Laura Wangsness Willemsen, Associate Professor in the Department of Doctoral Studies in Education at Concordia University, St. Paul, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award for the 2023-2024 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. She has been selected for the Africa Regional Research Program to conduct educational research in Tanzania.
Dr. Wangsness Willemsen will research how climate change is reshaping education in Tanzania. She will partner with experts in ecology, conservation, agriculture, and community development from Sokoine University of Agriculture to examine the impacts of climate change in communities experiencing severe drought. The team will research communities’ socio-economic, educational, and agricultural responses to the challenges wrought by increased climate variability. As an anthropologist of education, Dr. Wangsness Willemsen will focus on understanding how students, teachers, and families pursue education in the face of the accelerating climate crisis. She hopes this work will reveal innovations that may be adapted by other educational communities seeking to respond to the complex challenges of climate change.
Dr. Wangsness Willemsen is among over 800 U.S. citizens who will teach and/or conduct research abroad for the 2023-2024 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Fulbrighters engage in cutting-edge research and expand their professional networks, often continuing research collaborations started abroad and laying the groundwork for forging future partnerships between institutions. Upon returning to their home countries, institutions, labs, and classrooms, they share their stories and often become active supporters of international exchange, inviting foreign scholars to campus and encouraging colleagues and students to go abroad.