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Caceci awarded Fulbright

By Jeffrey S. Douglas

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 30 - May 1, 1997

A faculty member in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to help develop distance-learning opportunities in the Indian higher education system.

Thomas Caceci, an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Histopathology, will spend three months in early 1998 lecturing at Mangalore University, located in a town of the same name situated on India's southwestern coast.

Specifically, Caceci will help faculty members in that university's biology department develop software that will support distance-learning capabilities.

"India is in many ways a place where the distance-learning concept can best be tested and refined," said Caceci, who has developed special software for teaching his veterinary histology class. "It has a reasonably good communications network, a very large population, and hundreds of universities, many of which are linked to their computer network and the World Wide Web."

Caceci said the Indian government is committed to providing education to all its citizens, and is enthusiastically embracing modern information technology as a means of achieving that goal.

"My goal is to train a cadre of graduate students, who will in turn train others as they move into the ranks of the Indian university system faculties," Caceci said. "The software I use in veterinary histology is a modest start at the sorts of things that can be done with future equipment."

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which administers the Fulbright Fellowship program, announced that about 750 applications were funded from a pool of about 2,400 from around the country during this 50th anniversary year of the Fulbright program.