TAMIU Professor Uses Fulbright Selection to Aid Laredo Students
This fall, Dr. Susan Berdahl, Texas A&M International University
assistant professor of music, will bring the world to her TAMIU students
not only through academic discussion but also through her personal experiences
in the Fulbright Senior Specialists Program in Honduras. (photo)
During Berdahl's month-long appointment this summer, she will continue
her previous work developing music programs, including the national "Encuentro
de Flauta Traversa 'Susan Berdahl,'" in the capital city of Tegucigalpa.
Participants from all Central American nations are expected to perform
in the festival this year.
The Encuentro, or flute festival, was first organized in December 2002
and named after Berdahl by the Honduran musicians in honor of her efforts
from 1997 to 2000. During that time, as part of her three contiguous Fulbright
Senior Scholar/Lecturer appointments, she was assigned to the National
Symphony Orchestra of Honduras as a flute specialist and woodwind coach.
She also worked with the National Music School (a music conservatory).
In addition to her Senior Scholar appointments, she was selected twice
as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Music.
Berdahl said she is honored to work again in Honduras and is particularly
excited to bring music where previous opportunities have been limited.
"Honduras is just now starting to provide a university degree with
specialization in music. Most Honduran musicians have had to travel outside
the country and seek an education elsewhere. This program allows them
to stay with their families and help build and better their own musical
institutions," said Berdahl.
She likened this situation to students in Laredo, who want to study
music but previously had to travel in order to pursue their dreams. She
said her experiences in a developing country have enabled her to contribute
to the budding TAMIU program.
"TAMIU is a new university and all my experience gained in developing
new programs under the most difficult of circumstances in Central America
is useful in developing successful musical programs here at TAMIU,"
explained Berdahl, "Also, all I've learned about Hispanic music while
living in Latin America, which should be of special value and interest
to the primarily Hispanic Laredo and TAMIU population. Working in a different
(foreign) educational system provides new insights, the best of which
can be transmitted to our efforts here."
The Fulbright Scholar Program was created at the end of World War II
by Senator J. William Fulbright. He envisioned "mutual understanding
between the people of the United States and the people of other countries
of the world." Outstanding U.S. scholars are selected by the Council
for International Exchange of Scholars to bring expertise to other countries
through a variety of programs.
For more information on the Fulbright Scholar Program, please visit
For more information about Dr. Berdahl or the music programs at TAMIU,
please contact the College of Arts and Sciences at 326.2460 or visit offices
in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 429. University office hours
are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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