Commitment to Community Graceland Faculty ~ Steve Anders

Commitment to Community Graceland Faculty ~ Steve Anders

Dr. Steve Anders has been selected by the University of Prishtina in Kosovo for a Fulbright Specialist project – AGAIN. This is a distinctive honor for both Anders and for Graceland, and Anders is the only Graceland faculty to have two Fulbright teaching opportunities within the five-year span of a Fulbright Specialist.

Anders will teach economics as one of 10 courses being offered through the University of Prishtina’s International Summer University (UPISU). In this summer edition, about 200 students will be admitted. Anders taught the economics course for UPISU in Kosovo two years ago and has kept in contact with several of the students and faculty. The school couldn’t afford the economics text books, so Anders wrote his own and emailed the pdf files to the university for printing. He updated the text, plans to use it again this summer, and they’re looking forward to his return visit.

The Fulbright program was founded by U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946. The Fulbright Specialist Program sends U.S. faculty and professionals to serve as expert consultants on curriculum, faculty development, institutional planning and related subjects at academic institutions abroad for a period of two to six weeks. Through a lengthy application process, Anders was selected to be on the specialist roster to teach economics for the five-year term. 

The selection of Anders to the Fulbright Specialist roster speaks to his knowledge, talent and dedication to his profession. Teaching is a calling, and, as in his ministry service, Steve Anders brings a lifetime of commitment.

“I came to teach at Graceland,” explains Anders, “because when I was a student here, Professor Jerry Runkle advised, ‘If you ever thought you might want to teach, there may be an opportunity for you at Graceland.’ His insight and encouragement allowed me to believe in myself.”

“It’s been a very rewarding experience through the years; those ongoing relationships …” Anders continued, “For instance, I remember John Lysinger ’81 and his brothers, Tom ’83 and Jim ’86, and now Jim’s son, Jay ’16, just graduated as an economics major. It’s been a joy to teach and learn with these lifelong friends – and now I am experiencing the second generation of family and friends.”

On his desk are cards from students with personal notes of thanks for making a difference in their lives. One student noted Anders’ constant efforts to be a good teacher; his selfless and inspiring example. She ended it with, “I’m proud to have you as my teacher and as my friend.”

“Those last three words are most important for me,” Anders replied. “This is the real joy: the connections and relationships that are made through teaching.”

Learning, wholeness and community: those are Graceland values. “Community is core to our value system – I believe in that. That larger sense of community is what Graceland is about. Teaching is my stewardship response. I’m living out my stewardship – a word and understanding that encompasses the idea that we are responsible for sharing and taking the best care of our time, talent, energy and effort in life.”

Anders has dedicated his life to teaching. He has served in several administrative roles along the way: as dean, vice president, even acting president for one year. This summer and fall he will be teaching – sharing his gifts – making more lifelong friends in Kosovo and in Lamoni, fulfilling his stewardship.