News Release| CSULA;Fulbright Scholars

  Cal State L.A.’s Fulbright scholars in Hong Kong, Qatar

Auwal focuses on sociocultural impacts of globalization, while Choi analyzes past communist guerilla activities

LOS ANGELES – Temporarily destined for Hong Kong and Qatar, two California State University, Los Angeles professors—Wai Kit Choi and Mohammad Auwal—have been awarded the 2009-10 Fulbright Scholar grants, according to the United States Department of the State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Hosted by the University of Hong Kong, Wai Kit Choi, assistant professor of sociology at Cal State L.A., is conducting research on “Mobilizing for the Revolution: Communist Guerillas of South China, 1938-1949.” Choi is studying how Chinese communist guerrillas in Guangdong and Hong Kong mobilized peasant support for the revolution from 1930s to 1940s. His research involves examining archival materials as well as arranging oral history interviews with former guerrilla members. While in Hong Kong, he will also be giving presentations on his other research projects at different universities. One forthcoming presentation, “China’s Economic Rise and Third World Development: A Global Commodity Chain Analysis,” will be given at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Choi has expertise in globalization, historical sociology, and urban sociology. He teaches in “Classical Sociological Theory,” “Urban Sociology,” and “Political Sociology of Globalization and Resistance.” A Montebello resident and a graduate of Montebello High School, Choi received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, M.A. from the University of Chicago, and Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine.

A Fulbright Scholar for the second straight year, Mohammad Auwal, professor of communication studies at Cal State L.A., returns to the Southern Arabian Gulf region. Hosted by the Qatar University (QU) in Doha, Qatar, this year Auwal is offering seminars on “Public Communication” and “Leadership” for QU’s newly-established Honors Program while also teaching courses on “Communication Skills.” Additionally, Auwal is conducting research to complete a book manuscript, tentatively titled “Ripples of Rapid Change:  Sociocultural Impacts of Globalization in the Gulf.” 

In his first year as a Fulbright scholar, Auwal taught three courses, including “Globalization” for QU’s International Affairs Program and “International Business” for its Executive MBA Program. As a common theme in his lectures, he explains what it means to communicate in a globalizing world.

Auwal, a Garden Grove resident, specializes in communication theory, organizational communication, and international development.  Much of his doctoral and subsequent research in the 1990s focused on the study of Grameen Bank, a socioeconomic development organization that won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2006. In his recent research and writings, Auwal said, “I examined how certain political actors, posing as media pundits, use mythic rhetoric to construct and socially circulate ignorance in the American public square.” Auwal received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Jahangirnagar University in Bangladesh, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Ohio University.

Since 2004, nine other Cal State L.A. professors have taught abroad as Fulbright scholars: Nanda Ganesan, information sciences in Sri Lanka; Ann Garry, philosophy in Japan; Antony Kunnan, linguistics in Taiwan; Timothy Lim, political science in Korea; Susan Mason, dramatic literature in Japan; Elliott Oring, cultural anthropology in Iceland; Hassan M. Rezaie Boroon, geology in Togo; Marguerite Ann Snow, English language in Cyprus; and Yehudi Webster, sociology in Poland.

This summer, Terry Allison, dean of Cal State L.A.’s College of Arts and Letters, was in South Korea as a Fulbright scholar with the U.S.-Korea International Education Administrators Program. In 2006, Cal State L.A. student Jennifer Quinones participated as a Fulbright Student Fellow in Andorra and, in summer 2008, Molly Arevalo, an M.A. TESOL student, participated in a Fulbright Teacher Exchange in Uruguay.

Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, and demonstrated leadership potential.

The Fulbright Program, America’s flagship international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has provided approximately 294,000 people—111,000 Americans who have studied, taught or researched abroad and 183,000 students, scholars and teachers from other countries who have engaged in similar activities in the United States.

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Council for International Exchange of Scholars

Fulbright Scholar Program – history and background

U.S. Fulbright Scholars directory

2008 Fulbright Scholars at Cal State L.A. (press release): /univ/ppa/newsrel/fulbrights2008.htm

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