Tuesday, February 24, 2009

An Invitation I Could Not Refuse and My First Fulbright

Recently I received an invitation to give an invited lecture that I simply could not turn down. Professor Manfred Fischer of the Institute for Economic Geography and GIScience at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, which was ranked in the top twenty schools of economics in Europe by the Financial Times, extended the invitation. Professor Fischer is a Regional Science Association International (RSAI) Fellow and a marvelous scholar and gentleman. Given the audience, the location, and the venue, I accepted the invitation and will be speaking there in mid-March. Vienna is one of the most glorious cities on this earth and several of my family members have lived there. Although I had had a Distinguished Chaired Fulbright in Innsbruck, Austria, I had never visited this grand city filled with incredible architecture, museums, parks, history, and music!

During my Fulbright in Innsbruck, Austria, which took place March -July 2002, I taught at the SOWI Business School at the University of Innsbruck. Innsbruck is magical and words cannot describe the magnificence of the mountains, the nature, the Inn River, and the downtown, including the Old Town. Some photos from Innsbruck during this Fulbright capture the magic but we have heard that the house that we lived in (with a view of the 1964 Olympic ski jump) has been torn down. Its address was 94 Schneeburgasse. Of course, before traveling to Vienna, I will stop by Innsbruck to reconnect with those that made my family and me feel so welcome during that Fulbright experience, which, simply put, was heaven on earth.