“I am really excited,” said David Van Dyke, who graduated from GHHS in 1987. “When Fulbright offered an opportunity to teach in Hungary, I was surprised and thankful for the opportunity.”
The national program helps teachers and professors from the U.S. connect with the “societal, cultural and higher-education systems of other countries,” according to the Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ website. The program awards about 6,000 grants each year.
Van Dyke’s application for the award was evaluated by multiple entities for academic rigor, then reviewed by a 12-person board appointed by President Donald Trump.
At Wheaton College, Van Dyke is an associate professor of marriage and family therapy, a program which he started. He specializes in social context and the causes and effects of diseases. The college is located about 30 miles west of Chicago.
Van Dyke, a member of the GHHS Hall of Fame, will be conducting research and providing insight while in Hungary. He will conduct his research at Esterhazy Karoli University, a state university in northeastern Hungary.
Van Dyke has worked in Hungary before over spring breaks by teaching local ministers how to care for others. Also, the Hungarian divorce rate is very high — a trend seen across Central and Eastern Europe, he said. Van Dyke added the current rate of marriage is only 3.6 marriages per 1,000 people.
Those two things combined make Hungary a logical destination for him, he said.
“There is a big need for relational work,” Van Dyke said. “Because of the various countries taking over, there is a great need for learning how to trust in relationships.”
Van Dyke will travel to Hungary later this month. He plans to help the state university develop a postmaster’s certificate program to be able to continue training relational family systems.