Doctoral student selected as Fulbright Scholar

Doctoral student selected as Fulbright Scholar

March 5, 2015
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Overland Park, Kan. — Peter Morello, a student in Baker University’s Doctor of Education in Leadership in Higher Education program, has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar by the U.S. Department of State. He will work with journalists in Swaziland, a sovereign state in Southern Africa, and teach at the University of Swaziland.

Morello’s background as a journalist and associate professor at University of Missouri at Kansas City in addition to completing his doctoral degree contributed to his selection. His application was also reviewed by King Mswati III, the absolute monarch of Swaziland, and chancellor of the university, consisting of three campuses at Kwaluseni, Luyengo and Mbabane. The Fulbright Program provides funding for students, scholars, teachers, and professionals to undertake graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools.

“I detailed my work in Doctor in Higher Education, curriculum building and student affairs,” said Morello, who will likely report to Swaziland in January 2016. “I believe with my background, including my work as doctoral student played a significant role in helping me with the scholarship. A lot of countries have restricted press freedoms. The state department was looking for somebody who is sensitive to those freedoms and sensitive to cultural differences.”

Before joining the UMKC faculty in 1999, Morello spent 15 years in Europe as a producer and special correspondent for “European Journal,” a PBS program. While working for PBS, he covered mostly political and economic stories, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, the break-up of the Soviet Union, the democratic movements in central and eastern Europe, famine relief efforts in Somalia, and the war in Bosnia.

Morello, who has completed his doctoral coursework and is preparing for his portfolio and dissertation, specializes in broadcast and new media journalism at UMKC.

“I will use the knowledge I gained in the coursework at Baker to help structure a curriculum with journalism students at Swaziland. “I will help with their higher education needs to make them more efficient. It has been useful to understand the mechanics of higher education.”

For two years, Morello met every Tuesday with his doctoral cohort at the Overland Park campus.

“Baker’s program worked well for me,” said Morello, part of Baker’s first cohort in higher education cohort. “I liked that it was devoted to higher ed. I liked the exposure to people who have day-to-day experience in higher education, not only the outstanding faculty, but the high level of people in various industries who were brought in to lecture to us.”

Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.