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Computer science professor emerita wins Fulbright to teach in Malawi

July 11, 2013 | By Nick Alexopulos

Roberta Sabin and Family
Roberta Sabin (second from left) with her son John, husband Ed, and sister Janet Evans.

Roberta Sabin, Ph.D., professor emerita of computer science at Loyola University Maryland, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach computer science at the University of Malawi.

Sabin and her husband, a retired sociologist, will travel to Malawi in September 2013 and return the following February. She will teach at the university’s Polytechnic College.

“For many years I’ve been interested in reaching out to developing countries, so this is both an honor and an opportunity for me to offer a community my skills where there is great need,” said Sabin. “I’m told the students are wonderful. It will be a tremendous adventure.”

The Polytechnic is located in Blantyre, the commercial hub of Malawi and home to more than 800,000 people. Despite widespread poverty, the country has a thriving business community due in part to its central location in Sub-Saharan Africa. Commerce is increasingly dependent on technology, and Sabin hopes she can help provide future business and technology leaders with a comprehensive understanding of the innovation computer systems are capable of unlocking.

“Technology may be the key to the advancement of the country,” Sabin said.

Sabin recently became professor emerita at Loyola after a teaching career that spans 47 years. She has previously taught at Coppin State University, Parkville and Franklin high schools in Baltimore County, Notre Dame Preparatory School in Towson, and several other schools. She is one of four co-principal investigators and a member of the steering committee of ASAP, a mentoring network that offers professional and personal support for female math and science professors at undergraduate institutions across the country. As an active researcher she focused on natural language processing.

Sabin is the second Loyola faculty member to receive a Fulbright this year. In June, Barbara Vann, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of sociology, was awarded a Fulbright program grant to teach and study at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, for the spring 2014 semester.

The Fulbright program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals will travel abroad through the program in 2013-14. The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, a division of the Institute of International Education.

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