Younes Named Fulbright Scholar; Will Study in Thailand and Myanmar (Burma)

Dr. Maha Younes
Department of Criminal Justice and Social Work, 308.865.8741

Dr. Maha Younes, professor of criminal justice and social work at the University of Nebraska at Kearney has been named Fulbright Scholar to Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) this summer.

According to Fulbright-Hays, the seminar Dr. Younes will take part in is one of the most prestigious professional development programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. Younes will join 14 other scholars selected from universities across the U.S. for the cultural program. The objective is to diversify and enrich the curriculum in cross-cultural studies, area studies and international education. Additional objectives include developing new curriculum units and building a multimedia global education project on the peoples of Thailand and Myanmar.

The group will study the religious traditions of Buddhism, the rich legacy of artistic heritage, folk traditions and the challenges of modern economic development. The scholars will attend seminars, lectures and conferences at major universities in the two countries. They will also participate in extensive cultural excursions and field trips while in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan and other cities.

“It’s a wonderful honor to be selected, and it’s a chance to expand my understanding of Asian culture,” Dr. Younes said.

According to Dr. Younes, by 2050 the majority of the population of the United States will be Asian and Hispanic, which she said is something everyone should think about.

Dr. Younes has a strong interest in multicultural education, promoting cultural competence and preparing students for the challenges of an increasingly diverse society.

“I feel an obligation to the students to pass on what I know of the Asian culture so they feel more culturally competent and prepared,” she said.

She has organized and executed successful international social work experiences for students and professionals to destinations in Israel, West Bank, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and China. The study experiences focused on health care, education, social welfare and criminal justice.

Dr. Younes said her international study experiences were life-changing and have led her to conduct and publish extensive research of its impact on students.

While in Thailand, Dr. Younes said that she plans to study governmental response to poverty, child prostitution and other social ills confronting children and their families in the country.  Upon her return, she will infuse her knowledge into her teaching and research projects.

“I love culture, I love people, and I love travel,” she said. “This is a part of the world that’s just starting to open up. It’s so different, and we don’t know enough about it.”

Younes will take part in the Fulbright-Hays seminar from July 11-Aug.12.