Professor Mark Vesligaj Receives a Fulbright Award

Three Rivers Community College is excited to announce that Professor of Engineering Science Mark Vesligaj has been awarded a Fulbright International Education Administrators Seminar award to Russia. The Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries and is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. Fulbright alumni include Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, MacArthur Fellows, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and non-profit sectors.

President Mary Ellen Jukoski said, “We are thrilled at Three Rivers Community College that Professor Vesligaj has been awarded a Fulbright Award. I want to congratulate Mark on this great honor, which acknowledges his important work on Three Rivers manufacturing programs.  It is a wonderful opportunity for him and for international exchange for our College as well as for the colleagues he will be meeting and traveling with over his stay.”

Prof Vesligaj of Three Rivers Community College receives a Fulbright Award.

Professor Mark Vesligaj illustrates a point to students in a Physics 114 lab.

In March, Professor Vesligaj will travel with four other American scholars to St. Petersburg, Moscow and Tver to focus on the role of community colleges in higher education and within the local community. They will exchange knowledge and best practices with Russian administrators in postsecondary education and lay the groundwork for institutional relationships and collaborations. The overall objective of this Fulbright Scholar Program is to prepare U.S. and Russian institutions to internationalize their campuses, broaden the scope of their programs and provide mobility opportunities. The program includes site visits to Russian institutions of higher education that allow the scholars to meet senior administrators, government officials and community representatives where they will explain how the U.S. community college system develops educational programs that combine workforce training and civic education and prepares students for additional higher education.

Excited about the opportunity, Professor Vesligaj said, “I am honored to represent Three Rivers Community College through this Fulbright Scholar Program. The opportunity to meet and collaborate with the other four awardees from across the United States and share the community college higher education model with our Russian hosts is most exciting. We aim to build lasting relationships and opportunities for our colleges and students as we learn about the postsecondary education system from our Russian hosts. Personally, I am interested in sharing
Three Rivers innovative workforce development model in manufacturing and returning home with fresh insights and new domestic/international partners, to provide even more opportunities for our students, our college, and our community.”

Professor Vesligaj has been a Professor of Engineering Science and Technology Studies at Three Rivers Community College since 2016. At the College, he also serves as the Campus Director for the Connecticut Advanced Manufacturing Council, the Program Coordinator of the CT College of Technology and the Campus Director of the NASA CT Space Grant Consortium. Prior to that, he held a similar position at Quinebaug Valley Community College after ten years working as an engineer in the private sector. Vesligaj is the holder of four patents; has been the recipient of over $7,000,000 in grants and funding awards to support his higher education work; and has been twice recognized with the Connecticut Congress Merit Award. He holds a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University.

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