A member of Oregon State University’s faculty is one of two people in the United States to win a new award from the Fulbright Scholar Program.

David Hannaway, a forage program director and Asia Initiative liaison at OSU, received a distinguished chair award from the program to teach and research forage-related topics for eight months in China.

Hannaway said he will spend his time in different locations in China. He will assist students from Sichuan Agricultural University and Nanjing Agricultural University by teaching forage and livestock systems, and help them prepare papers for English journal publication. He also plans to conduct in-country modeling and mapping of forage species, with a focus on where alfalfa fits best with climate and soils.

“It’s just a higher level for experienced people to find activities that would be mutually beneficial,” Hannaway said about the Fulbright award. “It’s a very special program.”

Hannaway will attend an orientation in Beijing at the end of August and will begin work at the start of November. He anticipates a productive time overseas.

“I think the culture in China is very much responsive to us being there and not so good long distance. So any time I can be working elbow to elbow, that strengthens our relationship,” Hannaway said.

Unlike other Fulbright awardees, he will receive travel stipend, salary pay and language training from the program, while the Chinese universities will provide him on-campus housing. Hannaway estimated the Fulbright grant for his distinguished chair position is worth about $120,000.

Hannaway has an extensive history with China. In fact, he said, there are only four provinces in the country where he hasn’t visited, and he hopes to get to those during this trip.

“‘People-to-people diplomacy’ is part of the mantra of Fulbright,” Hannaway wrote in an email to the Gazette-Times. Greater understanding between the United States and China — especially at a time when many people consider China an economic or military threat — is important, he said.

OSU’s relationship with the Fulbright Scholar Program through the Council for International Exchange of Scholars goes back more than 15 years, said Julie Walkin, coordinator of OSU International Initiatives.

In all, six OSU faculty members received different types of Fulbright honors for the upcoming academic year. Walkin said the outbound faculty will teach or do research, or combine the two, like Hannaway. They’ll be in countries such as Ecuador, Poland, Austria and Morocco, in fields ranging from crop and soil science to anthropology and library science and business.

The Fulbright program gives out 700 to 800 awards every academic year. Faculty members from more than 4,000 institutions apply every year. “We typically have between three and six faculty receive awards every year,” Walkin said about OSU.

Among the 2,400 international students who attended OSU during the 2011-12 academic year, 800 were from China.

Seven Chinese institutions are in partnerships with and have signed memorandums of understanding with OSU, but Hannaway hopes to see those ties grow even stronger, possibly through an OSU-China liaison office.

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