Regis University Fulbright Scholar John Jean: Sharing the Regis University approach in Portugal

Hannah BreeceJune 05, 2013

John Jean, Regis University professor of chemistry, recently received the Fulbright Award in order to spend time teaching at the University of Lisbon in Portugal and researching for a book “on the history and philosophical interpretations of certain aspects of quantum mechanics.”

The Fulbright Award, a United States program started in 1946, was designed to cultivate relationships and promote understanding between U.S. citizens and people of other countries by providing U.S. academic faculty the funding to engage in academic projects of interest across a variety of fields. This year, 790 scholars from the United States were selected for the award, including two faculty members from Regis University.

“I view the receipt of a Fulbright Award as an opportunity to continue my professional development in this area,” he said, “and plan to use my time as a Fulbright Teaching Scholar to enthusiastically engage the opportunity to work with University of Lisbon Students to help them develop the analytical skills and historical perspective critical in understanding issues that define our 21st century world.”
He sees it as “the ‘capstone’ experience of [his] teaching career,” as well as an opportunity to “take on new challenges” and experience a new environment.

Jean completed his undergraduate at the University of Texas at Arlington and doctoral work at the University of Texas at Austin and was a postdoctoral fellow from 1987-1990 at the University of Chicago and The James Franck Institute. He began teaching chemistry and then molecular biophysics at Washington University in St. Louis, and he transferred to the chemistry department at Regis University in 2006.
Regis University’s commitment to a more “personally and socially transformative” education was one of the aspects that drew Jean to the university. He appreciated the opportunity to combine his varied interests to design interdisciplinary courses, something that Regis encourages as a way to help students “deal with the complex issues they will face as 21st century citizens.”

Starting in October, Jean will be teaching courses in the History and Philosophy of Science in the School of Letters at the University of Lisbon. He plans to incorporate elements of the interdisciplinary integrative courses that he loves at Regis. He also hopes to take advantage of the “strong presence” the faculty there has in the physical sciences, perhaps finding connections for future collaboration opportunities, even ones that would extend to Regis chemistry students.

Though a physicist and chemist, Jean also has a “long-standing love for European history, as well as the philosophy of science.” While teaching and studying, he also hopes to use his time in Portugal to explore the country and culture, and he may even cross the border to visit Spain again.