Two MTSU Faculty Members to Embark on Fulbright Award Trips to Rwanda, Mexico

Jul 14, 2022 at 12:49 pm by Voice Wire


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Middle Tennessee State University faculty members Mary Ellen Sloane and Gregory Reish will be headed to Rwanda and Mexico respectively as Fulbright Scholar Program faculty awardees in the coming academic year.

Sloane, user services librarian in the James E. Walker Library for the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, will begin her three-month Fulbright research in September when she travels to the Southeast African nation of Rwanda. She will be based at the Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, or DFGF, where she will assess the range of past and currently covered research fields by the organization and plan for the development of the library in the new DeGeneres Campus.

Meanwhile, Reish, director of MTSU’s Center for Popular Music within the College of Media and Entertainment, will be traveling to Xalapa, Mexico, and the University of Veracruz where he will teach classes in the host university's North American Studies Program — which focuses on the United States–Mexico relationship — for five months beginning in mid-January.

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Programs offer U.S. faculty, administrators and professionals grants to lecture, and/or conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields, or to participate in seminars. The program awards more than 1,700 fellowships each year, enabling 800 U.S. scholars to go abroad and 900 visiting scholars to come to the United States, according to

Sloane has been working as a librarian for 17 years and in MTSU Walker’s Library to “provide a lot of public services to MTSU students, faculty members, as well as some administrative responsibilities.”

She is responsible for library collection development in the sciences, scholarly communications advising, liaison services, and reference and instruction services. She said her job brings her in contact with faculty and students who are doing exciting work and “there is a lot of research output, sharing data, within and without, and a lot of changes. It is an exciting time to be a science librarian, as science is a big focus on the campus. I appreciate everyone’s well-wishes; it has been exciting,” Sloane said.

“I will plan for a library at DFGF’s new Ellen DeGeneres Campus by applying library science research methodologies in the areas of public services, library instruction, and collection development,” she said.

Meanwhile, Reish returns to Veracruz after a trip there for research and music in 2016.

“My host university friends are excited because they have never had a music specialist there before. It has always been historians and political scientists. I am not going to be teaching music students but a class in U.S history, and culture — but through the lens of music,” Reish stated.

This will be Reish’s second Fulbright experience, the first taking him to Italy 25 years ago.

“Fulbright provides lot of opportunities anywhere in the world and is an effective way to build peace and empathy between cultures. I am going to be an ambassador of the U.S., so it is a wonderful opportunity,” he said.