DURANT, Okla. — Southeastern Oklahoma State University recently had a professor named a Fulbright Scholar, the second for the school in the 71-year history of the scholarship program.
J. Brooks Flippen, professor of history at Southeastern, was recently named a Fulbright Scholar. G. Stevenson Smith, who recently retired as John Massey Endowed Chair Professor of Accounting, was Southeastern’s first Fulbright Scholar in 2011.
A statement from the university said Flippen has received a “Fulbright Scholar Grant” from the U.S. Department of State to teach at South China Normal University in Guangzhou, China, for the 2017-2018 academic year.
“It is a real honor to receive this award, and I look forward to representing Southeastern and the state of Oklahoma in China,’’ Flippen said.
In a telephone conversation, Flippen said his Mandrin is not that great so he feels like he has been sent to Guangzhou because it has a lot of English speaking people.
“There are a lot of ex-pats there,” Flippen said with a laugh. “So maybe they felt sorry for me and put me in Guangzhou to make it easier.”
Flippen will be teaching courses on the history of American environmental and religious politics. In addition, he will be a member of the Fulbright “Lecturer’s Cohort,” in which he’ll present public lectures on American history when invited by organizations and universities throughout the country.
Though he is looking forward to going to China for the school year, this won’t be his first trip there. He said his daughter recently graduated from the New York University program there. So going to her graduation, he said, was his first trip to the country. He also has a daughter who lives in Singapore, so he plans to use his break to visit with her.
Classes begin in early September at the university, but Flippen will actually leave for China in late August. He will have an orientation before going on to Guangzhou.
He said he anticipates what he will miss most about America while he is gone is his family. He said he is not a big fan of Chinese food at this point so he thinks he might miss the variety of types of cuisine available in McKinney, where he currently lives. However, he said, people have told him that Guangzhou is a big place and he will probably be able to eat most of what he is used to there.
Flippen specializes in modern American political/environmental history. He is the author of three books: “Conservative Conservationist: Russell E. Train and the Emergence of American Environmentalism,” “Nixon and the Environment” and “Jimmy Carter, the Politics of Family and the Rise of the Religious Right.’’
He joined the Southeastern faculty in 1995 and holds degrees from Washington and Lee University, the University of Richmond and the University of Maryland.
South China Normal University is a comprehensive Chinese university with a student population of approximately 35,000, located in the heart of Guangzhou. It has one of the largest foreign student populations of any university in China.
The Fulbright Program is an American scholarship program of competitive, merit-based grants for international educational exchange for students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists, founded by U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946.