Ms. Cynthia Dettman   
Specialization: Social Work
Home institution in US: Mount Hood Community College, Gresham, Oregon
Host Institution in India: Lady Doak College, Madurai, Tamil Nadu  
Start date/Month in India: July 2012
Duration of grant: 6 months

Brief Bio:
Ms. Dettman has a B.A. from Oberlin College, Ohio; a J.D. from Northeastern University, Massachusetts; and a M.S.W. from Portland State University, Oregon. Her professional life has been devoted to the empowerment of women, first as a legal aid attorney focusing on domestic violence and welfare issues, and more recently, as an Oregon Community College counselor. Ms. Dettman has specialized in promoting higher education success among minority and immigrant women using a variety of empowerment techniques, including group work, community building, targeted recruitment, popular education methodologies, the use of racially diverse mentors, leadership development, study skills, public speaking training and NVC (nonviolent communication) techniques. During her 15 years working in community college settings, she has assisted more than 1,000 low-income women pursue higher education goals. Ms. Dettman is also an experienced program developer, grant writer and public relations communicator. Her passion is the application of empowerment techniques and policy advocacy in cross-cultural settings to improve higher education access and outcomes for marginalized women.

Ms. Dettman will complete two projects as a Fulbright Visiting Lecturer. She will teach selected sociology and social work practice topics in Lady Doak College’s Master of Social Work program. In addition, she will research the status of community colleges in South India and seek to establish collaborative relationships between them and selected U.S. colleges. In her teaching, Ms. Dettman will focus on a variety of topics, including social work practice in the U.S.; social work empowerment techniques; the effects of culture, religion, and class on women; and popular education strategies. Ms. Dettman will also visit and establish relationships with area community colleges to learn about the community college movement in India, to share program development and administration strategies, and to discuss possible post-Fulbright exchanges and collaborations between South Indian and U.S. community colleges in the future.