Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program Selects 30 Diaspora Fellows to Conduct Projects with Greek Universities
Charleston, SC, August 1, 2017 – Bill Manaris from the College of Charleston was awarded a fellowship by the Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program to travel to Greece to work with the American College of Greece to collaborate on initiatives related to the intersection of computing and the arts, including exploring new educational models, curriculum co-development, cross-institutional research and performance projects, course offerings and student and faculty exchanges.
The joint project will investigate the Computing in the Arts curriculum model developed with US National Science Foundation (NSF) funding at the College of Charleston, USA, and the US-wide community of educators, researchers and artists it has attracted, with the principle aim of planning how a similar and closely-linked curriculum, and similar community-building initiative could be established at the American College of Greece. This will be facilitated through planned workshops, round-table discussions, and artistic/concert presentations, which will enable participants to experience computing in the arts activities in practice, together with placing these activities into the context of wider institutional goals and objectives.
Bill Manaris is one of thirty Greek- and Cypriot-born scholars hailing from a cross-section of twenty-eight prominent United States and Canadian universities who are traveling to Greece to conduct academic projects with their peers at Greek universities as part of the Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program. They will work in areas that range from medical physics to curriculum co-development in clinical neurophysiology, and from Anglo-American Modernist Poetry to educational psychology. Thirteen Greek universities were selected to host the fellows for collaborative projects that meet specific needs at their institutions and in their communities, based on proposals submitted by faculty members and administrators at the Greek universities.
With this second round of Fellowships, the program has now selected a total of 51 U.S. and Canadian based academics to collaborate with universities throughout Greece to develop curricula, conduct research, and teach and mentor graduate students in priority areas identified by the Greek universities.
The Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program is designed to help avert Greece’s brain drain and develop long-term, mutually-beneficial collaborations between universities in Greece and the United States and Canada. Launched in 2016, the Fellowship Program is managed by the Institute of International Education in collaboration with the Fulbright Foundation in Greece, and funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
“One of the main goals of the Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program has been to engage productively one of Greece’s most important assets, its diasporic academic community,” said Stelios Vasilakis, Director of Programs and Strategic Initiatives at SNF. “The response and caliber of the Fellows selected for this first iteration of the Program, point to the existence of a critical mass of scholars that can contribute significantly to Greek Universities at a critical moment in modern Greek history. This is a collaboration that is mutually beneficial and carries the potential of long term impact and of changing the means of engagement between the motherland and its extensive diaspora.”
“The Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s generous support for these Fellowships demonstrates the Foundation’s commitment to expanding Greece’s human capital and investing in the country’s long-term economic recovery,” said Allan Goodman, President and CEO of the Institute of International Education.
“I left Greece as a 19-year old to study electrical engineering and music in the US,” said the fellowship recipient, Bill Manaris. “After touching a computer for the first time as a freshman, it captured my imagination and made me switch to computer science. Eventually, I earned a Ph.D. and pursued a career as university professor in the US. Thirty-five years later, and after many professional experiences and opportunities to merge computer science and music, I would like to expand my contacts in Greece, and bring back and share some of my professional expertise and experiences.” Bill Manaris will travel to the American College of Greece in December.
“Dr. Manaris’ laudable efforts to establish high impact educational opportunities for our faculty and students are sincerely appreciated by the College of Charleston.” said Sebastian van Delden, chair of the Computer Science department. “Cross-pollinating our students with theirs via exchange programs, pair-programming activities in cross-listed coursework, collaborative research projects, and study aboard opportunities are just some of Bill’s exciting goals with this burgeoning partnership.”
About the Stavros Niarchos Foundation
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation [(SNF) (www.SNF.org)] is one of the world’s leading private, international philanthropic organizations, making grants in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and sports, and social welfare. Since 1996, SNF has committed $2.1 billion, through 3,891 grants to nonprofit organizations in 113 nations around the world. The Foundation funds organizations and projects that are expected to achieve a broad, lasting and positive impact for society at large, and exhibit strong leadership and sound management. The Foundation also supports projects that facilitate the formation of public-private partnerships as an effective means for serving public welfare.
In addition to its standard grants, the SNF has continued to respond to the urgent needs of Greek society, by providing relief against the severe effects of the socioeconomic crisis through three major grant initiatives of $378 million.
The Foundation’s largest single gift is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), in Athens. The project’s total cost is $861 million. The SNFCC is designed by the renowned architectural firm Renzo Piano Building Workshop, and includes the new facilities of the National Library of Greece, and Greek National Opera, as well as the Stavros Niarchos Park. The Center was delivered to the Greek Society on February 23rd, 2017. Following the handover, the SNF announced its commitment to continue supporting the SNFCC for the next five years, through grants totaling up to $53 million. The grants support the implementation of public programming and help cover part of SNFCC’s operational costs. All events funded with SNF support are free to the public.
About the Institute of International Education (IIE)
The Institute of International Education (www.iie.org) works with policymakers, educators and employers across the globe to prepare students and professionals for the global workforce and equip them to solve the increasingly complex challenges facing our interconnected world. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 18 offices and affiliates worldwide, and over 1,300 member institutions.
The Fulbright Foundation in Greece
Fulbright is the most widely recognized and prestigious international exchange program in the world, supported for more than half a century by the American people through an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress and by the people of partner nations. The Fulbright Foundation in Greece (http://www.fulbright.gr/en/) offers scholarships to Greek and American citizens – students, teachers, scholars, and artists – to pursue a wide variety of educational projects. The Foundation awards grants to Greek and US citizens to study, teach, lecture, or conduct research in the United States and Greece respectively. The Fulbright Foundation in Greece operates an Educational Advising Center in Athens where staff offer free, comprehensive information on American institutions of higher learning.