Associate Professor of Music Dr. Jack Ballard has been chosen by the J. William Fulbright Scholarship Board to receive a 2012-13 Fulbright Scholar Grant. With this grant, Ballard plans to spend 5-10 months in Kenya, Africa teaching at Daystar University and conducting research.
Ballard has been teaching at Malone for nine years.
“Dr. Ballard is the fourth Malone professor in eight years to receive a Fulbright Scholar Grant,” Associate Professor of Theology and Dean of the College of Theology, Arts, and Sciences Dr. Phinney said.
Other professors that share the title of Fulbright Scholar are Professor of English and Department Chair of Language and Literature Dr. Brownlee, Associate Professor and Department Chair of Social Work Dr. Stoltzfus, and Professor of International Politics Dr. Waalkes.
According to their website, www.cies.org, the Fulbright Scholar Program is an “international educational exchange program designed to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and the people of other countries.”
Since 1946, almost 300,000 participants have been chosen for their academic excellence and leadership potential with the “opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.”
Ballard is one of approximately 1,200 scholars globally to receive a 2012-13 Fulbright Scholar Grant. Ballard began the application process about a year and half before receiving final notice that he had been chosen to receive the grant.
The application process is rigorous and time evasive. First, Ballard had to find a university in the desired location. Then, he had to send a resume, a proposal to Daystar University and a formal application and list of references that go before a peer review panel. Then, the application went before the J. William Fulbright Scholarship Board for allocation of funds.
Ballard has been approved for a grant that covers a full 10 months in Kenya, but is not sure if he and his family will go for five or 10 months. He will be leaving in August if he chooses to go to Kenya for the full 10 months. Otherwise, he will not be leaving until January 2013.
While on sabbatical from Malone, Ballard will be teaching at Daystar University’s Athi River Campus in Kenya. According to Ballard, he will be helping Daystar University “streamline, and advise their music department and program.” As a part of his research, Ballard is planning on working with Jackie Kotira, an African gospel singer and also hopes to work with Afrizo, an African touring group.
Ballard has traveled within the U.S. and Mexico on tour but has never ventured further than that. He is currently preparing for himself and his family for the trip medically as well as obtaining passports and visas.
Ballard and his family plan to embrace African culture.
“We’re not going to be looking for whatever McDonald’s there is in Nairobi,” Ballard said. “We’re definitely going to eat culturally.”
Ballard likened the experience so far to the week before you get married.
“It’s something you know you want to do,” he said. “It is exciting, but is a major life change.”
Ballard has a doctoral minor in ethnomusicology and his personal musical compositions are influenced by world music, jazz, Latin and African music.
When in Africa, Ballard will be keeping in touch and sending updates via e-mail when possible. He will be available to be reached by students and faculty through his Malone e-mail account.
Christine Lookadoo is a contributing writer for The Aviso AVW.