RICHMOND, Ky. — Dr. Qaisar Sultana, professor emeritus and former chair of the Department of Special Education in the College of Education at Eastern Kentucky University, has been selected as a Fulbright specialist by the U.S. Department of State, for three years, October 2019 to October 2022.
During the three-year tenure, a Fulbright specialist is eligible to be matched twice by the U. S. Department of State for a period of two to six weeks to any of 150 countries globally.
Sultana came to Eastern in 1980 as chair of the Department of Special Education.
Upon her arrival, Dr. Sultana found the Department of Special Education to be on six-month probation by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). In three months, new courses were developed and curricula were overhauled. The department’s probationary status was removed by NCATE. At the next NCATE visit, the Department of Special Education exceeded NCATE standards and was cited as exemplary. The department also applied for and earned its initial accreditation by the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA), exceeding every standard. She received funding from the U.S. Department of Education to conduct a three-year in-service training program to prepare teachers in EKU’s 22-county service region for mainstreaming, now called inclusion.
Another federal grant authored by Dr. Sultana resulted in funding a special certification program for preparing teachers of the seriously emotionally disturbed learners. The Interpreter for the Deaf training program, to date the only one in the commonwealth, was established under another federal grant authored by another faculty member in the department, Sultana’s mentee. The program has since grown into a degree program and become a full-fledged department.
Over the years, she provided numerous services at the Kentucky Department of Education. Sultana chaired the Exceptional Children’s Appeals Board for more than 12 years, served as impartial due process hearing officer for the Commonwealth for more than 18 years, and was a member of the State Advisory Panel for Exceptional Children for six years, a member of Education Commissioner’s Council on Equity, a member of the State Bias Review Committee for more than 12 years, and a member of the Diversity Committee for six years, among others.
Sultana, a native of Pakistan, was instrumental in the establishment of the National Institute of Special Education in Islamabad, Pakistan, and the establishment of the Department of Special Education, that country’s first, at the University of Karachi.
She taught special education courses and trained its faculty members. For years she served as a consultant to the National Higher Education Commission in Islamabad. She continues to provide professional development to faculty members at University of Karachi, Kinnaird College and University, Lahore College for Women University, Pakistan’s largest all-women university of 12,000 students, and Foreman Christian College and University, as well as the Lahore University of Management Sciences and Habib University in Karachi, Pakistan’s most prestigious and internationally ranked universities.
Dr. Sultana has played leadership role in professional organizations. She was coordinator of the Asian Caucus of the International Council for Exceptional Children, president of the Teacher Education Division of the Kentucky Federation of the Council for Exceptional Children, president of Mid-South Educational Research Association (MSERA), president of Future Site, president of outstanding paper selection committees of MSERA as well as member of MSERA Executive Board, and member of Mid-South Educational Research Foundation (MSERF) Board.
Sultana, earned her Ph.D. in special education from the University of Georgia, M.A. in education from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, M.A. in political science and international law from the University of Karachi, and a bachelor’s degree in world history and International Relations from the most prestigious private institution in Karachi, St. Joseph’s College.
For years she served as a consultant to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2004 she was invited by the American University of Beirut for a semester as a visiting scholar and taught courses in special education. In 2008 Sultana served as a Fulbright Scholar and taught at Dhaka University, Bangladesh. In 2012, she was selected as a scholar by the European Union Education Commission. She traveled to Norway, where she co-taught a course on multiculturalism with a scholar from Slovenia, and a course in religious education in multicultural settings with a Swedish scholar. A year later, she returned to Norway as a Fulbright senior specialist to teach a course on multiculturalism in the United States. In 2018, Dr. Sultana went to Azerbaijan as a Fulbright Scholar and spent a very busy semester at Khazar University in Azerbaijan teaching and learning.
Qaisar is a lifelong learner and at any time she is ready to embark on her next teaching and learning experience.