NATCHITOCHES – The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board has selected Dr. Patrice Moulton, a professor of psychology at Northwestern State University, to receive a Fulbright Award for work in Nepal where she will serve as a consultant and cultural ambassador while launching the country’s first degree program in counseling psychology.
“It is such an honor to have my work linked forever with one of the most prestigious and selective scholarships the United States has to offer,” said Moulton, who has traveled to Nepal several times to work with the Empower Nepali Girls Foundation and is familiar with the country’s education system, norms and customs.
The Fulbright program aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Moulton will be joining the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, alongside many distinguished figures around the world. Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs, and university presidents, as well as leading journalists, artists, scientists and teachers. They include 57 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 70 MacArthur Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and non-profit sectors. Since its inception in 1946, more than 370,000 Fulbrighters have participated in the program.
Fulbright grants are made possible through taxpayer funds appropriated annually by the U.S. Congress and, in many cases, by contributions from partner countries and private parties. Recipients have the opportunity to work collaboratively with international partners in educational, political, cultural, economic and scientific fields. In addition to pursuing their academic or professional objectives, they also participate in social and community activities and continue to learn about the history and culture of their host countries.
Moulton and her family, her husband Dr. Michael Moulton, a professor in NSU’s Department of Health and Human Performance, and their son Bryce, a senior at the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts, have traveled to Nepal several times through their engagement with the Empower Nepali Girls Foundation, which seeks to provide scholarships for Nepali girls to attend school and raise awareness of child trafficking, hunger and gender equity. Locally, the Moultons worked with several philanthropy groups to benefit the Foundation.
Last year, Moulton was instrumental in coordinating a memorandum of understanding between NSU and the Institute of Crisis Management Studies, Samarpan Academy, in Nepal to provide both institutions with opportunities for academic cooperation, student and faculty exchanges and joint research. She has been acting as ICMS international faculty and has lectured there on counseling psychology.
Moulton has a demonstrated concern for the development of Nepal, especially in the field of psycho-social counseling within the context of disasters, which is the focus of the ICMS master’s program. She is a licensed professional counselor who holds a bachelor’s degree in social and rehabilitation services, a master’s in counseling psychology and a Ph.D. in adult education. She will help with the development of the new psychology department at ICMS. Because of her relationship with Empower Nepali Girls Foundation, ICMS administrators said they will consider collaborating with the organization in terms of scholarships.
“We see Dr. Moulton as a great asset for our institution not only because she has the capacity to change lives through her teaching, coaching and mentoring but also because she is a truly kind individual with great understanding and openness towards the people of Nepal. Her previous work to empower Nepali girls greatly illustrates her commitment to working with Nepali agencies and within local communities to advance positive change in the country,” according to the ICMS recommendation that was included in Moulton’s Fulbright application.
Moulton’s Fullbright fellowship will begin in January. Upon returning home, she will speak and wright about her Fulbright experience and become involved with activities such as serving on selection committees, recruiting Fulbright applicants and hosting visiting Fulbrighters.
The underlying purpose of the Fulbright program was outlined by its founder, Sen. J. William Fulbright, as “Fostering these – leadership, learning and empathy between cultures – was and remains the purpose of the international scholarship program. It is a modest program with an immodest aim – the achievement in international affairs of a regime more civilized, rational and human than the empty system of power of the past.”