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WIU Assistant Professor Tim Roberts is the third WIU professor to be named a Fulbright Scholar this year.
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Roberts Named Fulbright Scholar to China

June 4, 2013

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University now has three professors who have been named Fulbright Scholars during 2013.

Tim Roberts, an associate professor of history at Western, will serve as a Fulbright Scholar in China this coming school year. Roberts, his wife, Emily, and children Zoe and Sumner, will move to China in August and return in the summer of 2014.

The family learned in May that Roberts will be teaching American history at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. The city has seven million residents and is about 600 miles south of Beijing.

"I hope to use the Fulbright to learn more about how to teach American history as a part of world history, to shape, or perhaps correct, what Chinese people think about the U.S. and its history, and to attract Chinese students and faculty to come to or partner with WIU," Roberts said. "It's likely I will have one graduate and one undergraduate class each semester."

Through his Fulbright application, Roberts offered to teach the early history of the United States.

"I will be drawing on what I teach at WIU on the early American republic and the Civil War era, America foreign relations, and American legal history," he said. "My wife is looking forward to meeting with students and may teach English conversation."

Roberts said his family is preparing for the move. His children have been studying the Chinese language for more than a year. Zoe and Sumner will attend an international school in China.

"China actually, at least at a distance, strikes me as a little like the early American republic," Roberts said. "China isn't a liberal democracy, but like the U.S. was in the early 19th century, the Chinese are concerned about national borders and are competing with more established powers for global influence. And their economy, though it's run by the state, has fairly exploded, like ours began to in the 19th century."

Roberts is the third WIU professor to be awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in recent months. Management Professor Joe Dobson will be teaching in Romania in Spring 2014 and WIU-Quad Cities English Associate Professor Daniel Malachuk will teach in Germany from March – July 2014.

For more information about the Fulbright program, visit

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