Joseph Oleniczak has been awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching Program Grant through the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education. This grant was selected for award by the Presidentially-appointed J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and made possible through funds that are appropriated annually by the U.S. Congress.
The purpose of the Fulbright Award in Teaching Program is to provide K-12 teachers with the opportunity to take a leave of absence from their regular teaching duties to do practical research abroad. For his participation in this program, Joseph will travel to Finland during the Spring 2019 semester to conduct his research.
The overachieving goal of Joseph’s Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching research project is to explore the framework of biotechnology career pathways from secondary education to the workplace in Finland. Specifically, he plans to study how Finnish students transition from secondary school career and technical education programs into the biotechnology workforce or into higher education in biotechnology at polytechnics or universities. Additionally, a key part of his research project is aimed at understanding why Finland is so successful in the recruitment, retention, and teaching of female students in secondary career and technical education programs with an emphasis on biotechnology pathways.
Joseph intends to use the knowledge he gains to enhance the dual enrollment Austin Independent School District Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Austin Community College Biotechnology Level I Certificate pathway he runs at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School in Austin, Texas.
Furthermore, Joseph plans to broadly disseminate his research within the secondary and higher education biotechnology workforce education community both nationally and internationally to develop best practices.