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Rick Kraince receives Fulbright award

ATHENS, Ohio (May 26, 2005) -- Rick Kraince, special projects manager for the Center for International Studies at Ohio University, has been selected to participate in the Fulbright New Century Scholars Program, "Higher Education in the 21st Century: Global Challenge and National Response."

Rick KrainceKraince will join 10 other U.S. scholars and 20 international scholars in studying this issue. He will spend several months next winter conducting research on civic education within key Islamic universities in Indonesia's capital city Jakarta, in Palembang, South Sumatra, and in Makassar, South Sulawesi.

Kraince hopes to develop a better understanding of the relationship between progressive Islamic intellectuals responsible for civic education efforts in Indonesia's public Islamic universities and new Islamic political actors rising to prominence with the support of conservative Islamic student groups. Through discussions with education officials, leading faculty, and student activists, Kraince will examine the status of tolerance promotion efforts supported by Indonesian intellectuals. He looks forward to participating in the NCS Program and says, "I believe it will contribute significantly to my own understanding of the social role of education," he said.

The Fulbright New Century Scholars Program (NCS) was launched in 2001 to build on the strengths of the Fulbright Scholar Program by extending its mission and outreach and forge new links among scholars and professionals from around the world who will work together to seek solutions to issues and concerns that affect humankind. The NCS Program provides a platform for scholars from the U.S. and around the world to engage in debate and dialogue based on multidisciplinary research and to develop new global models for understanding the social context within which nations and communities shape their responses to the many challenges of the 21st century.

To create this platform for collaborative thinking and pursuit of tangible solutions to issues of universal concern, NCS combines the traditional Fulbright research exchange experience with a series of three in-person seminar meetings and ongoing virtual communication among the multinational and multidisciplinary participants under the guidance of the NCS Distinguished Scholar Leader. At the end of the program year, NCS Scholars share the results of their collaborative interaction and engagement in a public forum at which they present their conclusions and recommendations for initiatives that will translate the results of their collaborative thinking into tangible impact on the local, regional or global level. Kraince will join all the other participants for the program's kickoff in Boston in September. After that the group will convene twice later in the year.

"This will be a wonderful opportunity to get together with other people working on these issues," commented Kraince. He looks forward to collaborating closely with fellow participant Mohammed Sirozi, who teaches at the National Institute of Islamic Studies in Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia, and has previously been a Fulbright Scholar at Ohio University.

Kraince directed the Inter-Religious Dialogue Project, a collaborative effort of Ohio University's Center for International Studies and the Department of Classics and World Religions involving a series of exchanges between religious leaders in Indonesia and the United States. He earned his Ph.D. in education and a master's degree in international affairs with a concentration in Southeast Asian studies from Ohio University. Kraince has worked and studied extensively in Indonesia and his doctoral dissertation focused on Islamic student activism in post-authoritarian Indonesia. He spent a year as a visiting research fellow at Indonesia's National Institute for Islamic Studies and was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 2000 to conduct research at various public Islamic universities in Java. Kraince has worked as a program officer with the Asia Foundation's Islam and Civil Society program based in Jakarta and has also served as a consultant on projects in southern Thailand as a consultant with the Asia Foundation's Islam in Asia program.

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Media Contact: Center for International Studies Assistant Director of Communications Jennifer Cochran, (740) 593-1842 or cochraj1@ohio.edu

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