Indiana State University Newsroom

State instructor receives Fulbright Fellowship to Norway

July 6, 2017

Ruth Fairbanks, an instructor at Indiana State University in the departments of multidisciplinary studies and History, has been selected to spend the 2017-2018 school year in Norway as a Fulbright Roving Scholar.

Fulbright Roving Scholars are affiliated with the Norwegian Centre for Foreign Languages in Education in Halden, but they spend most of their time traveling to public schools throughout Norway. Fairbanks will be teaching lessons in U.S. history and American studies to students at videregåendeskole (upper secondary schools).

She will also offer professional development workshops for teachers and teachers-in-training. Fairbanks will work with and learn from Norwegian teachers and also from this year's other two Roving Fellows as the three of them traverse the country from Stavanger to Trondheim, Hammerfest, the Lofoten Islands, Kirkenes and points in between.

Fairbanks will see the midnight sun and the Northern Lights. She will learn about the Norwegian educational system, how to get around Norway by plane, train, bus and ferry and the best kind of luggage to use north of the Arctic Circle.

Like other Fulbright scholars, Fairbanks won her award for academic and professional achievement and for a record of service and demonstrated leadership in her field. She will join about 25 other Americans in Norway working with the U.S.-Norway Fulbright Commission.

Ruth Fairbanks is an instructor in the Department of Multidisciplinary Studies at Indiana State University. Fairbanks has been teaching gender studies and American history at State since 2010.

In addition to teaching, Fairbanks has organized the Women's History Month Colloquium at State for the past three years. She has also taught math in middle school, art and Spanish at elementary school summer camps and English in a Chilean preschool.

Fairbanks earned her Ph.D. in history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2015. She is currently working on a book on American maternity policy from 1940 to 1993.

Fairbanks' family will accompany her to Norway.

The Fulbright Program sends more than 800 scholars to countries around the world every year to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.

Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given more than 370,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Fulbrighters address critical global issues in all disciplines, while building relationships, knowledge, and leadership in support of the long-term interests of the United States. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in many fields, including 57 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 82 who have received Pulitzer Prizes and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.


Photo: -- Ruth Fairbanks

Media contact: Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State, or contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Press Office, 202-632-6452 or

Media contact: Libby Roerig, director of communications and media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or