Fulbright Program recognizes Jackson State University as institutional leader

(JACKSON, Miss.) — Jackson State University is proud to be named a 2019-2020 Fulbright Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Institutional Leader for the second consecutive year.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) designation recognizes Jackson State’s significant engagement with the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. JSU is among 20 HBCUs to receive this distinction.

Currently celebrating its 75th anniversary, the Fulbright Program was created to increase mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries. Jackson State has demonstrated outstanding support for Fulbright exchange participants during the 2019-2020 academic year and has promoted Fulbright Program opportunities on campus.

ECA established the HBCU Institutional Leader designation in 2019 to acknowledge the unique and robust collaboration between the program and the country’s HBCUs. The distinction further supports the 20 HBCUs’ efforts to submerge their college communities in various Fulbright Program initiatives and activities that offer short- and long-term benefits.

This initiative is part of the U.S. Department of State’s longstanding commitment to building diversity and inclusion within the Fulbright Program and all of the bureau’s international exchange programs.

JSU President Thomas Hudson

“The Fulbright Program affords our students, faculty and staff the opportunity for cultural and scholarly exchange in a way that allows for significant contributions to the global workplace and community,” said Thomas K. Hudson, president of JSU. “Fulbright also helps to create relationships and connections abroad through life-changing experiences.”

In 2019-2020, JSU hosted two Fulbright foreign-language teaching assistants and several visiting lecturers.

Hudson further expressed that HBCUs must elevate efforts to embrace diversity because it encourages intellectual growth through mutual understanding of the commonalities and differences that only enlighten, inspire and advance society.

Acting assistant secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Matthew Lussenhop praised the designated institutions, stating, “Congratulations to this year’s 20 Fulbright Historically Black College and University Institutional Leaders. We salute you and your institutions for your engagement with the Fulbright Program and for your commitment to providing life-changing opportunities to students, faculty, and administrators.”

Lussenhop added that HBCU participation is critical to fully represent the diversity of the U.S. through the Fulbright Program.

“Fulbrighters from HBCUs carry their identities and school pride with them abroad, allowing people from other countries to learn about these accomplished individuals and about this dynamic group of American institutions and their distinguished legacy,” he said.

The Fulbright Exchange Program is the U.S. government’s premier international academic exchange program. A hallmark of the Fulbright Program has been its longstanding commitment to diversity, striving to ensure that its participants reflect U.S. society and societies abroad. The program’s robust diversity strategies and initiatives have included collaboration with a host of diversity-related associations and organizations such as the White House Initiative on HBCUs, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange, the American Association of Community Colleges, Diversity Abroad, and a host of others.

Considering the program’s 75th anniversary, celebrations throughout the year will highlight the impressive accomplishments and legacy of the program and its alumni over its first 75 years, both in the U.S. and around the world. A dedicated 75th-anniversary website (fulbright75.org) will be updated throughout 2021 to showcase Fulbright alumni, partner countries, and anniversary events.

On June 3, the Fulbright Program hosted the Fulbright HBCU Symposium, spotlighting the unique role HBCU students, faculty and administrators play in the representation of higher education. The symposium offered workshops to assist HBCUs with using Fulbright as a resource to strengthen campus internalization, global engagement efforts and building global networks.

The session was moderated by Dineo Brinson, academic exchange specialist, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Speakers included Dr. Ruth Simmons, president of Prairie View A&M University and Fulbright alumna; and Dr. Leach Creque, professor of English, director of Honors Program and a Fulbright Program adviser and scholar liaison at Morehouse College.

Fulbright is active in more than 160 countries worldwide and partners with participating governments, host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and the United States. Many of these organizations also provide direct and indirect support. ECA sponsors the Fulbright Program, and several nonprofit, cooperative partners implement and support the Program on the Bureau’s behalf. For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State, visit http://eca.state.gov/fulbright.