Rainey will spend the spring 2014 semester teaching seminars on geographic information systems and cultural and political ecology in the UNIR geography graduate program and working with members of the graduate faculty to develop future collaborative research projects. "While in Brazil, I will also begin a long-term study on the impacts of hydroelectric dams under construction in Brazil's western Amazon on local environments and communities," said Rainey.
This is the eighth Fulbright to be awarded to a McNeese faculty member in the college of liberal arts.
"I am highly honored to receive this prestigious award, which is dedicated to fostering better understanding between citizens of the United States and those of other countries around the world," said Rainey. "A number of McNeese faculty within the College of Liberal Arts have also received Fulbright awards, so I am in very good company. I plan to make the most of this opportunity and to work to develop strong collaborative research and academic exchange programs between McNeese State University and the Federal University of Rondonia that will one day benefit faculty and students from both institutions."
Rainey received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and his doctorate from Louisiana State University. A faculty member at McNeese since 2001, he teaches geography courses, including Introduction to Geography, World Regional Geography, Physical Geography, Cultural Geography, Regional Geography of Latin America, Geographic Information Systems I and II.
Rainey also received a student Fulbright fellowship while a graduate student at LSU to support research in Guatemala in 1996 and 1997. While there, he met other students from around the United States who were also involved in research or other types of academic or cultural exchanges. "So, I would strongly encourage McNeese students to talk to their academic advisers and myself about this marvelous opportunity to learn about another culture by actually living within that culture for several months to a year," he said.
Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by former Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Scholars Program sends over 800 U.S. faculty members and professionals abroad each year to lecture and conduct research in a wide variety of fields.
The program -which operates in more than 155 countries worldwide - is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and is administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars.