Fulbright Scholar to build connections with Korean universities, enhance international education at Weber State

OGDEN, Utah — A staff member at Weber State University received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award that will take her nearly 6,000 miles across the world this summer. 

Mary Machira, executive director and senior international officer of the Office of International Programs & Services, will participate in a two-week seminar in and around Seoul to engage with South Korea’s higher education system and build relationships with universities there. 

She hopes to bring back what she learned to develop newMary Machira smiles as she exchanges cards with a representative from East China Normal University. opportunities for WSU students. “It’s important to open our minds and embrace diverse educational perspectives from around the world,” Machira said. “Fostering a strong global understanding can ultimately lead to a more unified world.”

Each year, the Fulbright Scholar Program offers hundreds of awards for recipients to teach, conduct research and implement professional projects around the world. 

Among several international locations offered, Machira chose South Korea because of growing interest among WSU faculty and students, both to develop stronger ties with Korean schools and increase study abroad opportunities. Additionally, WSU has seen an increase of international students coming from South Korea, Machira said. 

“Having international students on campus not only enhances the community’s cultural experience, but also enriches the classroom experience by adding diverse perspectives and ways of thinking,” Machira said. “And sharing cultures brings the world to our students who may not be able to afford to go abroad.”

She believes this experience will strengthen the university’s commitment to academic excellence by offering transformative learning experiences rooted in global best practices in higher education. 

“I’ve been in international education for over 20 years, so getting this award is a recognition of the growth and importance of international education,” Machira said. “It’s an honor to receive this opportunity to expand my knowledge and share it with my university, because I know the impact it can have on the lives of students.” 


Erika Gonzalez Lara, Marketing & Communications 
801-626-7948, erikagonzalezlara@weber.edu


Bryan Magaña, public relations director
801-626-7948, bryanmagana@weber.edu