Hey, Spike! reports on educators’ foreign rock star attention
Only outside the United States do educators and authors get mobbed with attention like rock stars.
Hey, Spike! knows two such members of the intelligentsia: Dr. William “Bill” Spady, formerly of Dillon, and Dr. Evan Burr Bukey of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Now living out in Oregon near Portland, where he bought a 10-acre Christmas tree farm not long ago, Bill is continuing to push his Outcome Based Education (OBE) theories around the globe. He’s spent time locally with the “mastery learning” concept, lived in Australia, South Africa and other places.
Bill just got back from a successful trip to the Philippines, where thousands of college faculty and students greeted the 76-year-old scholar.
“It’s hard to put into words what I have experienced on this final ‘official’ day of this trip,” he wrote to Spike!. “There is a network of 105 locally established colleges and universities in the country, and today a major one hosted the most remarkable session and ceremony on my behalf.”
The University of Makati, located right in the middle of Metro Manila, was the scene to honor Bill and six local professors who embrace and teach OBE.
“They have 15,000 students and, as an institution, they have rigorously studied everything they could find about my work on OBE for five years and done their best to implement it,” reports Bill. “When I arrived they had a small band playing for me, a huge poster outside the university with my picture on it.”
In total, Bill estimates he spoke to over 1,400 educators at several national and local events while on the two-week trip, most of them university professors and officials from professional boards who accredit Filipino medical and engineering programs.
In addition, he reports, the largest publisher in the country has established a Center on Transformational Learning and Leadership in his name.
Spike! readers will recall Bill, an accomplished skier and cyclist, was badly injured in an on-slope mishap at Keystone a couple of years ago. It wasn’t easy, but he bounced back.
For Evan Bukey, an internationally acclaimed author and history professor who studies and teaches on the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazis, he gets similar treatment in travels to Germany and Austria.
While never meeting Evan and wife Anita in person, Spike! and Mary know them through their pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) cancer ordeal, a rare and often fatal disease.
Mary was offering her personal story and advice to Evan back around 2000 after successful radical treatments by the world’s foremost PMP surgeon, Dr. Paul Sugarbaker of the Washington, D.C. Cancer Center.
Taking Mary’s counsel to heart, Evan went to Dr. Sugarbaker and, like Mary, eventually beat the malady, which usually requires MOAS — the “mother of all surgeries.”
Evan, a professor emeritus of history in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, was awarded the 2014 Karl von Vogelsang National Award for History and Social Sciences by the Austrian government.
He received the award at the Federal Ministry of Science and Research in Vienna.
“To receive Austria’s highest award for academic scholarship came as both a shock and great honor,” Evan says. “I am most grateful to scholars in the United States and Europe who helped make this possible, particularly my colleague and friend Dr. Kurt Tweraser, who throughout four decades has provided much-needed aid and assistance in understanding the complexities of his native Austria.”
Over in Europe, Evan is often given the star treatment, which continues to amaze him.
In a UofA news story, Evan’s background was recounted thusly:
“FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — For more than half a century, Austria has characterized itself as the first nation to fall victim to Nazi Germany. But a University of Arkansas historian’s new book rips away the victim’s veil to reveal a people who welcomed Hitler’s troops and acclaimed many of his most deplorable social policies.
“‘Austria claims it was forcefully annexed, and history seems to support this. German troops marched into the country in 1938, carrying live ammunition,’ said Dr. Evan Bukey, professor of history. But what ensued was no valiant resistance or struggle for freedom. ‘In actuality, these troops were met with rapturous enthusiasm,’” said Bukey.
In his book, “Hitler’s Austria: Popular Sentiment in the Nazi Era, 1938-45,” Evan contests Austria’s plea of victimization, recasting its people as active participants in the Nazi agenda. The book reveals that Austrian citizens comprised 14 percent of the SS and 40 percent of those involved in Hitler’s extermination projects.
“It was this incongruity that led Bukey on a 15-year search through archives in Germany, Austria, England and the United States. His perseverance paid off — he unearthed records that had lain hidden since the end of the war, never before seen by historians or the general public,” the university reported.
Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed “Spike,” a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former hardrock miner, graduate of Adams State College and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years. Email your social info to email@example.com
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