William Trumbull’s journey to Hungary started all the way back in 1990, his first trip to the country.

At that time, the Berlin Wall had fallen and Hungary had just completed its first free elections since before the Second World War. In fact, Trumbull was in Budapest the day Parliament met for the first time.

Trumbull, an associate professor in economics at West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics, was visiting the country for a conference, but he was also experiencing history.

He returned 22 years later to Budapest in late August to take part in a semester-long trip to the University of Pecs where he will fulfill his Fulbright Scholarship.

“It was really an obvious fit. If I had tried to do this Fulbright in some university in Paris, it might not have worked out. But this was a good fit,” he said.

Trumbull is the second WVU professor to earn a Fulbright Scholar designation this year. The other is Larry Banta, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

Since 2006, WVU professors have earned 17 Fulbright designations. In total, the University has 69 total Fulbright professors, many of whom are still teaching at WVU.

“This award is a fitting culmination to Dr. Trumbull’s years of scholarship,” said WVU Provost Michele Wheatly. “What’s more, it is yet another indicator of the exceptional caliber of our faculty – and of the impact they are having on a global stage.”

Since 2006, WVU professors have earned 17 Fulbright designations. In total, the University has had 69 Fulbright professors.
While Trumbull was on his first trip to Hungary, he did some recruiting for the University and enticed two students to come to WVU to study in the PhD economics program.

Sure enough, Trumbull recruits well. Both students are now part of the Economics department at the University where he is teaching this semester. One is even the chair of the department.

While in Hungary, he will be working with his former recruits on research surrounding the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, which has developed the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index. This index ranks countries based on their conditions in which entrepreneurship can flourish, Trumbull said.

“It fits in with what I do and teach. I’ve taught comparative economic systems for decades. I also teach a course on the transitional economies of Europe, that is, the countries that were socialist and are making the transition to capitalism,” he said. “We’re going to be focusing on the differences between these countries that might explain the conditions under which entrepreneurship flourishes.”

Trumbull worked last summer to create a project proposal for the Fulbright. A peer review committee chose Trumbull, and he was later approved by Hungary’s Fulbright office.

Trumbull spent a week in Budapest at an orientation and then took his post as a professor at the University of Pecs where he will be teaching a managerial economics class.

“The longest time I have spent in a socialist or post-socialist country was just a month,” he said. “This time, I will be a regular professor at the University of Pecs teaching and doing research. That will be an interesting experience.”

Trumbull has been at WVU since 1983 and did a two-year stint as the interim dean of the WVU College of Business and Economics. He has also spent time as the director of the Division of Economics and Finance and as chairperson of the Department of Economics since 1993-2008. He is a recipient of the Beta Gamma Sigma (WVU Chapter) Award for Outstanding Teacher in the College of Business and Economics.

He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Miami in 1976. He earned a Ph.D. in economics in 1985 from the University of North Carolina. After a two-year stint as a visiting instructor at North Carolina State University from 1981-1983, he moved to WVU and has been at the University ever since.

During his tenure at WVU, Trumbull has taught at the undergraduate, masters and doctoral levels. He has been heavily involved in study abroad, having developed courses on the Cuban economy, China and the transitional economies of Europe, all of which involved travel to these countries.



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