Two photos side-by-side, one of a Filipina woman and the other of a Filipino man. At the bottom, blue box with white text that says Fulbright Day: Philippines
Two of the featured alumni on Fulbright Day: Philippines: writer Grace Talusan (left), author of The Body Papers, and educator Dr. Michael Gonzalez.

On July 3, Fulbright Philippines celebrated Philippine Republic Day (in Tagalog/Filipino: Araw ng Republikang Pilipino), also known as Philippine–American Friendship Day, an annual commemoration in the Philippines. As Fulbright celebrates its 75th anniversary, the Philippine American Educational Foundation (PAEF) celebrates 73 years of cross-cultural and educational exchanges with an eye toward our own 75th anniversary in 2023 as the oldest continuous Fulbright Program in the world, with an alumni community of over 3,000 Filipino scholars and researchers and over 1,000 American scholars.

On Fulbright Day, we featured two of our U.S. Fulbright scholars, writer Grace Talusan and educator Dr. Michael Gonzalez, with impacts in the literary arts and in cultural development efforts, respectively. We also showed gratitude to several Philippine Fulbrighters fighting on the frontlines of a global pandemic, including Dr. Ronald Law, Chief, Preparedness Division, Emergency Management Bureau, Department of Health-Philippines, and many of our notable alumni that serve leading roles transforming Philippine higher education, such as CHED Chairperson Dr. Julian Prospero “Popoy” De Vera III. Fulbright Philippines also launched an evolving photo gallery of “Fulbright Philippines Over the Decades” to emphasize PAEF as a Fulbright Commission with continuing partnerships that are integral to their ongoing work as well as illuminate our talented alumni making their marks in diverse fields.

Fulbright Philippines Website: http://www.fulbright.org.ph/

Blue text on background with orange and yellow star-like splotches: HBCU Fulbright Alumni! Every Fulbrighter has a story and we want to hear yours.

Are you a proud alumna/us of the Fulbright Program and an HBCU? Help us celebrate the fruitful connections between HBCUs and the Fulbright Program by sharing your high-resolution photos, telling us your stories, and reflecting on your experience as an HBCU-affiliated Fulbright participant.

Need some ideas?

  • Tell us what Fulbright means to you.
  • Because of Fulbright, I…
  • How has international collaboration impacted your research?
  • How did your Fulbright impact your research or teaching?
  • What piece of advice would you give your pre-Fulbright self?
  • How did your identity change on Fulbright?

Guidelines

  1. Submit all photos, videos, and/or written testimonials here.
  2. When submitting, please provide as much information as possible in the caption – it doesn’t have to be extremely detailed, but we’d like to know when and where the photo was taken, and for what occasion.
  3. All photos should be high-resolution (300 dpi). If you are sending photos or video taken by a professional photographer/organization, please include this information in the caption and make sure you have permission to share.
  4. If you’d like to share a video, be sure to capture a high-quality clip by stabilizing your camera or phone on a table in front of you, recording in a quiet, well-lit place and film horizontally.
Call for submissions: Fulbright 75th Virtual Art Exhibit, Deadline August 1st. Black and white text on a splotchy background of orange and blue

The Fulbright Program is proud to announce a call for submissions for the Fulbright 75th Virtual Art Exhibit, which will launch in October 2021 to celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month. The virtual exhibit will be open to the public.

Questions? Reach out to: [email protected] or [email protected].

Guidelines

1. Artists are invited to submit 1-3 high-definition images of relevant work. Film and other video content must be limited to 3 minutes and linked to a full project. Selections from a larger piece of work should include a link to the larger piece.
2. All art submitted to the exhibit must have been created during your Fulbright, or inspired by your Fulbright experiences in a meaningful way. Collaborations are welcomed, so long as non-Fulbright collaborators are from your host institution or country. Please provide a short description of your submission, including the details of your Fulbright, and how this work is related to your Fulbright experience.
3. While we appreciate the creative talents of all Fulbrighters, only alumni and current participants who formally pursued an arts grant are being asked to submit art at this time.
4. All submissions must contain #FulbrightVirtualExhibit within the description on the upload page in order to be considered.
5. The deadline for submissions is August 1st, 2021. Upload your submissions here.

Fulbright Thailand: Journey of Caring Friends

The Fulbright Program has been growing stronger and glowing brighter. In Thailand, it even
shines as the one and only bilateral education exchange with generous support from both
Thai and American Governments.

When we celebrated the Program anniversary, we did celebrate the constructive cooperation
and friendship between the two countries which are highlights of this year celebration under
the theme “the journey of caring friends”.

To mark the Fulbright Thailand Day, we share a story of the Fulbright Program in Thailand
during the past seven decades, capturing its binationality, expansion of grants program and
outreach activities, as well as its impacts through alumni in various fields. The background
music for this special presentation was “We Learn to Care” composed by Professor Michael
Zager, 2006 and 2010 Fulbrighter to Thailand from Florida Atlantic University. The song
highlights core values of the Fulbrighters we here cherish. The presentation was posted on
Fulbright Thailand YouTube Channel and linked to Fulbright Thailand Facebook page and
website.

Unexpectedly, after the celebration poster was released, several alumni started to post their
Fulbright memorable moments to join our celebration. We then encouraged everyone to do
the same with #Fulbright Program and #Fulbright75. In addition, early morning of the day,
the president of Thai Fulbright Alumni Association who hosted a famous radio talk invited the
Executive Director to his program sharing the uniqueness of the Fulbright Program in
Thailand.

The celebration will continue throughout the whole month of July with series of activities
including interviews of the Executive Director and the President of the Thai Fulbright Alumni
Association, sharing stories from others in the Fulbright families, and social media posts. We
planned to end the month with a promotional VDO with interviews of the Chair and Honorary
Chair.

Indeed, July is the special month of Fulbright Thailand and of Thai-U.S. partnership.

Screenshots of Facebook posts from Fulbright Thailand alumni
Screenshots of Facebook posts from Fulbright Thailand alumni
Screenshots of Facebook posts from Fulbright Thailand alumni.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) recognized 20 Historically Black Colleges and Universities as Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders for their noteworthy engagement with the Fulbright Program during the 2019-2020 academic year. Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders understand the benefit of developing a Fulbright culture on campus, send U.S. students and faculty from all fields and backgrounds abroad, and welcome and learn from foreign students and scholars. The development of these international and institutional networks enhance mutual understanding among participants and students, faculty, administration, and campus and community members.

Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Matthew Lussenhop congratulated the Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders and noted “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.”

Through virtual events, articles, and social media, the Fulbright Program and HBCU Institutional Leaders shared success stories and encouraged all HBCUs and Minority Serving Institutions to take advantage of the resources and opportunities that Fulbright offers.

Didn’t catch everything during the campaign? Not to worry, here are 5 takeaways from HBCU Institutional Leaders 2019-2020:

1. Celebrating Black Excellence (Virtually)

We celebrated, you celebrated! Institutional Leaders, HBCU faculty, alumni, students, and others took to social media to celebrate HBCU impact in the Fulbright Program. Watch the Yard, created by Fulbright alumnus to Germany Jonathan Rabb, highlighted the 2019-2020 HBCU Institutional Leaders via stories and videos, while HBCU and Black-related organizations, including HBCU Pride Nation, Support Black Colleges, HBCU Alum, My Degree is Black, and Black Biz Directory, amplified the message.

Several media outlets, such as Diverse Issues in Higher Education, University Business News, Yahoo News, Black Engineer, and Newsbreak, as well as the HBCU Campaign Fund, spread the word of what HBCUs mean to the Fulbright Program, and how HBCUs and MSIs can get involved.

On Twitter, Fulbright hosted #HBCUFulbrightChat with Fulbright HBCU, an alumni affinity group created and led by Fulbright and Morgan State University alumna Ashleigh Brown-Grier. The chat, which featured Fulbright alumni sharing about their exchange experience, highlighted Fulbright’s long-standing engagement with HBCUs and provided resources for interested applicants. The chat had more than 87K impressions! Special thanks to Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, Bluefield State College, Fayetteville State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Alabama A&M University, University of North Texas International Affairs, as well as the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions, and HBCU students and faculty for attending.

2. The HBCU Institutional Leaders Tell Their Fulbright Story

HBCU presidents, Fulbright Program Advisers and Scholar Liaisons, and HBCU alumni shared how Fulbright impacts their campuses and communities.

Howard University

“Howard University is delighted to be recognized as an HBCU Institutional Leader by the Fulbright Program. The Fulbright experience has made a significant positive impact on our Howard scholars, helping them to become better global leaders who are prepared to be servant leaders with an international perspective.” – President Wayne A. I. Frederick

Morgan State University

“We hold the Fulbright Program and all it represents with the highest regard, and to have that level of reverence reciprocated by way of Morgan being distinguished as a Fulbright Institutional Leader truly reaffirms our commitment to the Fulbright mission. […] This year marks Morgan’s 70th year working in partnership with the Fulbright Program to advance the global perspective of our scholars and promote the inherent value of teaching, studying, and research in a foreign milieu. I applaud the efforts of our Division of International Affairs team and the many other faculty, staff and student Fulbrighters who have made exemplary contributions to the success of Morgan’s Fulbright program.” – President David K. Wilson

Spelman College

“Spelman and Fulbright are similar in their interest in students who are curious. Like Fulbright, the College puts an emphasis on preparing students to be global leaders by making available opportunities for them to conduct research and engage in study abroad experiences.” – Michelle Hite, associate professor, Honors Program director, and International Fellowships and Scholarships director

Texas Southern University

“Texas Southern University is pleased to be recognized as an HBCU Institutional Leader by the Fulbright Program for a second year. This distinction speaks to TSU’s commitment to foster connections with students and culture worldwide and serves as a testament to TSU’s legacy of Excellence in Achievement.” – Interim President Kenneth Huewitt

“This recognition reflects the commitment of our faculty and staff to provide global opportunities that advance the student experience and further the University’s mission. This distinction recognizes TSU’s continued dedication to faculty excellence and its legacy of international engagement.” – Kendall T. Harris, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs and Research

3. The Fulbright HBCU Symposium

On June 3rd, the Fulbright Program hosted the Fulbright HBCU Symposium to discuss Fulbright opportunities and resources for HBCUs, the benefits of a Fulbright experience, and the role that the Fulbright Program plays in supporting HBCU campus internationalization, global awareness, and engagement. The symposium was open to all, and specifically designed for HBCU faculty, staff, and stakeholders. More than 250 people registered, including representatives of 38 HBCUs and 16 non-HBCU U.S. colleges and universities, as well as nonprofits, international organizations, and other individuals. 

Dr. Ruth Simmons, president of Prairie View A&M University and 1967 Fulbright Scholar to France

Keynote Speaker Dr. Ruth J. Simmons, president of Prairie View A&M University and 1967 Fulbright U.S. Student to France, welcomed attendees and shared the benefits of the Fulbright Program on her life and career:

The Fulbright Program is built on a very simple principle that if we know others on a person-to-person level, we’ll be better able to stave off the kind of discord and animosity that can so easily arise among peoples of different backgrounds and cultures […] Studying at the University of Lyon became the centerpiece of, and the vehicle for, the shaping of my views on how I could relate to and contribute not just to my small community, but to others across the world. Living and studying in France as a Fulbrighter powered my further study and is one of the primary reasons I’ve been able to lead a wide variety of constituents. I feel comfortable in any setting. Fulbright gave me that, and so I say to my students at Prairie View ‘you simply must have the experience of international education.’

Dr. Ruth Simmons

Dr. Dafina Blacksher Diabate, director of International Programs, and Fulbright Program Adviser and Scholar Liaison at Lincoln University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Dr. Leah Creque, professor of English, director of Honors Program, and Fulbright Program Adviser and Scholar Liaison at Morehouse College, as well as Fulbright Program staff, provided practical information and tips on how to work with the Fulbright Student, Scholar, and Specialist programs.

Watch the recording here.

4. Join the Campaign: Share Your HBCU Stories with Fulbright   

Keep the celebration going by sharing your memories and experiences from HBCUs:

Every Fulbrighter has a story to share, and we want to hear yours! To continue our celebration of the valued relationship between the Fulbright Program and HBCU institutions throughout the country, we’re asking our HBCU Fulbright alumni to share their photos and stories with us. Follow the link to upload images or videos accompanied by the experience you’d like to share with us. https://fulbrightonline.org/photouploads

5. I Am Fulbright

The Fulbright Program is committed to making life-changing international exchange opportunities available for scholars and students at HBCUs and all types of institutions – as well as for teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds. Learn more about Fulbright application requirements and deadlines for the Fulbright U.S. Student, U.S. and Visiting Scholar, and Foreign Student Programs, and how to connect with the Fulbright Program’s 75th anniversary.

The Binational Fulbright Commission in Jordan is pleased to announce that it will be hosting a webinar at 12 p.m. EST on July 7 titled Preserving Heritage, Cultivating Communities: A Reflection from Jordanian and American Fulbright Researchers as part of the 75th anniversary of the Fulbright Program worldwide. The webinar will highlight the intersection between historical and archeological work reflecting on the preservation of Jordanian heritage, and its connection to the present communities that exist around Jordanian archeological sites. This webinar falls on Jordan’s Fulbright Day on July 7th that marks the Jordanian Commission and its vital role for over two decades in promoting international cooperation for education and cultural advancement.

This day corresponds with the 7 Wonders Day in which the ancient city of Petra in southern Jordan, was named as one of the modern seven wonders of the world on July 7th of 2007.

The webinar will feature four Fulbrighter panelists; two Jordanian and two American alumni who are notable for their work in their respective fields. Each of the panelists will share a snapshot of the work they have conducted in the field of archeology and history throughout Jordan, and the importance of understanding and honoring the communities that existed or developed around those sites.

Register and learn more about the panelists here.

Fulbright really requires you to be bold, and to explain your project to people, and to interact with the local community and use those foreign language skills. That is really, really valuable.

Sasha Velour

Overview

On June 3, 2021, the Fulbright Program hosted a special event to kick off Pride Month and celebrate the career of 2009 Fulbright U.S. Student to Russia, winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 9, and internationally recognized drag queen, artist, and producer, Sasha Velour. The discussion was moderated by Christian Flores, 2019 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Brazil and founder of Projeto Memoria LGBT – Bagé. The conversation spanned many topics including Sasha’s Fulbright experience in Moscow, the international influences on her drag aesthetic and performances, the importance of uplifting and celebrating queer voices, and the details of her creative process and current projects.

Sasha Velour and Christian Flores

In discussing queer stories, Christian and Sasha talked about the changing ideas around non-binary figures in history. “Unfortunately, the physical research about queer existence is about times when people have been destroyed, or times that people were arrested or punished,” Sasha noted during the event. “I think about Leslie Fienberg’s Transgender Warriors about where things changed from trans and nonbinary people being seen as spiritual figures or folks who had an access to a fluidity that would be considered an asset to society, when that changed to be something that people are afraid of or disgusted by, and then reclaiming that positivity.”

Sasha and Christian discussed the importance of telling and recording queer stories, which are often remarkable and just as often lost. Sasha reminisced about working with a drag queen who impersonated Shirley Temple in the 1970’s and 1980’s at Finniochio’s Club, a drag dinner club in San Francisco. “One of the most historic drag dinner clubs that’s been closed my entire lifetime… Only later did I realize what vital oral history it was, the stories she told me about Bette Davis visiting Finnochio’s I will never forget, and it’s nowhere written down.”

The audience heard about the status of upcoming projects from the House of Velour, including the resumption and extension of the Smoke and Mirrors European tour, and the upcoming NightGowns: the Musical.  

Featuring

Sasha Velour: 2009 Fulbright Student Researcher to Russia

Sasha Velour is a genderfluid drag queen, theatre and television producer, and winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (Season 9). Since her debut on the international stage in 2017, Velour has bewitched sold-out crowds on five continents. Her internationally renowned solo theatrical work, “Smoke & Mirrors,” has toured The United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, selling out theaters in New York, LA, Auckland, Vancouver, Toronto, Chicago, San Francisco, London, and more. The show will return to Europe for a 34-city tour in early 2022. Last year, Velour adapted her long-running drag review, “NightGowns” into a docu-series that she Executive Produced for Quibi. “NightGowns” with Sasha Velour was hailed by “The New York Times” as being “among the most life-affirming shows you could find on any platform.” She won a Realscreen Award for the show, which will come to the Roku Channel later this year. Through her genre-defying work, Velour is creating new business models for drag as art, which “Fast Company” says is “disrupting the business of drag.” “Variety” named Velour to their “Power of New York List” in 2019 and she has been honored in “Out Magazine’s” OUT100, twice. Velour studied Modern Literatures through the independent program at Vassar College and Cartooning at the Center for Cartoon Studies. In 2009, she received a Fulbright grant to study the role of political art in contemporary Russian life. As a public speaker, she has spoken at the Smithsonian, the Teen Vogue Summit, colleges and universities, and on behalf of the U.S. State Department abroad. Velour recently starred in the short art-opera film, “The Island We Made” (commissioned by Opera Philadelphia), and her first book will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2022.

Christian Flores: 2019 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Brazil

Christian Flores is a 2019 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Brazil. While on his Fulbright, he inaugurated “Projeto Memória LGBT – Bagé,” a public history project designed to highlight and celebrate queer voices and experiences at the Federal University of Pampa in Bagé, a small, conservative city in Brazil’s southern countryside. Flores, an Illinois College alumnus, is based in Chicago, IL where he works as a Program Administrator in the Research Division at Safer Foundation, a non-profit that assists individuals with arrests and convictions to access job opportunities.

On June 30, Fulbright Israel launched an online exhibition “Archeology of Fulbright Israel” displaying notable alumni over 65 years. The exhibition demonstrates in data and narrative the impact of the Fulbright Program in Israel over a variety of disciplines; the diversity of alumni in their background, fields of work, and current activity; as well as the prestige of Fulbright Israel’s alumni and the institutes they have come from and went to during their Fulbright experience. The display also focuses on chains of professional connections between their Fulbright fellows over the years. A new motion logo was created to incorporate both milestones, 75 years of the Fulbright program and 65 years of Fulbright Israel.