May 22, 2013

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU’s Frank Barnas Heading to Lithuania on Fulbright Grant

VALDOSTA — Frank Barnas will spend the 2013 fall semester in Lithuania, teaching journalism-related classes to students at Klaipeda University. The chance to lecture abroad was made possible by a Fulbright Program grant.  

“I am excited to go to Lithuania for a number of reasons,” said the Valdosta State University Mass Media Program professor. “First, Klaipeda University is barely 20 years old, with an even younger journalism program. The students and faculty have been incredibly innovative with their news courses, particularly through their Lithuanian-language blog, Sociumas. Not only do I hope to create an English-language version of Sociumas, I’ll also teach courses in electronic journalism and news writing.

“Second, I’m happy to visit Klaipeda on behalf of VSU. Our Mass Media Program students consistently win national awards, but we faculty members are always interested in learning how other schools develop their media programs. Finally, on a personal level, the Fulbright Program allows family members to attend as well. My children, Church and Aloura, are both eager to explore a part of Europe that most people never see.”

Each year, the Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program selects roughly 800 American scholars and professionals to lecture and/or conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields in approximately 130 countries. Participants are chosen on the basis of their academic and/or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the United States Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It was established in 1946 to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

In 2004, Barnas participated in a Fulbright German Studies Seminar, Visual Culture in Germany.

“This allowed me to speak with a number of German film producers and directors about how they developed their individual projects, as well as how they financed and distributed them internationally,” he said. “Those conversations gave me insight for my MDIA 4450: International Media and MDIA 3400: Broadcast Scriptwriting classes.”

Barnas joined the VSU faculty as an assistant professor in 1997 in the College of the Arts’ Department of Communication Arts. He worked his way up the ranks and was named a full professor in 2008. Before becoming a Blazer, he worked for two NBC affiliates, one in Missouri and one in Texas, and taught classes at the University of Texas, Southwest Texas State University, and the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. He holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Texas and is a candidate for the Doctor of Education at Florida State University. He has written four academic textbooks, an interactive children’s book, five screenplays, and a play; he has worked on documentaries in locations ranging from Russia to Antarctica. He serves as the national president for the Society for Collegiate Journalists and executive producer for the daily “News Valdosta” broadcast.

Contact Frank Barnas at (229) 333-7099 or to learn more.

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