Professor Scott Selected as Fulbright Scholar

March 30, 2022

Christina ScottAssociate Professor of Social Psychology Christina Scott has been selected to represent Whittier College as a 2023 Fulbright U.S. Scholar.

Scott will spend five months in Japan, teaching American Studies courses at the University of Tokyo and Kyoritsu Women's University, both located in the political and economic center of the country.

The Fulbright Scholar Awards are prestigious and competitive fellowships that provide unique opportunities for scholars to teach and conduct research abroad. Fulbright scholars also play a critical role in U.S. public diplomacy, establishing long-term relationships between people and nations. 

Scott has been teaching at Whittier since 2010. Her research focuses primarily on women’s sexuality and behavior and she teaches classes on media, gender, and sexuality. Scott has published in a wide range of books and journals and she continues to speak nationally and internationally about her research. She has taught three summers for the Shanghai International Summer Institute in China. And, during her 2019 sabbatical, Scott participated in the Semester at Sea program, teaching a diverse group of U.S. and international college students and visiting a new country each week. 

This experience was not only a wonderful teaching and learning opportunity for Scott, but provided her young twin daughters the opportunity to experience 11 countries before starting kindergarten.

“In preparation for our arrival in Kobe, Japan, I taught my daughters how to bow respectfully and we learned a series of six different phrases in Japanese, including futago (twins). Upon our arrival, my daughters graciously said ‘Kon’nichiwa’ and folded themselves completely in half when bowing to the customs agents. When they were greeted with respectful bows in return, my daughters squealed with glee,” she recalled. “This experience provided what I believe is a rare opportunity, the experience of seeing Japan and other countries through the eyes of children—my daughters.”

In fact, she selected Japan for the Fulbright Scholarship program with her daughters in mind. According to Scott, both she and her twins were “mesmerized” when they witnessed the independence that is fostered among children in Japan. Scott looks forward to immersing her children in the Japanese culture. She is also excited to immerse herself in the academic world.  

“Japan is renowned for teaching excellence,” said Scott. “I feel especially prepared for this challenge because [Whittier], my liberal arts college, has stressed the importance of learning to be a dynamic and interactive teacher. I would like to connect with faculty colleagues in Japan to better understand their collegiate model of instruction and excellence in curriculum development, admission standards, and student engagement strategies.” 

At Whittier, Scott served as department chair for two years and was chair of the Enrollment and Student Affairs Committee. She was awarded the Harry W. Nerhood Teaching Excellence Award in 2018. Not adverse to challenges, Scott saw the Fulbright as an opportunity to continue growing personally and professionally, all the while strengthening her pedagogy. 

“I find that it is so easy to stagnate, I want to be pushed outside of my comfort zone,” added Scott.  

Scott earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and theatre at Occidental College and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Kansas State University.