The University of Delaware has four Salzburg Fellows for 2015. They are (from left) Barret Mihalec, Martha Buell, Rita Hallam and Michael O'Neal.

Salzburg Fellows

Four UD faculty members have been selected as 2015 Salzburg Fellows


2:10 p.m., Feb. 24, 2015--Four University of Delaware professors have been selected as 2015 Salzburg Fellows. Martha Buell, Rena Hallam, Barret Michalec and Michael O’Neal will travel to Salzburg, Austria, where they will participate in a Salzburg Global Seminar.

Founded in 1947 by three innovative students from Harvard University as an international forum for those seeking a better future for Europe and the world after World War II, the Salzburg Global Seminar is designed to challenge current and future leaders to solve issues of global concern.

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Buell, professor, and Hallam, associate professor, both in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, were invited by Salzburg Global Seminar organizers to attend -- a first for UD faculty -- as national early childhood development experts.

The invitation came in response to Buell’s participation in a 2014 Salzburg Global Seminar focused on philanthropy as a catalyst for change. 

Buell, who is director of the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood (DIEEC), noted that she was the only participant whose field was early childhood development and the only fellow focused solely on children as a philanthropic goal.

“I started a conversation with organizers about what a Salzburg experience would be for early childhood development and education (ECDE), and the fault-lines in the field that could benefit from a Salzburg Experience,” says Buell. 

With that suggestion the first ECDE-focused session at the Salzburg Global Seminar was borne, and an invitation for Buell and Hallam, interim chair of the department, to attend.

“We are very fortunate, that the University of Delaware has such a strong relationship with the Salzburg Fellowship Program and that they support faculty in participating -- it is really a gift,” says Buell.

Additional faculty selected for attendance, include Michalec, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice and assistant director of health research at UD’s Center for Drug and Health Studies, and Michael O’Neal, associate professor in the Department of Geological Sciences.

Michalec will participate in “Developing a Shared Culture of Health: Enriching and Charting the Patient-Clinician Relationship.” At the September seminar, he will discuss doctor and patient interactions, and how medical students learn socio-emotional communication skills through both education and training. 

“I look forward to learning from more diverse perspectives. The structure of the U.S. health care system is quite different compared to other countries, and although some core competencies may be similar, we have much to learn from each other,” says Michalec. 

O’Neal will attend “The Search for New Balance: America’s Changing Role in the World.” One of few geologists enrolled in the September session, O’Neal shared that he is hopeful that his participation will “provide me with important cross-discipline and cross-cultural training needed to present my findings with the utmost sensitivity and awareness.”

An expert in natural variability of climates and landscapes, O’Neal has served as a primary investigator in the monitoring and analysis of two unique sites in the Andes mountain range of Argentina and Chile. O’Neal applied to be a Salzburg Global Seminar after realizing that his academic research had become increasingly intertwined with geopolitics.

“My role in the Andes project is on climate-landscape interactions, but traveling, eating and sleeping in these remote communities has awakened me to how my research plays an important part in the future of economic and social development in the area,” O’Neal says.

Members of the University community interested in attending a future Salzburg Global Seminar should contact UD’s Institute for Global Studies. Eligible applicants are full-time UD faculty or professional staff, with preference given to those who have not yet been a Salzburg Seminar Fellow; have relatively limited international experience; and are at or near the mid-point of their career. 

About the Institute for Global Studies

The Institute for Global Studies was created in 2009 to enhance the international dimensions of teaching, research and outreach at the University of Delaware. IGS provides leadership and support for programs and experiences that contribute to the education of informed, skilled, open-minded citizens of the world. 

Best known for coordinating the University’s study abroad program, IGS also awards scholarships and grants to faculty and students for myriad global opportunities, administers internationally-recognized programs such as the MEPI (Middle East Partnership Initiative) Student Leaders Institute, and sponsors such signature events as International Education Week each fall and country-specific celebrations each spring. 

IGS collaborates with other global partners on campus, including the Office for International Students and Scholars, the Confucius Institute and the Center for Global and Area Studies.

Article by Jess Franzetti

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