TCC Hosting Three-Part Series with International Scholars 

The Tulsa Community College Foundation is sponsoring a three-part series, featuring three international scholars in public lectures at the Center for Creativity. The scholars will interact with the students in their classrooms. The guest lecturers will target their remarks to their areas of specialty and curriculum.  

“It’s a very simple kind of bifurcated model. One is a public lecture open to the world; the other is more isolated and strategic with a particular faculty member,” Dr. Douglas Price, director of faculty development and global learning at TCC, explained. 

Price met with the TCC Connection staff recently to share details about the new three-part series that will hopefully pave the way for more international lectures in the future. Each scholar will be visiting on a Thursday over the next three months. The series began Feb. 29, and will be followed by another on March 14, and the last will be held on April 18. Price gave some insight into the first guest lecturer.  

“The first scholar (Martin Jirušek, Ph.D.), visiting is from the Czech Republic, (talked) about the oil industry and how Tulsa, Okla., and Bernal Czech Republic are connected in unexplored ways,” said Price. 

Visiting is from the Czech Republic, Martin Jirušek spoke on Feb. 29 about the oil industry and how Tulsa and Bernal Czech Republic are seemingly connected. (Photo provided by Dr. Price)

Jirušek is an assistant professor at Masaryk University, Czech Republic, and managing editor of the Czech Journal of Political Science. He has carried out several research projects in central and eastern Europe, Russia, as well as the United States. He received a Fulbright research scholarship, spending 10 months as a visiting researcher with George Washington University in Washington, D.C., between 2021 and 2022.  

Among his scholarship, Jirušek was also selected for the International Visitors Leadership Program run by the United States Department of State in 2019 and obtained the James S. Denton Transatlantic Fellowship from the Center for European Policy Analysis in the same year. Jirušek focuses on geopolitics, energy security, central and eastern Europe, Russia, the United States, and the transatlantic dimension of energy security.  

The second scholar, Kendra Reynolds, who is from Northern Ireland, will be focusing on writing poetry. She has been to TCC before as a Fullbright Scholar, as Jirušek. And the third guest presenter is Fabricio Camacho Céspedes from Costa Rica. His area of study is biodiversity.  

“The idea is to bring an international element to the institution, not that we haven’t done that before,” Price continues, “but to bring perspectives from around the world.”  

There will be receptions following the lectures and a Q&A. Each lecture will be recorded and archived on the TCC library site for future use by professors to use for curricular studies. Price explained that this will be the pilot year for the series. 

“We want to replicate this next year. The unique element this year that I thought was special is that each of these scholars has already been on our soil (and) in our classrooms.” Each scholar has presented lectures or taught at TCC in the past. Jirušek has led some class presentations with Price. Reynolds has taught Honors Composition, and Céspedes has hosted TCC student abroad trips to Costa Rica.  

 “These individuals are not strangers to us. Each has been in our classrooms, talking to our students, and we wanted to honor them by having them be our first three scholars.  

The TCC Foundation President introduced the first scholar this coming on Feb. 29. The inaugural and historical event was the first step, as Price mentioned, to internationalize the college. The goal is to expand the program and recruit additional scholars from around the world.  

The first event was hosted at the Thomas K. McKeon Center for Creativity from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Feb. 29. The program is free and open to the public. Be sure to be there for the second entry to the series on March 14.

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