Prof. Wiriadjaja Receives Fulbright Scholar Award
Prof. Wiriadjaja joins over 800 US citizens who will teach, conduct research, and/or provide expertise abroad for the 2018-2019 academic year through the Fulbright US Scholar Program, according to a press release issued on April 25 by the US Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
“Becoming a Fulbright Scholar will connect me better to my own heritage and help inform my art practice. We live in an era when our world leaders are spewing out discouraging words of hate that get spread through the media. It's a crucial time to create bridges, and I hope my time as a Fulbright Scholar will help encourage dialogue between cultures,” Wiriadjaja said.
As part of a project to teach computer animation and multimedia to traditional arts communities in Central Java, Indonesia, Prof. Wiriadjaja will lecture at Institut Seni Indonesia, Surakarta (Indonesian Institute of the Arts, Surakarta), where he visited for a guest lecture on creative computation in 2015.
“The students at ISI Solo are bright, creative and inquisitive, but they don't have access to proper computers, software and the internet,” Wiriadjaja said. “One of my goals is to look for solutions with open-source software and hardware.”
With the Fulbright funding, Wiriadjaja can begin establishing a sustainable curriculum for local animation students, in the hopes that the knowledge and community will thrive even after he leaves.
“One challenge is that I speak Indonesian at an 8-year-old's level. We're going to have lots of laughs when I have to explain programming terms to undergraduates in baby-talk,” he said.
Established in 1946, the Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the US government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.
“Fulbright Scholars represent, to me, that a world beyond intellectual borders can exist,” said Wiriadjaja. “Being selected as one is a dream come true!”