Siena Heights University Associate Professor of English Davin Heckman was named a Fulbright Scholar and will spend 10 months teaching and researching at the University of Bergen in Norway.
Heckman, who also chairs SHU’s English Department, becomes the first Siena Heights faculty member in several years to be chosen for the Fulbright Scholars Program, which sends approximately 800 U.S. faculty and professionals abroad each year. Heckman, his wife, Carrie, and their three sons, Jonah, Oscar Romero and Sergio, will head to Norway in early August 2011 and return at the end of June 2012.
“It means the opportunity to push into new territory intellectually,” said the 35-year-old Heckman, who has taught at SHU since 2004 and received the Sister Eileen Rice Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2008. “I will have the opportunity to experience another part of the world with my family. We like meeting new people. We like trying new things. It will be good for us to make friends in another country.”
“We are delighted that Davin has the opportunity for the Fulbright award,” said SHU Vice President of Academic Affairs Sister Sharon Weber, OP, PhD. “The award recognizes his talents in scholarly activity and teaching. We are grateful that he has shared this talent so generously with the Siena community, and especially his students.”
While at Siena Heights, Heckman has completed groundbreaking work in the area of electronic literature, and is currently the managing editor of the Electronic Literature Directory, which builds a bibliographic resource for electronic literature scholars. He said Bergen is currently also working in the area of electronic literature, and is looking forward to learning new ideas and concepts he could bring back to the U.S. – and Siena Heights.
“It’s a good place to go if you want to study Electronic Literature,” Heckman said of the University of Bergen, an institution of approximately 17,000 students. “I hope to bring back fresh research, some good stories, and, if I am lucky, a broader perspective. I’d also like to explore the kind of connections that will help get Siena out into the world and bring the world to Siena. … I have been working for a while with a number of faculty members on developing a program in Digital Media (at Siena Heights). This experience would naturally improve my ability to contribute to that program.”
Heckman said he will also work on the research paper “Grasping at Loose Bindings: The Humanistic Study of Emerging Literary Forms,” while at Bergen. He said he hopes to use his experience at Bergen to “make a broad and lasting contribution to the field of literary criticism by way of digital media.”
Heckman completed his PhD at Bowling Green State University, his master’s degree at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and his bachelor of arts degree at the University of San Diego. He said he is looking forward to not only teaching and presenting at Bergen, but experiencing a new culture with his family.
“My teaching and lecturing will be in English, but I am excited to learn as much Norwegian as I can while we are there,” said Heckman, a California native. “Beyond my research, I am very interested in exploring the cultural and social aspects of life in Norway. … For Carrie and I, it means a great deal for our children to have the experience of living in another culture.”
The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The U.S. government’s flagship program in international educational exchange was proposed to the U.S. Congress in 1945 by then freshman Sen. J. William Fulbright and approved in 1946.