This week the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) named North Carolina A&T State University among 19 institutions of higher education that were chosen as Fulbright Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Institutional Leaders for 2022.
Over the last 75 years, the Fulbright Program has given more than 400,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach, and conduct research in the United States or in one of over 160 partner countries worldwide. Fulbright students and scholars are from or hosted by more than 800 colleges and universities across the United States, and thousands more campuses in over 160 countries. Fulbrighters come from all backgrounds and are selected through an open, merit-based competition, regardless of their race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, geographic location, socio-economic status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
The Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leader status that North Carolina A&T has been awarded recognizes engagement across the Fulbright Program, including hosting Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants, Fulbright Scholars-in-Residence, and other Fulbright Students or Scholars, as well as having U.S. students, faculty and staff receive Fulbrights to study, teach or conduct research abroad.
North Carolina A&T has shown that they are growing their involvement with the program year by year.
Tonya Smith-Jackson, Ph.D., Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, noted that as a land-grant, doctoral university, North Carolina A&T’s mission calls for their community to be inclusive and welcoming. “Our students, faculty and staff come from many backgrounds and cultures, as well as every part of our state, our nation and countries around the globe,” she said. “Aggies are achievers whose time, talents and treasure fuel discovery and innovation in alignment with the goals of the Fulbright Program.” Speaking on behalf of the university, she said, “We are proud to be recognized as a model for other institutions and encourage them to adapt our strategies to forge their own Fulbright successes.”
Emmanuel Johnson made history as the first Fulbrighter from North Carolina A&T in 2013. His Fulbright consisted of studying for his Masters in Robotics and conducting research in human/robot interaction in England.
“As the first student to win a Fulbright U.S. Student grant from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, a Historically Black College and University, the best advice I can give any applicant is to not be intimidated by the application process or pool, and just go for it.”
More recently, Joanna Martinez from North Carolina did a Fulbright ETA to Mexico in 2021.
“I carried my HBCU and Aggie Pride with me as an ETA Fulbrighter within my classrooms, communities, and cohort,” she stated. “Being a Fulbrighter, our vision is to create space for cultural and educational exchange between two countries. As a first-generation Mexican American, I have embraced binationalism my whole life. I held dialogues about my first-hand experience of HBCUs and presented their history and culture. For my students and placements, this was a first for them.”
“My journey of graduating from an HBCU and completing my Fulbright grant in Mexico has given me the confidence to feel empowered and connected to my family, friends, and communities in both countries.”
NCA&T alum, Malique Brunner, did a Fulbright ETA in Bulgaria during the past academic year.
“Being selected as an English teaching assistant in Bulgaria was one of the greatest blessings I could have ever hoped to receive during 2021. Not only was I able to extend my passion for educating others internationally, but I was also able to create long lasting relationships with people that helped me find more of my life’s purpose along the way.”
Alsace-Lorraine Gallop, A&T’s national scholarships and fellowships coordinator and Fulbright Program adviser (FPA) and Tonjia May, from the Department of Research and Economic Development, who serves as Fulbright Scholar Liaison, have begun collaborating to build a self-sustaining Fulbright Program culture across campus for faculty, staff, students and alumni.
Paula E. Faulkner, Ph.D., an agricultural education professor in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences and a board member of the North Carolina Fulbright Alumni Association, has also supported Fulbright on campus for the twelve years since she spent the summer of 2010 in the Persian Gulf as a Fulbright-Hays grant recipient, helping to inform students and faculty about the value of gaining international experiences and participating in Fulbright programs.
ECA established the Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders Initiative to recognize and commend the strong partnership between the Fulbright Program and HBCUs and to encourage all HBCUs to increase their engagement with Fulbright to help their students, faculty and staff to study, teach or conduct research abroad and access valuable international experiences and perspectives.
The announcement of the 19 Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders was made by the State Department as HBCU leaders prepare to gather in Washington, DC and virtually for the White House Initiative on HBCUs National HBCU Week Conference, and Fulbright opportunities will be highlighted in events such as the HBCU career and recruitment fair.
“HBCUs are an important part of the American and global higher education communities, providing life-changing exchange opportunities for American and international students, faculty, and administrators alike,” Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Lee Satterfield stated.
On November 3rd, a Fulbright HBCU Virtual Workshop will feature best practices for HBCUs to leverage Fulbright Program engagement to support students and faculty, increase campus internationalization, and build global networks. This event is designed for HBCU faculty and staff, but is open to all.
We at Watch The Yard would like to congratulate all 19 of the HBCUs chosen as this years Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders. This is truly an achievement to be proud of.