Mohammad Elahee: Fulbright scholarship winner traveling abroad to Jordan
By Ariana Spinogatti
Mohammad Elahee, a professor of international business at Quinnipiac, won a Fulbright to teach and complete several research projects while traveling abroad to Jordan in the upcoming spring semester. The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board awarded Elahee this opportunity after his third time applying for the scholarship.
“I am going for teaching and research," Elahee said. “Some Fulbright scholarships are for purely teaching or purely research. Mine is teaching some research. I will be teaching a graduate course on international marketing located in the capital of Jordan. I will also be teaching practical negotiation, which is my primary research area. I want to focus on the cultural aspects of negotiation. I plan on researching two studies, one about the role of emotional intelligence and the ethics in business negotiation. The second will be in the area of consumer behavior. My primary research project for which I got the scholarship was in the negotiation area.”
Elahee has a Ph.D. from the University of Texas Pan American, an MBA from the University of New Brunswick and a bachelor’s and master’s in accounting from the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh. Once Elahee became a U.S. citizen he was persuaded by a research partner of his to apply to Jordan.
"I really liked the country. It is a very stable country and there is so much history, so I wanted to go to a place where I could really enjoy being there. I will be teaching a graduate course. I will also be conducting research. I will also be doing some public lectures. Basically, Fulbright commission requires Fulbright scholars to act as sort of an official cultural ambassador of the country they are representing. I hope to meet as many people as possible and my family is also going with me so it will be a learning opportunity for my children.”
The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. government in hopes to build strong relationships between the United States and other countries. To apply for the Fulbright, individuals must have strong academic and professional achievements, five recommendation letters and strong evidence of service in their fields.
“I was born and raised in Bangladesh and even before I came to the United States I was familiar with the Fulbright Scholarship," he said. “It is a very prestigious scholarship and I know people from all over the world who come to the United States to participate in higher education and similarly American scholars go abroad to teach or do research. Even sometimes American students go abroad to study."
Elahee is no stranger to Jordan. He has traveled their several times and thinks his teaching experience will greatly differ from his time at Quinnipiac.
“In Jordan higher education is extremely complicated, it is competitive, they are very self driven, motivated, but there are not many resources. In the United States we have a lot of resources. In Jordan, students are very dedicated but they might not have the same level of foundation that American students have. Based on my limited experience, it seems to me that even though they do not have much sources, not much libraries, not good databases, the makeup for the resources is working extra hard."
Elahee spoke with enthusiasm about returning to Quinnipiac and getting the chance to share what he learned with his students. He hopes his travels will help build a relationship between Quinnipiac and the University of Jordan. A goal of his is to bring Quinnipiac students on a study abroad trip to Jordan.
“I know that it is unrealistic but if it was for a short amount of time for students to at least go there, learn about the Arab culture, learn about the Arab business practices, it would be worth it. There is a lucrative market there and Jordan is a very stable country. If our students have a better understanding of the Arab market, later, they can do business there. We live in a globalized world, we have to learn about other parts of the world and I find that in the United States we don’t have a good understanding of that. We know a lot about Europe because they are traditional trading partners but we do not know as much about Asia, Latin America, Africa or the Middle East. It’s time for us to tap into those markets and for that it is very important for our students to go visit, meet people and make friends, so I hope I can play a role in building that relationship.”