The Fulbright Program and Community Colleges

Judy Meredith of Jackson State University, Ana Gil-Garcia of Northeastern Illinois University, and David Smith of the Fulbright Association discuss diversity
Judy Meredith of Jackson State University, Ana Gil-Garcia of Northeastern Illinois University, and David Smith of the Fulbright Association discuss diversity

The 36th Annual Fulbright Association Conference was held this past weekend, October 4-6, 2013 in Washington, DC.   The Fulbright Association is the official alumni association of grantees of all Fulbright programs.  It was found in 1977 and represents about 5,000 active members participating in nearly 60 U.S. chapters and around the world.

This year’s conference theme was “Fulbright in Action” and featured an array of distinguished speakers on issues of social justice, international education, and the arts and sciences.  James Meredith, who in 1962 was the first African American to attend the University of Mississippi, was the keynote speaker at the meeting’s diversity luncheon.  Other conference presenters included Harriet Mayor Fulbright, the widow of the late Senator J. William Fulbright;  Congressman Jim Moran; and Dr. Ángel Cabrera, president of George Mason University.

A major focus of the program was diversity and expanding opportunities for Fulbright experiences to a broad constituency including historically black colleges and universities, Latino and Hispanic serving institutions, and other underserved populations.

A particular emphasis was expanding opportunities at U.S. community colleges.   David J. Smith, who has been working as a consultant on diversity with the Fulbright Association, discussed the importance of community college participation in the Fulbright Program and international education at a session he moderated titled: “Walking the Talk: Achieving Diversity in the Fulbright Program.”

At the conference, a special interest group of faculty and administrators working at community colleges who are interested in advancing Fulbright opportunities was formed.   This interest group will over the coming months develop a strategy for advancing global education and the Fulbright Program in community colleges.  If you are interested in participating in this group, contact David Smith at davidjsmith@fulbrightmail.org.

 

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