Dr. Sidney Burris
Sidney Burris received his B.A. in Classical Studies at Duke University and his Ph.D. in English at the University of Virginia. Professor Burris began his career at Arkansas in 1986. He has published books of poems, criticism, and a number of critical and personal essays, which have won several awards. He specializes in 20th-century literature and creative nonfiction. Professor Burris brought His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the University of Arkansas in May 2011, the culmination of an interest that began at Virginia, where he studied Sanskrit, and was able to see the Dalai Lama in 1979 during his first trip to America.
Along with his English classes, Professor Burris regularly offers classes in human-rights literature and in the history of non-violence. He co-teaches the history of nonviolence with Geshe Thupten Dorjee, a Tibetan monk from Drepung Loseling Monastery in South India.
In 2007, Professor Burris and Geshe Dorjee founded The TEXT Program (Tibetans in Exile Today), an oral history and study abroad project at the University of Arkansas that allows Arkansas students to travel to India and live among the Tibetan refugees, recording their stories and later archiving them at the TEXT website. The TEXT Program has been endorsed by the Dalai Lama and travels to India during the summers of odd-numbered years.Website for The TEXT Program
Jill Geisler Wheeler
Jill earned her undergraduate and both of her graduate degrees from the University of Arkansas. She received her Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration in Marketing Management in 2004. She went on to earn a Master's in Higher Education in 2007, a second Master's of Science in Counselor Education in 2010.
Jill joined Fulbright Honors in January 2012 after 5 1/2 year of academic advising in the Fulbright Advising Center. While there she worked with students of all majors in Fulbright College. Jill was Assistant Director of Program Development and her responsibilities in addition to academic advising included heading the colleges recruiting efforts along with supervising the Fulbright College Ambassadors. She is an active member of both the Arkansas Academic Advising Network (ArkANN) and National Academic Advising Counsel (NACADA) where she on the Webinar Advisory Board. She has presented at the state, regional and national level through these two organizations. She was named "Outstanding Academic Adviser" by ArkAAN in 2010 and her co-presentation on student veterans won Best of Region 7. Prior to the Advising Center she was an Assistant Director of Admission in the University's Office of Admissions.
A native of Brinkley, AR, Jill now calls Northwest Arkansas home with her husband Michael, their two little girls Emma and Ava and their fur baby Gabby. She loves to walk with her family around campus and gets excited about all things Razorback. Her favorite part of her job is that every student is different and each one of them brings something special to the advising session. Helping students discover their passions and how a Fulbright major fits them continues to make her smile daily.
Mary Ellen Hartford
Mary Ellen was born in Delano, California, and grew up in Springfield, Missouri. Her parents are retired academicians from Missouri State University; Dr. Holt V. Spicer, former Debate Coach, Communication Department Chair, and Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities and Marion Spicer, English professor.
Mary Ellen has a B.A. in Music from Missouri State University. She is married to Hershel Hartford and they have six children, Emily Heard, Rhiannon Strick, Jasmine Cloud, Malyssa Semcken, James Fry, and Gracie Hartford, and seven grandchildren. She enjoys singing, both at St. Paul's Episcopal Church and with the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas Singers. She has sung on tour several times, including singing solos in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and St. Mark's Cathedral in Venice. She also loves to read and cook.
Mary Ellen has been with the Fulbright College Honors Program for almost 13 years, and had been Administrative Secretary in the Department of Music at Missouri State University for five years before that. She also has extensive management experience from years in restaurants and convenience stores. She loves working with bright students and making them feel at home.
Craig Pasquinzo grew up in Mena, Arkansas. After high school he attended the University of Arkansas in 1993. While attending the U of A, he focused on broadcast journalism during his undergraduate career. He worked in Carrollton, Texas as a television producer for 6 years, making corporate training videos and short documentary pieces primarily for the healthcare sector.
In 2005 Craig started a branch of his family’s business in Northwest Arkansas and worked in that business till 2012. The lure of television production and education brought him back to the University of Arkansas in 2014 when he entered the Fulbright graduate program, focusing on documentary film. During the past two years he has completed two documentaries, worked as a graduate assistant for The TEXT (Tibetans in Exile Today) Program, and in the fall of 2016 completed his masters degree of arts.
Craig is married to Hannah Pasquinzo and they have two children Max and Evie. He enjoys spending time with his family and supporting his children with their school activities. Craig likes the energy that the University of Arkansas brings to Northwest Arkansas and looks forward to helping students achieve success.