The program aimed to help the participants — known as "Fulbrighters" — increase their knowledge of U.S. academic life, culture and history.
Each year, more than 8,000 Fulbrighters from around the world are selected to build relationships, knowledge and leadership skills in support of critical priorities in the long-term interests of the United States and the world. Last year the U of A also hosted 60 Fulbrighters from Afghanistan.
"It's an honor for us to be a host site for the second year in a row, especially during the milestone 70th anniversary year of the Fulbright Program," said Todd Shields, dean of the Fulbright College. "Senator Fulbright founded the exchange program to increase mutual understanding between people of different countries and cultures, so having these Fulbrighters visit his namesake college is incredibly meaningful and also embodies our mission of 'Peace through Education.'"
Shields said all the Fulbrighters who visited last semester are enrolled in graduate study at universities across the United States. During their time at the U of A, the students attended thematic sessions focused on U.S. social movements, leadership sessions that highlighted the Fulbright tradition of leadership, and panel sessions centered on strategies for academic success. Additionally, U.S. Department of State representatives led a presentation on public diplomacy.
The Fulbrighters also met current U of A graduate students, as well as members of the Northwest Arkansas community.
Leyah Bergman-Lanier, director of the Spring International Language Center, said having the Fulbrighters visit was an amazing experience — both for the U of A community and for the Afghanistan participants.
"Helping to prepare these Fulbrighters for successful experiences in their studies across the United States has been wonderful," she said. "It's exciting that even more students came this year, and our goal was to help empower each Fulbrighter as they acclimate to their new surroundings, and to inspire them as they take on their roles as leaders and change agents in their home communities. Likewise, we also benefitted greatly from this amazing opportunity to learn about Afghanistan."
The seminar was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as part of the Fulbright Program, and this activity was administered on behalf of the State Department by the Institute of International Education.
A Princeton PhD, was a US diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. For the Open World Leadership Center, he speaks with
its delegates from Europe/Eurasia on the topic, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United." Affiliated with Georgetown University for over ten years, he shares ideas with students about public diplomacy.
The papers of his deceased father -- poet and diplomat John L. Brown -- are stored at Georgetown University Special Collections at the Lauinger Library. They are manuscript materials valuable to scholars interested in post-WWII U.S.-European cultural relations.
This blog is dedicated to him, Dr. John L. Brown, a remarkable linguist/humanist who wrote in the Foreign Service Journal (1964) -- years before "soft power" was ever coined -- that "The CAO [Cultural Affairs Officer] soon comes to realize that his job is really a form of love-making and that making love is never really successful unless both partners are participating."