SIULAW Prof. Christopher Behan selected for the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Specialist Program. His primary geographical area of interest is Sub-Saharan Africa.

April 26, 2021 , by Pete Rosenberry


CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale has been long known for its global reach, including welcoming its first international student in 1947. Christopher Behan, a professor with the SIU School of Law, is continuing the relationship with his recent selection as a Fulbright Specialist.

Behan learned in February that he was selected for the specialist program, which “pairs highly qualified U.S. academics and professionals with host institutions abroad to share their expertise, strengthen institutional linkages, hone their skills, gain international experience and learn about other cultures,” according to the organization’s website. The program has host institutions in more than 150 countries, and projects generally last two to six weeks, although specialists are encouraged to continue working with their host institutions in the years after the initial exchange.

Behan is honored to be selected. The usual three-year term was extended to four years, until February 2025, due to the pandemic.

“SIU Carbondale truly is a university with a global presence,” said Behan, who came to the law school in 2006. “I encourage students to take advantage of international educational travel opportunities. Without SIU, I wouldn’t have been competitive for this Fulbright Specialist appointment.”

He is awaiting a match with a project, possibly in East Africa. Behan said the project will likely involve legal education and administration “where I can draw on my teaching and administrative experience here at SIU and also from my time as an officer in the United States Army.”

Behan noted that in deciding to apply for a Fulbright Specialist slot, he got encouragement and advice from two colleagues, law professors Trish McCubbin and Cynthia Fountaine, both of whom have been involved with the program.

SIU School of Law Dean Camille Davidson noted the law school’s history with the specialist program.  “We are excited about this opportunity for Professor Behan,” she said. “His acceptance into this program continues a proud history of SIU law faculty membership in the Fulbright Specialist Program, including Professors Fountaine and McCubbin. We look forward to the opportunities our faculty involvement in this program will bring to our students.”

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