“There are things that I’m getting to do now that I might have said to you in my 20s, ‘I would love to do this,’ but I could never have imagined any position I would ever have that would enable me to. It really feels unreal,” said Associate Professor of Instruction and Director of the Center for Media Information Literacy (CMIL) Sherri Hope Culver (she/her).
When Culver first started her career, she dreamed of being on camera. Now, she is just a few months away from starting her project as a Fulbright Global Scholar.
More specifically, Culver is one of 16 Fulbright Global Scholars. The Global Scholar program is different from a typical Fulbright. Rather than applying for an opportunity being offered by a person or organization, Culver got to take the idea she had and find host institutions in other countries to visit and support her research.
For the fall 2022 semester, Culver will be on sabbatical while she visits the first two of her three locations for her research. After spending a month in Brazil and a month in the United Kingdom, Culver will teach during the spring 2023 semester before heading to Australia in the summer.
Brazil, the UK and Australia piqued Culver’s interest because of the work they are doing in the field of children’s media, one of her areas of focus. While there, she hopes to gain insight into how the countries develop quality content, what structures make it possible and how they lead others to do the same.
Culver is currently developing a children’s media certificate for Klein College of Media and Communication students and wants to use her Fulbright to learn how to better mentor and inspire her students.
However, being a teacher was not always Culver’s dream.
In the early aughts, Culver was looking for opportunities in the areas of media literacy, media management or children in media. When a friend who worked at Temple University told her there was an opening for someone to come teach a media management course, Culver agreed and started as an adjunct professor in 2006.
By 2007, Culver became a full-time professor at Klein and has been sharing her expertise with students and faculty ever since.
“I have such a deep respect for her work both as an educator and as a person who is a champion for media literacy,” said Associate Professor of Instruction David Brown (he/him). Brown met Culver many years before either worked at Temple when they both worked at the same television station. Once Culver started at Temple, she brought Brown in to guest lecture in some of her classes.
Brown is grateful for the relationship he and Culver have, and is proud to see her embark on this new journey.
Around the time she started at Temple, Culver served as president of the board for the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE). During her several years as president, she worked with the board to hire the organization’s first executive director, Michelle Lipkin (she/her).
Lipkin credits the ease of her transition with the organization to Culver’s guidance and friendship. “She is really inspiring because she is capable of so much and navigates so many different worlds with what looks like ease,” Lipkin said.
After Culver finishes her Fulbright, she hopes to have published several journal articles and is interested in turning those and some of her other work into a book about how parents can teach their kids about media.
“If I’m interested in something, I want to know, ‘what is the most I can do in that area?’” Culver said. The Fulbright application process, she said, was one of the biggest things she’s ever done, but she is honored to have been accepted and is excited to start such a rigorous experience while taking a big step in her career.