ASU Professor Danko Šipka stands in his office on campus. He has silvery hair and broad smile, but isn't showing teeth. He is wearing a pale blue dress shirt, red tie and black suit coat.

ASU professor receives Fulbright Scholar award to conduct language research in Serbia

By

Enrique Martin Palacios

Danko Šipka, professor of Slavic languages and applied linguistics in the School of International Letters and Cultures at Arizona State University, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to Serbia for the next academic year.

Šipka, whose research interests include lexicography, lexicology, linguistic anthropology and lexical and inflectional morphology, will be spending May and June of 2022 and 2024 in the Serbian Language Department of the University of Belgrade in Serbia. “Serbian and other Slavic studies are central in my research and the most prestigious venues where research and teaching in Serbian studies are conducted are in Serbia, so my going to University of Belgrade is like a scholar of English going to Oxford or Cambridge.”

Founded in 1946, the Fulbright Program is one of the most prestigious international exchange fellowship programs in the world. A program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Fulbright supports academic exchanges between the United States and more than 150 countries around the world. The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program sends American faculty members, scholars and professionals abroad to lecture or conduct research for up to a year.

Šipka has had a long-running and impressive relationship with Fulbright. “I was on Fulbright very early in my career in 1987–88 at the University of Illinois and the University of Pittsburgh, coming from Yugoslavia. Now, I am going in the opposite direction to the capital of that country that sadly does not exist anymore.”

Šipka’s engagement with Fulbright has continued throughout his career. “I hosted two junior Fulbright Scholars from Russia and Uzbekistan, and I have been on campus Fulbright committees every year for well over a decade,” he said. Šipka has also served as an evaluator for Fulbright Seminars Abroad applications for the Department of Education and has recently run workshops for Fulbright Foreign Language Assistants coming to the United States from all around the world. “These experiences, in particular my first Fulbright that helped with my dissertation research, were transformative in my career,” he said.

For this professor of Slavic languages, the pleasure of working with different student populations and doing research in different academic settings around the world has been extremely enriching and rewarding, and he encourages students and other colleagues to pursue the opportunities that Fulbright programs have to offer. “ASU has an excellent office that supports these endeavors and that has had enormous success in helping students secure these prestigious grants,” he added.

Arizona State University is a perennial top producer of Fulbright award recipients, and in the 2020 cycle, ASU was one of only 10 universities that were top producers for both Fulbright Scholar awards for faculty and Fulbright U.S. Student award recipients. The Office of the University Provost works with ASU faculty members who are seeking Fulbright Scholar awards, and the Office of National Scholarships Advisement supports and advises current students and alumni who are seeking awards through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

The office provides extensive resources to ASU student applicants, including a specialized Canvas page, one-on-one advising, webinars and writing workshops. Interested ASU students should watch the "Getting Started" YouTube series. They are also welcomed to make an appointment with an adviser at bass.barrett.asu.edu. The campus deadline is early fall. Those with a conferred PhD degree should contact Karen Engler (Karen.Engler@asu.edu) about the Fulbright Scholars Program.

collage of photos of students participating in the Fulbright Scholarship Program

Photo courtesy of the Office of National Scholarship Advisement