ASHLAND – Larry Dorenkamp, who graduated with a master’s degree in American history and government from Ashland University in May 2022, has earned a prestigious Fulbright Roving Scholar in America Studies award, the Fulbright Program announced recently.
This Roving Scholar award affords Dorenkamp the opportunity to go to Norway and spend the 2023-24 academic year there holding workshops for secondary school students, their teachers and higher education students aspiring to become teachers.
Specifically, he is being tasked to serve lower secondary students (students aged 14-16) and make contributions to the work of the Norwegian Centre for Foreign Languages in Education and Østfold University College.
Dorenkamp will present lessons that are focused on American history and culture, often combined with innovative and inspiring ideas on pedagogy and teaching methods. Of note, the Roving Scholar program is a unique Norwegian Fulbright opportunity that does not exist in other countries.
“I’m excited,” said Dorenkamp, who will be moving to Oslo, the capital of Norway, on Aug. 1. “I came across this (professional development opportunity).
“It sounded like an incredible opportunity. I hemmed and hawed whether or not I should apply, and I did. I kept getting over one hurdle after the next, and here I am, one of the people that they picked.”
Dorenkamp completed his 23rd year teaching at North Hills School District in the Pittsburgh area, and 27th overall. He has spent most of that time as an 8th grade social studies teacher, and will return to that position at North Hills in 2024-25.
Always looking for opportunities to better himself and grow as a teacher, Dorenkamp applied for and earned the 2019 James Madison Graduate Fellowship for the state of Pennsylvania. That led him down the path to Ashland’s MAHG program.
“I came across the Ashland program. It seemed like everything I was looking for. I did more research and it seemed to have some good feedback. I went to one of the Ashbrook Center’s weekend seminars,” Dorenkamp recalled when seeking out a graduate program.
Looking back, Dorenkamp is pleased with his decision to enroll in the MAHG program.
“It (was) a great experience. The professors were great. I had several professors who welcomed everyone’s thoughts, especially Chris Burkett. Just a really great experience,” Dorenkamp said. “I thought I’d see where that degree would take me, and it’s apparently taking me to Norway — didn’t see that one coming.”
Dorenkamp is looking forward at this once-in-a-lifetime chance to grow professionally and to get a first-hand look at a country with a highly-regarded education system.
“I’m looking forward to getting on the inside and learning why (Norway’s education is well respected) and have the opportunities to talk to teachers. I’m there to help their teachers teaching English to their students, but I’m hoping they’re going to help me too. Truthfully, I’m hoping to maybe gain some insight on how their school system runs on a macro level that maybe I can bring back to share with my district,” he said.
Fulbright Scholar Program
The Fulbright Scholar Program, the United States government’s flagship program of international education and cultural exchange, offers passionate and accomplished students and scholars in more than 160 countries the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to mutual understanding.
It awards more than 1,700 fellowships each year, enabling 800 U.S. scholars to go abroad and 900 visiting scholars to come to the U.S.
The Education section is brought to you by Ashland Family YMCA.