Fulbright scholars are some of the best and brightest in their fields, having received grants and funding to further their study of interest because of their knowledge, commitment, and passion.

On Friday, March 16, Unity College’s Distance Education hosted the Maine Chapter of the Fulbright Association’s annual dinner at the Unity College Center for Performing Arts, for an evening of mingling, good food, and scholarly talks. Unity College faculty and students took part in the dinner, as Maine’s Fulbright scholars shared their stories and experiences with the program.

“When Dr. Amy Arnett talked about hosting a room full of scholars like yourselves, we jumped at the opportunity to show off our campus, and the work that our faculty and staff are doing,” said Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury in his opening remarks. “But most importantly, we really wanted to give folks an opportunity to just break bread, and have a wonderful evening of conversation.”

“The Maine Chapter has a motto,” said Chapter President Robert Lively, “the shortest distance between two people is a story. And that’s what the Fulbright experience is. You’re creating stories with colleagues overseas, and by having these shared stories, you have the shared understanding of one another.”

The event began with a tour from Chief Sustainability Officer Jennifer deHart, highlighting some of Unity College’s most sustainable buildings on campus. From there, the group returned to the Unity College Center for Performing Arts for a welcome from Dr. Khoury and Lively, a case study on the effects of climate change on the Bananaquit (commonly known as the sugarbird) by Professor of Biology Dr. Brent Bibles, and concluded with a presentation on the effects of climate change on the Northern Forest Ant by Dr. Arnett, who is a Fulbright Scholar.

The Fulbright Program presents roughly 8,000 grants every year, with about 1,600 U.S. students, 4,000 foreign students, 1,200 U.S. scholars, and 900 visiting scholars receiving awards, as well as several hundred teachers and professionals.