw on his own experience in El Salvador to help choose the next generation of prestigious Fulbright Scholars in Mexico and northern Central America.
Winship, a professor of social work at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, began his experience in the region as a Peace Corps volunteer in El Salvador from 1970-72. He worked as an organizer in the mayor’s office in the capital city of San Salvador, assisting community groups in the slums and helping people find a place to live.
“It was a very good, very intense experience,” said Winship. “I still have vivid memories of the dirt streets, cardboard huts, pigs and babies walking around.”
He returned to the region in 2005 through the Fulbright Scholar Program as a teacher and researcher. Winship spent six months in El Salvador, where he conducted research on the impact on adolescents whose parents live in the U.S. He also presented his documentary, which illustrates the challenges young people face growing up in a country where they have more dreams than resources. His new book, “Coming of Age in El Salvador,” will be published in early 2013.
Winship’s expertise and experience in El Salvador led to his selection as one of four members of a regional peer review committee to evaluate applications for 2012-13 Fulbright Scholars. The committee will review applications for teaching and research fellowships in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
Winship said the program immerses participants in a culture and allows them to experience life abroad while interacting with students and colleagues.
The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs and is considered the flagship international exchange program of the United States. Its Fulbright Scholar Program sends 800 faculty members and other professionals abroad each year.