Fountain Named Fulbright Specialist

head shot of slender, red-headed manPLAINVIEW - Wayland Baptist University Professor of Piano Dr. Richard Fountain has been named to the Fulbright Specialist Roster for 2021-2025. An acclaimed pianist, Dr. Fountain is excited about the opportunity to take his expertise overseas to work with host universities and organizations.

Established in 2001 by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), the Fulbright Specialist Program is designed to send highly qualified professionals to host institutions around the world to share their skills and knowledge. Those chosen for the program will also gain international exposure, learn about other cultures and develop beneficial relationships that will carry on beyond the scope of the initial project. The Specialist Program focuses on short-term projects that last from two to six weeks.

According to the Fulbright website, selection criteria is based on knowledge, skills, and the ability to significantly contribute to overseas opportunities. As a member of the specialist roster, Dr. Fountain is eligible to be matched with projects designed by foreign institutions. Specialists partner with host institutions to conduct activities that support the institution's goals.

Fountain applied to the program and was selected by a peer review panel based on his qualifications, academic curriculum vita, letters of recommendation, suitability for specialist grant activity, communication skills, adaptability and overall benefit to the stakeholders.

"This is a really neat opportunity to do some extended international work, which is something I've always wanted to do," Fountain said, admitting that it will be tricky to balance the overseas work with his professional career. "I will work with universities, non-profits or government organizations, to create a program I can assist them with."

Host institutions must apply to the program and select the specialist with whom they choose to work. Fountain said he is already in preliminary discussions about possible projects with a couple of contacts he has overseas.

More than 150 countries participate in the Fulbright Specialist Program with approximately 425 specialists traveling abroad each year. Specialists encompass 24 eligible disciplines and subject areas. Along with designing and conducting the initial programs, specialists are encouraged to continue working with host institutions following the initial projects, creating opportunities for ongoing cooperation.

Along with his teaching duties in the Wayland School of Music, Dr. Fountain is the primary keyboardist for the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra and the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra in Lincoln, Neb.