November 19, 2014

Karen Garner, Christina Ziegler-McPherson Awarded Fulbright Grants

Karen Garner stands at left as the 2011 recipient of the Empire State College Foundation Susan H. Turben Award for Excellence in Scholarship. To Garner's right are 2010 recipient Nataly Tcherepashenets and Susan H. Turben

Karen Garner stands at left as the 2011 recipient of the Empire State College Foundation Susan H. Turben Award for Excellence in Scholarship. Right of Garner are the 2010 recipient Nataly Tcherepashenets and Susan Turben. Photo/

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Nov. 21, 2014) SUNY Empire State College Faculty Mentors Karen Garner and Christina Ziegler-McPherson have been awarded grants through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program for the 2014-15 academic year.

These two scholars and educators are among only 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through a Fulbright grant this year.

Garner, an associate professor in Historical Studies, is currently lecturing at the University of Pannonia in Veszprem, Hungary. Her project title is, “Collaborating with Gender Studies Scholars in Hungary.”

Ziegler-McPherson, an adjunct faculty member in history, is lecturing and doing research at the University of Bremen, in Germany, on “From Kleindeutschland to Yorkville: German Immigrants in New York City, 1870-1930.”

“Congratulations go to Karen Garner and Christina Ziegler-McPherson for recognition of their scholarship by the Fulbright Program, one of the most prestigious academic programs in the world,” said Merodie A. Hancock, president of the college. “Recognition in the form of a Fulbright grant speaks to the academic accomplishments of Karen and Christina, adds to their reputations and that of the college internationally and is another example of the overall excellence of the Empire State College faculty. Karen’s and Christina’s scholarship and teaching also are representative of the broad, deep, liberal arts education the college’s nontraditional students sign up for.”

Garner was first recognized by the Fulbright Scholar Program in 2003, when she was awarded a teaching fellowship at Vilnius University in Lithuania.

"Through the Fulbright Program, I have the opportunity to work with Hungarian students and students from the People's Republic of China, who are studying at the University of Pannonia,” said Garner. “This Fulbright grant also provides me opportunities to interact with a multidisciplinary group of international teachers and scholars at Pannonia's English and American Studies Institute; to experience firsthand Central European culture and politics and to learn about its history. In turn, I will share the knowledge and experience I have gained with my students, colleagues and with the larger Empire State College community. I am truly appreciative of receiving this grant and I am making the most of the academic, intellectual and cultural opportunities afforded to me by the Fulbright Program.”

About Karen Garner

Karen Garner is an award-winning member of the college’s faculty and a published author with several journal articles and three books focusing on women engaged in international politics: "Gender and Foreign Policy in the Clinton Administration" (Lynne Rienner Publishers/First Forum Books, 2013), "Shaping a Global Women's Agenda: Women's NGOs and Global Governance, 1925-85" (Manchester University Press, 2010)  and “Precious Fire,” (University of Massachusetts Press, 2003) a study of political activist Maude Russell and her relationship to the Chinese Revolution and U.S. foreign policy.

She was named as one of two Scholars Across the College for the 2012-13 academic year and received the Empire State College Foundation Susan H. Turben Award for Excellence in Scholarship in 2011.

She also is a 2011 recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. Garner, who first joined the college in 2005, received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Texas at Austin in 1995.

About Christina Ziegler-McPherson

Christina Zeigler-McPherson is a public historian who specializes in immigration, poverty and social welfare policy and education. She has served as a guest curator for three exhibits at the Hoboken Historical Museum, including “Hoboken, Ellis Island and the Immigrant Experience, 1892-1924.” She also helped curate the Puffin Foundation Gallery’s permanent exhibit, “Activist New York,” which told the story of social activism in New York City from Colonial times to the present.

An accomplished writer and editor, she has published numerous papers and two books: "Americanization in the States: Immigrant Social Welfare Policy, Citizenship, and National Identity in the United States, 1908-1929" (University Press of Florida, 2009) and "Immigrants in Hoboken, One-Way Ticket, 1845-1985" (The History Press, 2011). Ziegler-McPherson joined the college in 2010. She earned her Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

About the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, a division of the Institute of International Education, and is one of the programs operated under the auspices of the Fulbright Program.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright, of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given more than 318,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, scientists and other professionals the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

About SUNY Empire State College

Empire State College, the nontraditional, open college of the SUNY system, educates more than 20,000 students worldwide at eight international sites, more than 35 locations in the state of New York, online, as well as face to face and through a blend of both, at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s levels.

The average age of an undergraduate student at the college is 35 and graduate students’ average age is 40.

Most Empire State College students are working adults. Many are raising families and meeting civic commitments in the communities where they live, while studying part time.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each undergraduate student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career.

Working with their mentors, students design an individual degree program and engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or through a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to choose where, when and how to learn.

Students have the opportunity to enroll five times during the year.

The college’s 73,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

The college was first established in 1971 by the SUNY Board of Trustees with the encouragement of the late Ernest L. Boyer, chancellor of the SUNY system from 1970 to 1977.

Boyer also served as United States commissioner of education during the administration of President Jimmy Carter and then as president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

More information about the college is available at


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