Ron Smith, retired reporter/producer with WEKU, has been selected by the U.S. Department of State as a Fulbright Scholar to Pakistan, where he will teach at a university in Lahore.
Smith retired from Eastern Kentucky University’s public radio service in 2012 after 36 years. His interest in world affairs and diverse cultures was often reflected in his news stories and features. He received numerous awards from Kentucky Associated Press, as well as national awards from the Religion Newswriters Association (RNA) and the President’s Committee for Employment of People with Disabilities. In 2011, his segment on young Muslims’ efforts to improve Americans’ perceptions of Islam earned a second-place national award for excellence in religion reporting from the RNA.
During his WEKU career, Smith interviewed such diverse personalities as KFC founder Col. Harland Sanders, newsman Peter Jennings, entertainer Tiny Tim, the Dalai Lama and countless public officials. He also produced and hosted a live, 30-minute television program, “Encounters,” broadcast by EKU’s Division of Television and Radio.
Prior to his retirement from WEKU, Smith took graduate classes at EKU to become a qualified teacher of English as a Second Language (ESL) and embarked on a second career as an ESL teacher in the Eastern English Language Instruction (EELI) program until it ceased operations. He then joined the University of Kentucky as a part time ESL teacher before returning to Eastern when a new ELS program was established on the Richmond campus.
Lahore, the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab, is the second largest city in Pakistan.
Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs and university presidents, as well as leading journalists, artists, scientists, and teachers. They include 58 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 31 MacArthur Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and non-profit sectors.
Established 70 years ago and now operating in 155 countries, the Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. It is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U. S. government. Since its inception in 1946, more than 370,000 Fulbright Scholars have participated in the program.