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AU News

Anderson University Professor Receives Fulbright Award

September 13, 2023
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Dr. Kolawole Olaiya is the recipient of a 2023-2024 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award.

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Dr. Kolawole Olaiya, an associate professor at the Anderson University College of Arts and Sciences, will support professional communication programs at the Federal University of Technology Akure in Nigeria as part of a U.S. Department of State and Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award. 

Dr. Olayia’s focus is twofold: he will teach graduate students at the Federal University of Technology Akure’s Institute of Technology-Enhanced Learning and Digital Humanities and help them develop new project ideas; and he will conduct research on the customs and cultural attitudes that encourage and indirectly normalize sexual and domestic violence and publish his findings.

Dr. Olaiya is particularly interested in the representation of customs and cultural attitudes that normalize certain behaviors as “common sense” in the Nigerian film industry—commonly known as “Nollywood.”

“I am grateful for the opportunity provided by Fulbright to help students at the Federal University of Technology Akure,” Dr. Olaiya said. “This is a unique opportunity to exchange ideas and share experiences with students and faculty in Nigeria and a great opportunity to learn from them. Hopefully this will lead to a collaboration between the Federal University of Technology Akure and Anderson University.”

Dr. Olaiya is among a select group of U.S. citizens who will teach overseas during the 2023-2024 academic year through the U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program. The program helps professors in the United States to expand their professional networks and forge future partnerships between institutions.

Notable Fulbright alumni include 62 Nobel Prize laurates and 78 MacArthur Fellows. More than 400,000 participants from more than 160 countries—like Dr. Olaiya—have been chosen for their academic accomplishments and potential with the goal of providing them with opportunities to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions for communities across the globe.

“Anderson University is proud of Dr. Olaiya for this remarkable achievement and grateful for the Fulbright U.S. Scholar program’s recognition of his expertise and passion,” said Dr. Ryan Neal, provost at Anderson University. “Dr. Olaiya is uniquely qualified, not only because of his academic credentials and professional achievement, but also because of his passion for building bridges across cultures.”

Dr. Olaiya is an honors graduate of Obafemi Awolo University in Osun, Nigeria, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Arts. He earned a Master of Arts in English from the University of Maiduguri in Nigeria and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. Dr. Olaiya has taught English, literature, writing and communication courses at Anderson University since 2015.

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