In 2013, Dr. Maureen Hall, an Associate Professor in the STEM Education and Teacher Development Department, established the Ruel J. and Patricia A. Hall Educational Scholarship for India Fund. The annual scholarship allows an eligible student or teacher to receive a $500 grant to experience a unique teaching and/or learning opportunity in India.
Created in memory of her parents—both of whom were educators—Hall found that establishing the scholarship was an exemplary way in following in her family’s footsteps and honoring their lifelong commitment to education.
“I believe, like Horace Mann did, that education is the great equalizer and that it can enhance the lives of all people,” said Hall.
Developing an interest in Indian philosophy and culture
Hall’s interest in India formed when she studied there as a recipient of the Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Scholarship in 2010. While in India, she explored the Super Accelerated Learning Theory (SALT), which she believes can be utilized to engage and deepen student learning in the classroom.
“I love India in so many ways, and my teaching and research is informed by Indian philosophies and culture,” said Hall. “My ability to play a role in choreographing opportunities for my students to teach in India grows out of my Fulbright experience.”
Connecting Indian cultures with the classroom
In her fourteenth year at UMass Dartmouth, Hall’s vision of education and educational practices exhibits itself through the engagement of students in reflective practice of combining reflective writing, mindfulness, and ongoing discussion. Her work also contributes to UMass Dartmouth’s Transform 2020 plan in terms of producing highly productive collaborations and partnerships.
Two of Hall’s scholarship recipients have been granted the opportunity to teach English communication skills to Indian students at the Dev Sanskriti University in Haridar where Hall has begun collaborations with.
“Placing students internationally in teaching positions has been extremely gratifying to me,” said Hall. “I established this partnership with Dev Sanskriti University because I believe in the service of deepening student learning and cross-cultural endeavors through a strong partnership.”