Category Archives: Foreign Fulbright

Happy Birthday, Senator J. William Fulbright!

Today is Senator J. William Fulbright’s 110th Birthday!

In the spirit of promoting mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, we encourage all Fulbrighters worldwide, past and present, to engage with your local home or host communities. To learn more about the history of the program, and Senator J. William Fulbright’s legacy, check out the video below.

Want to share your Fulbright community engagement stories here on the blog? Click here to learn what we’ll need from you.

Stories of Women and the Correctional System in Ecuador: Literature, Art and Design

By Cristian Mogrovejo, 2004-2006, Ecuador

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Cristian Mogrovejo, 2004-2006, Ecuador (left), and Rodrigo Muñoz receiving funding for the Stories of Imprisoned Women project from the U.S. Embassy in Ecuador

It has been almost a decade since I completed my Master of Fine Arts in Industrial Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology as a Fulbright Student from Ecuador, but the lessons I learned from that time are still professionally and personally valuable to me to this day. Ever since that life-changing experience, I have become increasingly aware of my responsibility to society and to efforts to promote positive change. One way in which I have been able to promote change at home, is as a design instructor at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, where I encourage students to think about their work in terms of ideas and solutions to current social issues.

One day, one of my former students, Rodrigo Muñoz (currently pursuing an MFA in Design for Social Innovation at the School of Visual Arts in New York City), a colleague and good friend, shared his idea about working together to help address the issue of the living conditions of imprisoned Ecuadorian women. From that day forward, our project was born; we called it: Stories of Imprisoned Women: Literature and Art as Exercises in Empowerment, Rights and Identity.

Towards a Hopeful Future

By Nangyalai Attal, 2013-2015, Afghanistan

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Nangyalai Attal, 2013-2015, Afghanistan, visiting the Grand Canyon (photo courtesy of Jonathan Foster)

As a Fulbright Student from Afghanistan, I have been pursuing a Master’s of Science in Human Resources Management at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, California. While working for the United Nations in Kabul, I realized that a lack of technical human resources was – and is – one of the most pressing challenges facing the Afghan government and its private sector. Every year, millions of dollars from donors go unspent because Afghan institutions lack competent individuals to put development programs into practice. Additionally, the Afghan private sector continues to struggle in attracting human capital that would increase the number of domestic businesses. I decided that I wanted to be part of the solution to these problems and the Fulbright Program has provided me with an avenue to pursue this ambition.

Supporting Yemen’s Marginalized Populations

By Ammar Mohammed, 2013-2015, Yemen

Ammar Mohammed is a current Fulbright Foreign Student from Yemen.

Ammar Mohammed is a current Fulbright Foreign Student from Yemen

In the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we are re-posting an article from Fulbright Foreign Student and 2014 Fulbright-Millennial Trains participant from Yemen Ammar Mohammed, whose research in sustainable development focuses on promoting the leadership and entrepreneurship of African-Yemenis – a marginalized population in Yemen. We hope the Fulbright community is inspired by Ammar Mohammed’s  – and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s  – work in promoting positive change within their communities.

We are living the most technologically advanced generation of all times – yet have some of the most pressing challenges in the history of humanity – be it economic, environmental, social, or political. As a Fulbright Student in sustainable development, I always contemplate the solutions for those challenges. I believe that a sustainable solution is a combination of addressing the above challenges. I see social entrepreneurship as the key to solving economic and social challenges—putting into account preserving the environment—that creates new markets and promotes social integration and participation. Entrepreneurs are leaders who transform communities. Entrepreneurs can also multiply their impact by lobbying the government for more support for young people and legislation that encourages entrepreneurial ideas. I believe that this hybrid model of social entrepreneurship and policy advocacy will be my first priority to tackling present challenges.

During the past year, I’ve come to see how this generation has diversified mindsets. There is a tendency to change the status quo through various means available exclusively to the Millennial generation. There are numerous campaign initiatives to improve the life of the less fortunate and for social justice around the world. The most striking aspect, however, is that this generation tends to shift entrepreneurship to be more socially oriented, using technology to that end. Social entrepreneurship, crowd-funding and impact investing show how a business can solve a social challenge and at the same time be profitable. In fact, this is one aspect I will definitely take back with me to Yemen and work to promote it.

Fulbright Holiday Celebrations Around the World

The Fulbright community shares moments from their celebrations