FARMINGTON — A University of Maine at Farmington faculty member will be studying the role of apprenticeships in higher education in Germany for two weeks this fall through a Fulbright scholarship.

F. Celeste Branham, vice president for student and community services, is one of 20 higher education administrators in the United States selected to participate in the Fulbright Program.

Branham said the internship programs she’ll study in Germany are similar to internships and service learning experiences that American college students participate in, but the programs are significantly more widespread and play a larger role in higher education.

In the German model, many students’ higher education involves spending time with a mentor in a specific industry gaining real world experience.

Branham oversees all areas of UMF that affect student welfare including directing the Partnership for Civic Advancement, which collaborates with regional businesses and organizations for hands on experience.

She said she hopes to take what she learns about the programs and apply it at the Farmington campus in a way that helps the students, faculty and community partners involved in service learning and internships.

“Hopefully I’ll be able to identify some of the best practices and translate them to our American system,” she said.

In order to be accepted in the program, applicants have to pass three rounds of review. After the initial research proposal is reviewed, it then needs to be passed by the Germany Fulbright commission and then the full Fulbright Commission.

Branham said she has never had the opportunity to research abroad and was shocked when she was notified last week that she was awarded the scholarship.

“I was elated, but quite surprised,” she said.

Branham leaves Oct. 15 for the two-week intensive study. She will spend the first half of the program in Berlin, followed by travel to different universities throughout Germany, and ending her study in Strasbourg, France.

The Fulbright Program was founded in 1946 by Sen. J. William Fulbright, of Arkansas, who said there was a need for a program that would promote mutual understanding of Americans and the people of other countries. The program awards approximately 8,000 grants annually.

The two-week program Branham will participate in is designed to introduce participants to different perspectives on higher education systems in France, Germany, United Kingdom, India, Japan or Korea.

Along with overseeing student affairs for the past nine years, Branham is also president of the Western Maine Community Action Board of Directors and serves on the Maine Commission for Community Service.

Branham earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Southern Maine, a master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts in public administration and has since received certifications for leadership studies at the Harvard JFK School of Government and higher education management at the Harvard School of Education.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252
[email protected]

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