Carol Tenopir, Chancellor’s Professor and Board of Visitors Professor in UT Knoxville’s School of Information Sciences spent the 2016-17 academic year in Helsinki, Finland serving as the Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair in Information and Communications Technologies.
During her time in Finland, Tenopir worked with colleagues at the Hanken School of Economics, Department of Management and Organisation. “I have participated in shorter-term Fulbright positions in the past and found this one particularly satisfying,” said Tenopir. “Being in Finland for an entire academic year enabled me to work on research projects from beginning to end.”
Tenopir said the longer-term Fulbright grant allowed her to become more of a colleague to those with whom she interfaced. She was able to serve as a doctoral student mentor, something that would not have been possible during a typical three-month Fulbright. It also helped her to more fully understand the culture which translated into an improved understanding of the research data being collected. For example, the academic system in Finland is funded at a national level and the reward system is structured differently than in the United States. Although most universities do not use a tenure system, academic staff members are rewarded for publishing in international, high impact journals.
She also had time to get to visit many libraries to understand how libraries in Finland license electronic resources on a national level.
As a Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair, Tenopir worked with Fulbright-Finland and the U.S. Ambassador’s staff to select representatives from Finland to come to the U.S. as Fulbright scholars. Tenopir hopes to continue working with Fulbright-Finland to encourage U.S. students and faculty to visit Finland and Finnish scholars to visit the U.S.
“I would highly recommend the Fulbright program to others,” said Tenopir. “I hesitated to commit to a year-long program, but I am glad I took the plunge. I learned that the Fulbright program is very organized; for example, they assist faculty with school-age children and those with accompanying spouses find housing and schools to help grantees take advantage of the Fulbright opportunity. I encourage any university researcher to take time to explore the possibilities a Fulbright grant might offer.”
While in Europe, Tenopir was invited to give talks in Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Estonia, as well as all around Finland. Fulbright has a cooperative agreement that pays for travel for Fulbright grantees in one European country to speak in other European countries.
“Carol Tenopir gained invaluable experiences and contacts as the 2016-17 Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair,” said CCI Dean Mike Wirth. “We are tremendously proud of everything she accomplished and know that her work there will benefit CCI and SIS in many ways.”
Tenopir is the first woman and second CCI faculty member to hold the Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair in Information and Communications Technologies. JEM Howard Distinguished Endowed Professor of Media Management and Law and Beaman Professor Stuart N. Brotman was the 2012-13 Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair.