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Dr. Richard BechererBecherer latest faculty member selected for Fulbright award

The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board has announced that Dr. Richard C. Becherer, Clarence E. Harris Chair of Excellence in Business and Entrepreneurship, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, has been selected to receive the Fulbright-Kathryn and Craig Hall Distinguished Chair for Entrepreneurship in Central Europe. Becherer will teach in the Czech Republic for 2007-2008.

The Fulbright-Hall Distinguished Chair is designed to address a broad spectrum of principle and regional issues related to entrepreneurship, including the relationships between public, private, and non-profit sectors; entrepreneurial strategies; the role of governments in facilitating individual initiative; economic and social entrepreneurship; and the theory of free market economies and economies in the process of transition to more mature market economies.

“Dr. Becherer’s award is a high honor reserved for those with the most prominent records of scholarly accomplishment,” said Dr. Richard Casavant, John Stagmaier Chair and Dean, College of Business. “The Fulbright Scholars program may make 1,000 grants each year, but fewer than 40 scholars receive a distinguished chair. He will be a true ambassador for the U.S. academic community and UTC’s College of Business.”

Becherer’s achievement is the latest in a series of Fulbright awards presented to UTC faculty in recent years. Dr. Wilfred McClay, professor and SunTrust Chair of Excellence in Humanities, spent spring semester 2007 at the University of Rome in Italy, where he taught graduate courses in American Studies. McClay has also been invited to offer lectures on literature, history, social criticism, political theory, and other aspects of American intellectual history, including a set of lectures arranged by the U.S. Embassy’s cultural officer in Rome.

Dr. Joseph Kizza, professor in the Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, was named one of only four Tennessee-based Fulbright scholars selected in 2003-2004. He served as a professor and academic advisor to both students and other faculty members at Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Western Uganda and at other universities in the country. He also assumed the duties of laboratory technician, laboratory attendant, computer consultant and repairer, network administrator, curriculum developer, syllabi designer, and “Internet guru.” Dr. Patricia Kopetz, a professor in the UTC Education Graduate Studies Division in 2006, was named one of 115 American scholars selected to teach and conduct research in Africa. She spent fall 2006 engaged in scholarly activity at Mzuzu University in Malawi, Africa.

Becherer will be responsible for teaching two courses at the Prague University of Economics, faculty of Business Administration and one course at the Czech University of Agriculture in Prague. The goals of these institutions are to train the elite of successful managers and entrepreneurs through master’s programs in economics and management with a specialization in entrepreneurship and innovation.

“The Fulbright award is a great honor, something I have always thought would be the highlight of an academic career,” Becherer said. “Spending four months in Prague means I will have the opportunity to study entrepreneurship in a developing economy, and hopefully create some international relationships for UTC that will benefit our students and faculty in the future.”

The graduate and advanced undergraduate level courses Becherer will teach in entrepreneurship courses will focus on several fields, and may include the psychology of entrepreneurship; opportunity recognition and evaluation; social entrepreneurship; innovation management; and technology change, including environment-friendly technologies and their evaluation in industrial and agrarian societies.

May 18, 2007