ASU professor receives Fulbright Scholar award to conduct language research in Serbia

Professor Danko Šipka will contribute to the nascent Serbian language dictionary by the Matica srpska institution and to the Serbian Language Corpus project at the University of Belgrade

May 12, 2021

Danko Šipka, professor of Slavic languages and applied linguistics in the School of International Letters and Cultures at Arizona State University, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to Serbia for the next academic year.

Šipka, whose research interests include lexicography, lexicology, linguistic anthropology and lexical and inflectional morphology, will be spending May and June of 2022 and 2024 in the Serbian Language Department of the University of Belgrade in Serbia. “Serbian and other Slavic studies are central in my research and the most prestigious venues where research and teaching in Serbian studies are conducted are in Serbia, so my going to University of Belgrade is like a scholar of English going to Oxford or Cambridge.” ASU Professor Danko Šipka stands in his office on campus. He has silvery hair and broad smile, but isn't showing teeth. He is wearing a pale blue dress shirt, red tie and black suit coat. Danko Šipka, professor of Slavic languages and applied linguistics at Arizona State University, received a Fulbright Scholar award to conduct language research in Serbia. Photo courtesy of Danko Šipka. Download Full Image

Founded in 1946, the Fulbright Program is one of the most prestigious international exchange fellowship programs in the world. A program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Fulbright supports academic exchanges between the United States and more than 150 countries around the world. The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program sends American faculty members, scholars and professionals abroad to lecture or conduct research for up to a year.

Šipka has had a long-running and impressive relationship with Fulbright. “I was on Fulbright very early in my career in 1987–88 at the University of Illinois and the University of Pittsburgh, coming from Yugoslavia. Now, I am going in the opposite direction to the capital of that country that sadly does not exist anymore.”

Šipka’s engagement with Fulbright has continued throughout his career. “I hosted two junior Fulbright Scholars from Russia and Uzbekistan, and I have been on campus Fulbright committees every year for well over a decade,” he said. Šipka has also served as an evaluator for Fulbright Seminars Abroad applications for the Department of Education and has recently run workshops for Fulbright Foreign Language Assistants coming to the United States from all around the world. “These experiences, in particular my first Fulbright that helped with my dissertation research, were transformative in my career,” he said.

For this professor of Slavic languages, the pleasure of working with different student populations and doing research in different academic settings around the world has been extremely enriching and rewarding, and he encourages students and other colleagues to pursue the opportunities that Fulbright programs have to offer. “ASU has an excellent office that supports these endeavors and that has had enormous success in helping students secure these prestigious grants,” he added.

Arizona State University is a perennial top producer of Fulbright award recipients, and in the 2020 cycle, ASU was one of only 10 universities that were top producers for both Fulbright Scholar awards for faculty and Fulbright U.S. Student award recipients. The Office of the University Provost works with ASU faculty members who are seeking Fulbright Scholar awards, and the Office of National Scholarships Advisement supports and advises current students and alumni who are seeking awards through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

The office provides extensive resources to ASU student applicants, including a specialized Canvas page, one-on-one advising, webinars and writing workshops. Interested ASU students should watch the "Getting Started" YouTube series. They are also welcomed to make an appointment with an adviser at The campus deadline is early fall. Those with a conferred PhD degree should contact Karen Engler ( about the Fulbright Scholars Program.

collage of photos of students participating in the Fulbright Scholarship Program

Photo courtesy of the Office of National Scholarship Advisement

Enrique Martin Palacios

Communications specialist , School of International Letters and Cultures


Slavic languages professor is 2019 Walton Award recipient

April 9, 2019

Voices speaking in dozens of languages ring out, offering their appreciation: “Čestitam" (Slovenian). "Gratuluję” (Polish). "Поздравляю" (Russian).

This chorus of congratulations is what Danko Šipka will hear when he accepts the 2019 Walton Award this month from the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages for his service and contributions to the fostering of less commonly taught language initiatives. Šipka is a professor of Slavic languages and head of the German, Slavic and Romanian faculty at Arizona State University, where he teaches Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Polish and Slavic linguistics in the School of International Letters and Cultures. ASU Professor Danko Šipka stands in his office on campus. He has silvery hair and broad smile, but isn't showing teeth. He is wearing a pale blue dress shirt, red tie and black suit coat. Danko Šipka is the recipient of the 2019 Walton Award from the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages. Photo courtesy of Danko Šipka Download Full Image

The Walton Award will be handed out at the council’s annual conference, taking place in Atlanta on April 26-28. Awarded since 2000, it honors the late professor A. Ronald Walton, who was known for his promotion of less commonly taught languages. Šipka was nominated by Alwiya Omar, a professor at the University of Indiana and a previous recipient of the award.

“I was genuinely surprised when I heard about it — people always say that and rarely mean it, but in my case, it was true,” Šipka said. “Once my astonishment subsided, I felt honor to be in a group of previous awardees who have been significantly advancing the study and teaching of less commonly taught languages. I also felt pleasure that my work in the field was seen as worth recognizing.”

Šipka has published over 30 books and more than 150 articles, essays and reviews during his career. For the past 12 years, he has served as the editor of the Journal of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages. Šipka is also a certified interpreter for the IRS, the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security and has served as a senior linguist and consultant to multiple language-industry companies.

He applauded ASU for leading the way for other universities by offering courses in a variety of less commonly taught languages, which he described as a “cornerstone of community embeddedness.”

“I particularly enjoy seeing language skills as an important element of our student success — from conducting advanced research in the countries where these languages are spoken to serving in government agencies like the State Department to engaging NGO projects and international organizations,” Šipka said. “At the same time, the programs build strong ties with heritage communities in Arizona — languages that I teach feature very strongly in such communities that were formed in several waves of immigration ever since the late 19th century.”

Kimberly Koerth

Content Writer, School of International Letters and Cultures