West and Mid-Michigan Chapter of the Fulbright Association

About Us

The mission of the Fulbright Association is to advocate for the Fulbright Program and promote international education. Our vision is a world where international exchange is widely recognized as a force for peace.

West and Mid-Michigan Chapter of the Fulbright Association

The West and Mid-Michigan Chapter of the Fulbright Association is a regionally based chapter serving Fulbright alumni and friends of international exchange. The chapter is focused on hosting engaging programs and events for Fulbright alumni and visiting Fulbright students and scholars throughout the region, primarily in Jackson, Kalamazoo, Decatur, and St. Joseph. The chapter is closely affiliated with universities and colleges in the region, and often co-sponsors programs with these institutions.




Dr. Michelle Metro-Roland serves as the President of the West & Mid Michigan Fulbright Association and is the Fulbright Program Advisor (FPA), Foreign Student Advisor (FSA), and Campus Scholar Liaison at Western Michigan University.

A cultural geographer, her research explores landscape, place, and material culture and is concerned with questions of interpretation and Peircean semiotics. Her work has investigated the ways in which various scales of local, national, and global culture interact in the built environment, as more recently has turned to an exploration of the intersection between linguistic and physical landscapes. She has published widely, including numerous articles and book chapters, a monograph, Tourists, Signs and the City: The Semiotics of Culture in an Urban Landscape, and is co-author of Tourism, Performance, and Place: A Geographic Perspective, and co-editor of Landscape, Tourism, and Meaning

Dr. Metro-Roland has studied, researched, and taught internationally. She studied Classics at the University of Nottingham, and Latin in Rome, taught English in a technical high school in Budapest, Hungary, and North American Civilization at South East European University in Tetovo, Macedonia. In 2005 she received a Fulbright-Hays DDRA award for field work in Budapest.


Bill Weiner is a happily retired lawyer and law professor.  He served on the board of the statewide Fulbright chapter and then helped form our new West and Mid-Michigan Chapter.

While a student at Kalamazoo College, Bill studied for six months in Vichy and Clermont-Ferrand, France. Shortly after the group returned to the US, the May 1968 student revolt broke out across France.  Bill claims no responsibility for the historic uprising.

While on the faculty at Thomas Cooley Law School, he planned, developed, and received American Bar Association accreditation for international law-based study abroad programs in Caen and Paris, France; Freiburg, Germany; Melbourne, Australia; Christchurch and Hamilton, New Zealand; and Toronto, Canada. He also directed and taught in summer international law programs for the University of San Diego School of Law in Paris, Dublin, and Oxford.

Bill’s Fulbright was an International Education Administrators award.  His group of twenty-five international education professionals spent three weeks in Germany in 2004. They began with a week in Berlin, then visited sites in the former GDR, followed by short stays in Stuttgart and Mannheim. Among many highlights, they were invited to attend the ceremony where ten countries joined the European Union.


Ian Magnuson, originally from Battle Creek, has long had a passion for international affairs. He completed his B.A. in German and Global and International Studies at Western Michigan University and studied abroad at the University of Bonn. His capstone project focused on the then-nascent German Pirate Party. While at WMU, he co-founded the German Club and Western Model United Nations student organizations.

While living in Detroit after graduation, he was granted a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Leipzig, Germany where he would teach at two university-preparatory schools (Gymnasiums). His time there sat at the height of the 2015 refugee crisis and the beginning of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. He's pictured above with his primary colleagues in Germany.

Ian returned to the U.S. to complete a Master of Public Policy degree at Michigan State University, where he served as a graduate assistant, resurrected the Public Policy Student Association, and was a member of the Graduate Students Union. Stoked by his experience seeing wind turbines and solar panels überall in Germany, he became interested in environmental policy and focused his capstone project on sustainability planning.

After graduating, he returned to Kalamazoo to work in the nonprofit sector. He is now the Recruitment and Outreach Specialist at the Haenicke Institute for Global Education at Western Michigan University. His primary day job is recruiting students to study abroad and international students to come to WMU.

Ian joined the executive board in June of 2021. He also serves on the City of Kalamazoo Environmental Concerns Committee, swims for the Kalamazoo Masters swim team and enjoys writing, video games, and making pizza from scratch.


Dr. David C. Weindorf currently serves as Vice President for Research and Innovation at Central Michigan University. Dr. Weindorf holds a B.S. in Range Management, M.S. in Soil Science (geochemistry minor), and a Ph.D. in Agronomy from Texas Tech University (TTU). Dr. Weindorf is a Fellow and Presidential Award winner of the Soil Science Society of America, having served as chair of the Pedology section (S-5) in 2016. He is a licensed Texas Professional Geoscientist and serves on the editorial boards of Pedosphere and Geoderma.

A Fulbright Scholar (Universitatea de Științe Agricole și Medicină Veterinară – Cluj-Napoca, Romania - 2010) and Fulbright Specialist (Indian Institute of Technology – Kharagpur, India - 2018), Dr. Weindorf has published >180 peer reviewed research papers in top international journals germane to soil/water/compost science, environmental quality assessment, and international, translational soil taxonomy. Dr. Weindorf’s research team provided emergency response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and Gold King Mine spill, the latter of which he was called upon to offer testimony to the US Senate. Holder of two awarded patents, Dr. Weindorf is widely considered an international authority in proximal sensor characterization of soil whose work has garnered the interest of NASA and the US Army Corps of Engineers. He is Executive Producer of the acclaimed documentary film “Between Earth and Sky – Climate Change on the Last Frontier.”

Previously, Dr. Weindorf served as Associate Vice President of Research at TTU, Associate Dean of Research and BL Allen Endowed Chair of Pedology in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (TTU), and Associate Professor of Soil Classification/Land Use at Louisiana State University (LSU).


Dr. Felix Famoye is a professor and a consulting statistician in the Department of Statistics, Actuarial and Data Sciences at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, USA. He received his B.Sc. degree with honors in statistics from the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. He received his Ph.D. degree in statistics from the University of Calgary under the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship.

He is a co-author of the books “Lagrangian Probability Distributions”, “Statistics for Biological and Health Sciences” and “Applied Statistics: Regression and Analysis of Variance.” In 2009-10, he was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria. He is a recipient of the Carnegie Corporation of New York Fellowship Award. In 2016-17, he was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria.

Also, he is a recipient of the College of Science & Technology Outstanding Teaching Award, College of Science & Technology Award for Outstanding Research, Central Michigan University Excellence in Teaching Award, and President’s Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity. He is an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association. He is an Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Statistical Distributions and Applications and Associate Editors of other journals.


Prof. Tarabara received PhD (2004) and MS (2001) degrees in Environmental Engineering from Rice University in Houston, Texas. His research is in the area of separation processes with applications that include water treatment, industrial pollution control and biosafety monitoring. Prof. Tarabara has co-authored over 90 journal papers and co-edited the Encyclopedia of Membrane Science and Technology (Wiley). His current editorial duties include serving as an Editor of Separation and Purification Technology (Elsevier) and as the Editor for Special Collections of the Journal of Environmental Engineering (ASCE). He is a recipient of the Paul L. Busch award from the Water Environment Research Foundation and three Fulbright awards – U.S. Scholar fellowship (Georgia), Fulbright Specialist placement (Ukraine) and Global Scholar award (France, Georgia, Singapore). In 2019 he received Doctor honoris causa from the Agricultural University of Georgia in Tbilisi. Dr. Tarabara also serves as Director of the Center for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at Michigan State University.

Richard Scott Cohen

Dr. Richard Scott Cohen is Chair of the Department of Humanities, Professor of Music, and Director of Instrumental Concert Ensembles at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan.  A native of Chicago, he received bachelor’s degrees in Music Education and in Spanish from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, through which he also studied abroad at the University of Barcelona (Spain).

Cohen earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in Conducting from Northwestern University.  During that time, from 1993 to 1995, he was a Fulbright Scholar in Spain, where he researched the community band movement in the Valencia region of that country.  His subsequent dissertation was awarded the Fritz Thelen Prize in Wind Music Research by the International Society for the Research and Promotion of Band Music (IGEB) in 2000.

He currently serves as Vice President of the IGEB; as board member and Past President of the Rotary Club of Big Rapids; as board member of Artworks-Big Rapids; as board member of the Big Rapids Festival of the Arts;  and as Chair of the International Education Committee and as a member of the Shoah Visual History Archive Project, the Arts and Lectures Committee, and the Museum of Sexist Objects at Ferris State University.  He is also a member and former board member of the College Band Directors National Association North Central Division and the North American Catalan Society.

An honorary lifetime member of the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, Cohen remains active as a conductor, trombonist, composer, arranger, music adjudicator, clinician, researcher, author, translator and lecturer throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.