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Michael McFalls, associate professor of art at Columbus State University, has been awarded a Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program to explore new research at Steneby, part of the University of Gothenburg in the School of Design and Craft in Sweden. The prestigious award was announced recently by the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
McFalls will spend five months in Sweden beginning January 2015 researching processes and techniques on forging and metal working. “I plan on exploring, experimenting, and learning as many methods and processes of forging metal by participating and collaborating in workshops with the highly skilled Steneby faculty artisans: Heiner Zimmermann, Pär Gustafsson, and Otto Samuelsson,” McFalls said.
Steneby is home to the Iron and Steel/Public Space facilities, one of Europe’s largest academic metal and blacksmithing workspaces, which inspired McFalls to study at the university during his first visit to the country with Jeff Kaller, a former CSU ceramics professor who now works at Steneby.
McFalls also will spend four weeks teaching and co-teaching within the VGK (Visuell gestaltning och kommunikation) and master’s programs at Steneby, The VGK program is a module in visual training, drawing, and visual literacy that will center on a project to enhance the student’s ability to interpret the transition of form from two to three dimensions. McFalls will co-teach the module with Steneby faculty member Anna-Lill Nilsson so that students may benefit from a dialogue between artists from different disciplines and cultural backgrounds. McFalls will benefit himself from the collaborative exchange of pedagogical ideas.
“The pedagogical influence will be immeasurable – the new skills and ideas that I bring back with me will undoubtedly have a positive impact on students at CSU,” McFalls said.
McFalls is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2014-2015. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The program is administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, a division of the Institute of International Education. For more information about the program, visit http://www.cies.org/program/core-fulbright-us-scholar-program.
“To be a Fulbright Scholar is truly an honor and a privilege, and I feel blessed to be having this opportunity,” McFalls said. “That said, there is no way that we (my family and me) could be doing this without the experiences that CSU’s Center for International Education has provided in the past and the continual support from Joe Sanders, chair of the Department of Art, Richard Baxter, dean of College of the Arts, and Tom Hackett, CSU provost.”