Professor brings bright future to the arts

A School of the Arts professor won an award that will help bridge his passions of teaching and traveling.  

Professor Daryl Harris recently accepted a grant to develop international relations and became a Fulbright scholar.

Ken Jones, director of the School of the Arts, said no one is more deserving of the honor than Harris.

Jones said Harris strives to break barriers between domestic and international students by emphasizing studying abroad.  

Harris felt honored to receive the Fulbright appointment.

“I look at how individually different but, at the core, how similar we are across the planet, and it is an honor to receive such a feather in my hat,” Harris said.

The Fulbright program fosters bilateral relations among citizens and governments across 160 countries. Harris is one of 8,000 nationwide to receive the prestigious grant.

“We are so proud of Daryl,” Jones said. “It is an honor for the School of the Arts to have such a prestigious honor. Daryl and I worked together in the theater department and I am proud for him like I would be for my son.”

Harris will be on the Fulbright roster for five years.

“International travel is my core passion,” Harris said. “I tell all my classes to travel anywhere, especially international travel. It’s vital to the development of a full human being. It is the most educational thing you can do for yourself.”

During his time with Fulbright, Harris will travel to two international locations and help develop the education there.

“The crown jewel I presented to the program was a project started with Alexx Rouse in Sri Lanka. I am going back in May to build off the project,” Harris said.

The project developed during a study abroad in Sri Lanka focused on teaching English through theater techniques.

Harris said the Fulbright program can inspire students to travel after seeing the opportunities that their professors have had.

“Fulbright provides opportunity for the students by creating a richer faculty who can instill the possibilities of travel,” Harris said. “If I can do it, you can do it.”

Clayton Winstead, a senior acting major, has taken multiple classes with Harris. He is excited Harris gets to help more people.

“Daryl will add creative art to people’s lives through alternative theatre,” Winstead said. “He has been enriching creativity his whole life.”

Always an active traveler, Harris said he was motivated to apply to the Fulbright program because of a desire to give back during his travels.

“Ten or 12 years ago there was a palpable switch when I realized I was giving something every place I would go,” Harris said. “It was a true exchange; I had something to give to other cultures. There was a change in the focus of my travel so that anywhere I am, whether it’s officially for an educational experience or if I am just ‘touring’ it is about learning and making me better.”

Harris said he knows the Fulbright appointment will help enhance his teaching, the school of the arts and the university.

“Fulbright will help me develop more as a valid scholar,” Harris said. “All travel gives you such a broader perspective on yourself, on this country and on the world.”

Jones said he looks forward to how Harris’ work will affect the student.

“Daryl is expanding our outreach and has always worked students into his process,” Jones said. “He will place people around the world.”

Harris said he believes his receiving the Fulbright position shines a light on NKU.

“[Fulbright] validates the quality of the intuition and gives NKU international recognition,” Harris said.

Harris is not the only faculty member at NKU who has earned the Fulbright grant, but he is now a member of an elite few.