Universities building Partnerships with Chapters

Universities building Partnerships with Chapters

I recently sat down with President Shirley Collado and Provost La Jerne Terry Cornish of Ithaca College, a new Institutional Member of the Fulbright Association. I came to their beautiful hilltop campus, along with Central New York Chapter president Kathleen Mulligan, to share many ideas on how to build a strategic partnership between the College and the Chapter.


Partnerships like these are a win-win. For colleges and universities, they offer the opportunity to advance internationalization priorities, to drive more and better Fulbright applications from students and faculty, and to raise the profile of the institution.  Chapters, led by volunteers often from that campus (Kathleen is an Ithaca College professor), get support to host great events and do more effective community outreach.


Two examples should help you see how your institution can “win” by collaborating with your local chapter. Many chapters participate in Fulbright in the Classroom, an outreach program to share Fulbright experiences with students K-12, especially in middle schools. Working with your community relations office, they could reach more schools, simultaneously deepening your outreach programming.


Our chapters are also launching a new program, the Fulbright Forum, rebranding ongoing events on international subjects that provoke meaningful conversations: a panel on US-China relations, a screening of a documentary on refugees, a lecture on climate change. These events engage Fulbright alumni, faculty and students, while raising the profile of Fulbright program and alumni to inspire more applications.


There are many partnerships forming, meeting a growing interest in our Institutional Members to realize the full benefits of their membership, and the support chapters find in joint programming. Members Montclair State University and the University of South Florida, for example, are working with our office to plan joint events with their local Fulbright alumni.


If this idea sounds appealing, please contact me directly: john@fulbright.org.  I’m glad to schedule a call to discuss the possibilities and to connect you to our network of local Fulbright alumni and chapters.


John Bader

Executive Director

September 25, 2019 0

Featured Institution: Texas A&M University

Featured Institution: Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University’s commitment to international scholarship and global engagement can be traced back nearly to the institution’s land grant launch in 1876. In the ensuing years, Texas A&M has increasingly expanded its global impact to include research on every continent and to welcome international students and scholars from more than 120 countries. The university has celebrated one or more faculty U.S. Fulbright Scholars every year since 1949 and has hosted 55 visiting scholars since 2014.

While the number of Texas A&M students and faculty awarded Fulbright opportunities has been steady over the years, the university is increasing efforts across the board to support and encourage involvement and also pair Fulbright alumni with prospective Fulbrighters.

A comprehensive approach based in the Texas A&M University Office of Public Partnership and Outreach now links prospective, current and alumni Fulbrighters together with undergraduates, graduate students and faculty members. Unified workshops share information about the application process, the Fulbright experience and ways to continue connecting when the Fulbright grant concludes.

“We launched a central point of contact across our large university of 69,000 students in order to support the complete Fulbright experience and boost the positive impact our students and faculty can have around the globe,” said Traci Lacy, Associate Director of Partnership Services. “We created an annual Fulbright workshop and reception that invites visiting scholars, Fulbright grant recipients, and anyone interested in applying to come together and share information, experiences or questions about this incredible opportunity.”

At the faculty level, the coordination is anchored in part by a Global Engagement Plan, with a goal of elevating faculty as global leaders by enhancing support for Fulbright applications and submissions for other prestigious awards.

“The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program provides a unique and essential experience for faculty,” said Dr. Heather Wilkinson, Associate Dean of Faculties. “The Office of the Dean of Faculties is supporting involvement in the program in a variety of ways, including helping to elevate the awareness of faculty to the opportunities for development leave in support of Fulbright grants.”]

The Office of Undergraduate Studies is connecting students with Fulbright opportunities via LAUNCH, a collaboration of six teams working together to support students, faculty and staff across Texas A&M University. LAUNCH: National Fellowships assists Texas A&M students with Fulbright applications and hosts informational workshops. The efforts are augmented by a staff member who is a current Fulbright U.S. Student Alumni Ambassador. LAUNCH also coordinates with the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies to conduct information sessions about the history and mission of the Fulbright Program, the application process and best practices for putting forward a successful application.

The Office of Graduate and Professional Studies created an initiative to increase applications for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program by 100 percent, supplementing the effort with information sessions—including testimonials from former Fulbright students—and one-on-one writing workshops aimed at enhancing student applications for Fulbright grants. Graduate Studies also established resource channels for Fulbright resources across all of Texas A&M’s academic colleges to help emphasize a personalized Fulbright culture.

In addition to these initiatives, the university coordinates outreach and support with the Fulbright Student’s Association and an active Brazos Valley Chapter of the Fulbright Association for alumni.

Texas A&M University’s coordinated Fulbright activities for faculty, undergraduates, graduate students and alumni are serving Texas A&M’s mission to maximize global impact and increase involvement in this world class program for international scholarship and service.

-Brandon V. Webb, Texas A&M University, Office of the Provost

July 23, 2019 0

Featured Institution: Purdue University

Featured Institution: Purdue University

Purdue University’s Honors College, its first academic residential college, is highly interdisciplinary and experiential in its teaching and learning mission. As part of its mission, the Honors College houses the National and International Scholarships Office (NISO), which assists students with applying for and earning prestigious scholarship opportunities. The U.S. Student Fulbright Program is a focal point for NISO, and Purdue University has made strides in the number of both students and faculty members who are Fulbright scholars. Since the creation of the office in 2012, the number of U.S. Student Program applicants has more than tripled and developing robust connections between the various Fulbright Program communities on campus has become a focal point at the university.

“Through international exchange, which facilitates collaboration and mutual understanding, the Fulbright program helps scholars broaden their perspectives and tackle our most pressing global challenges,” said Jay Akridge, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity. “This is an exceptional program and we are very pleased that, every year, more students and faculty at Purdue are earning Fulbright scholarships.”

The 2019-2020 academic year saw Purdue set new Fulbright marks in a few areas. Eight Purdue faculty members earned Fulbright Scholar Awards, the most ever for Purdue in a single year. Christopher Lukasik, an associate professor of English and American Studies and former Fulbright Scholar, directs a program in the Provost’s Office that aids faculty in learning about Fulbright awards. “Fulbright recipients often describe their experiences as life-changing, and their expanded world views make them better informed to speak to global issues upon their return to the U.S.,” said Lukasik. “Fulbright faculty are exceptionally well-prepared to speak to students who are not only entering into a global economy, but who belong to a generation that must confront a series of challenges – global in scale – such as climate change or food security. International students also benefit from Fulbright faculty because these faculty have experienced the challenges of living abroad and can speak to cross-cultural education first-hand.”

Purdue also will host their first-ever Fulbright Chair beginning next year. The Fulbright Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies is a partnership between the Honors College and a disciplinary college partner each year to bring a scholar from Brazil to be in residence at Purdue. “Hosting a Fulbright Chair at Purdue is indeed a hallmark of achievement and is reflective of our commitment to fostering intercultural awareness as well as supporting our mission of interdisciplinary learning,” said Rhonda Phillips, Dean of the Purdue Honors College and a three-time Fulbright award recipient.

Members of the Purdue Fulbright Association with Purdue President Mitch Daniels (center)

Fulbright students at Purdue can additionally benefit from the Purdue Fulbright Association, a student organization comprised of Fulbright Foreign Student Scholars at Purdue, which aims to connect past and present “Fulbrighters”. This student-run organization is mainly composed of visiting scholars who are currently completing their degrees at Purdue. With over 50 members from at least 35 countries, the Purdue Fulbright Association is one of the most active campus-based Fulbright student organizations in the country. It helps to integrate those students in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program with international students at Purdue and allows for deeper appreciation and understanding of different countries and cultures. This fall NISO and the Purdue Fulbright Association will co-host the 7th annual Fall Welcome – an event designed to welcome new visiting scholars to campus that brings together Purdue faculty, staff, and students from the Fulbright Scholar Program, Foreign Student Program, and U.S. Student Program.

For more information about Purdue University, visit https://www.purdue.edu/.

–Robert Mills, Purdue Honors College, Communications Manager

June 26, 2019 0

Featured Institution: Morgan State University

Featured Institution: Morgan State University

Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified doctoral research institution with 100+ academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, Morgan serves a multi ethnic and multiracial student body, seeking to ensure that higher education is as open and available as possible to all. Designated a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morgan is the largest of Maryland’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and its 152-acre campus is situated in northeast Baltimore.

The university has been affiliated with the Fulbright Program for more than 65 years and holds the definitive distinction of leading all other HBCUs for producing the most Fulbright Scholars. Continuing its dedication to Fulbright, Morgan became an institutional member in 2014, and has continued the Fulbright mission through alumni and community engagement.

“Morgan State University has had a long and positive history with the Fulbright Program, beginning in 1951, when Dr. Sandye Jean McIntyre, II, was appointed Morgan’s Fulbright Program Adviser,” said Carleen S. Leggett, Ph.D., current Fulbright Program Director at Morgan. Since instituting the Fulbright program, Morgan State University has produced 144 Fulbright awardees initiating international studies in 43 different countries. Moreover, 51 MSU professors or administrators (none of whom were Morgan graduates) have earned 73 “Senior Fulbright” awards to 42 countries.

“Fulbright Students and Scholars from Morgan have often stressed not only the academic advantages of teaching, studying, or doing research in a foreign milieu, but the personal and cultural rewards as well, the enlightenment gained from close contact with other languages and ways of life,” continued Dr. Leggett. “The success of the Fulbright Program at Morgan State University is a very important and prestigious mark of distinction for the University as it continues to expand its international impact.”

For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.

–Jordan Bradford

May 30, 2019 0

Featured Institution: Ohio Dominican University

Featured Institution: Ohio Dominican University

Ohio Dominican University, a small, private Dominican liberal arts university in Columbus, Ohio and a new institutional member, is the host university for a new Fulbright Association chapter. The Central Ohio Chapter, which covers the central and southern regions of Ohio, was conceived from the dedication of the President of Ohio Dominican, Dr. Robert Gervasi, who himself is a Fulbright alum. As a Senior Fulbright Scholar in Classics, he lectured at the University of Zimbabwe in 1995.

“Ohio Dominican University is thrilled to become the home of the new Central Ohio Chapter of the Fulbright Association,” says Dr. Gervasi. “Ohio Dominican is committed to academic excellence, including excellence in international education. Inspired by our founders, the Dominican Sisters of Peace, we also share the Fulbright Program’s overarching vision of world peace through grass-roots contact and understanding among citizens. As a Fulbright alumnus myself, I’m personally gratified that Ohio Dominican will help spread the Fulbright message in our region.”

Although hosted by Ohio Dominican University, the chapter is open to all Fulbrighters, alumni, and friends of international education in the region. This open community is evidenced by the leadership of the chapter, which includes faculty and staff from The Ohio State University, Ashland University, and the University of Cincinnati, as well as the host institution.

The chapter has already held its first board meeting, where committees were formed and an emphasis on mentoring and welcoming incoming Fulbrighters was decided upon for year one.

As an institutional member in an area where a Fulbright community had yet to be engaged, Ohio Dominican University saw the need and responded accordingly. Our hope and goal is to foster more partnership like this in order to bring the Fulbright network to more regions across the country.

If your institution is interested in learning more about hosting or partnering with a chapter, please email jordan@fulbright.org.

–Jordan Bradford
Manager of Membership and Chapter Relations

Featured in above photo.
Top Row: Dr. Robert Gervasi (ODU President), Diana Criclivaia (Board Member), Christine O’Malley (Chapter President), Julie DePaulo (Board Member), Nicole Hoefer (Chapter Secretary)
Bottom Row: Rick Breault (Chapter Treasurer), Richelle Delia (Board Member), Fernando Lopez (Chapter Vice President), Natalie Chang (Board Member)

April 25, 2019 0