Danny Aynes, Arkansas Tech graduate and Director of Enrollment Services at Linn Benton Community College in Oregon, was selected as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar to travel abroad.
Aynes graduated from Arkansas Tech in 1998 with a degree in speech communication and then began pursuing a career in student affairs.
He travelled to Germany to study the higher education system and its relationships with American institutions. His trip began last October and lasted for two weeks, and his wife joined him for an extra week of vacation.
Having previously worked with students participating in the Fulbright program, he was familiar with the process. Aynes applied following a presentation by a group from Fulbright, at which community college faculty and staff were encouraged to apply because the majority of the applicants were from four year schools.
Along with 20 other participants, Aynes spent a week in Berlin and also visited Leipzig, Mainz, Chemnitz and Munich learning about the German education system.
“Traveling with people you have only known for a week is an adventure, especially as you try to navigate train stations, and get to destinations with everyone on time and accounted for,” Aynes said.
Aynes said he was surprised to learn the universities in Germany struggle with change, and because tuition is free, retention is only just now becoming an issue. Like the United States, Germany has similar struggles around citizenship and education attainment of that population.
Going on the trip allowed Aynes to learn from his colleagues experiences at other schools, and showed him that school excelling with international programs invest in services and keep building them as the enrollment grows.
“The trip exceeded my expectations. It was an honor to receive the award from the Fulbright Commission,” Aynes said.
Fulbright offers four short-term exchange programs for college administrators that work in admissions, study abroad, career services and advancement/fundraising.
According to the Fulbright Commission website, the program was created by a treaty in 1948. The US-UK Educational Commission (Fulbright Commission) fosters mutual cultural understanding through educational exchange between both nations.]]>