College of Education professor Cordie wins Fulbright Scholarship

September 10, 2020

Leslie Cordie Head ShotLeslie A. Cordie, associate professor of adult education, and affiliate faculty with University Writing, has been awarded a Council for International Exchange of Scholars, or CIES, Fulbright Research Scholarship to the West Indies. The award is in support of an educational enhancement project to be conducted in 2021.

“I will work with both faculty and administrators at Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, helping them develop a hybrid undergraduate degree program in business administration,” Cordie said. “The program is valuable to both CFBC and the regional workforce as part of a national commitment to help students in tertiary education. With tourism as a key component of the West Indies economy, there is a strong, immediate need for more significant tertiary-level education to develop workforce skills.”

Currently, students who want to pursue additional higher education degrees and credentials needed to advance these skills must often enroll in overseas colleges. Thus, the Fulbright project, through faculty and professional training, will enhance the domestic development of human resources and skilled labor in a sustainable manner.

Cordie has more than 20 years combined interdisciplinary experiences across many organizations, including higher education, healthcare and private industry. These experiences will contribute to her assistance with the program development.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Cordie has been collaborating with CFBC to support its online programs and faculty.

“My background includes over 25 years in training and higher education, including teaching overseas for the University of Maryland Asian Division in Okinawa, Japan, where I developed one of their first online business courses in 1995,” she said. “My background and relationships with many colleagues in the diverse field of adult education will help with my West Indies work.”

Adult Education Program Chair Jim Witte has worked closely with Cordie during her time at Auburn.

“Dr. Cordie’s work across all areas of professorial evaluation—including teaching, research, outreach and service—far exceeds the levels expected of an assistant professor,” Witte said. “She has firmly established a national presence early in her academic career and continues to contribute to her much-deserved academic reputation. Her research publications, work with her students and her collegiality all reflect her extraordinary contribution to our Adult Education Program and to the Educational Foundations, Leadership and Technology Department.”

Cordie holds a doctorate in education, with specializations in distance learning, adult learning theory and technical writing. She also holds an MBA, and her professional experience includes positions with the airline industry, the U.S. Air Force and public health.

In her faculty position at Auburn, Cordie will continue her research on digital learning strategies and professional development.

“My experience working with students and colleagues in Auburn’s Adult Education Program has put me in a strong position for the exciting challenges that the Fulbright opportunity offers,” Cordie said.

Ultimately, Cordie hopes her work will advance the opportunities for adult learners, both in the West Indies and across the U.S., in terms of hybrid teaching models and workforce development.

Established in 1946, the Fulbright Scholar Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of States’ Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is named in honor of Sen. J. William Fulbright, who introduced the legislation.