Humphrey Fellows celebrate year of new perspectives

Humphrey Fellows 2019The 2018-19 Humphrey Fellows recently celebrated ten months of academic study, professional development, and cultural exchange at Syracuse University. The 13 fellows from 12 countries participated in programs and projects at the Maxwell School, at the university, and in the community. They learned about U.S. government, nonprofits, and higher education operations and shared their perspectives as global citizens.

“Whether speaking to high school students, volunteering in the community, offering their professional expertise on panels at the Maxwell School, or sharing their cultures with families, we appreciate their perspectives and value their contributions,” said Margaret Lane, director of the Humphrey Fellowship Program and assistant director of Executive Education at Maxwell. “This people-to-people exchange is central to the program.”

The program and dinner in Eggers Hall celebrated Syracuse University’s tenth year as a host campus. Joining the fellows were Maxwell and Executive Education representatives, host families, and family and friends.

Since arriving in August, the fellows participated in activities that reflect the fellowship’s philosophy of engagement and Maxwell’s collaborative and interdisciplinary ethos. In addition to graduate study, they connected with Maxwell faculty and institutions as well as members of the iSchool and Newhouse School of Public Communication. Fellows spoke to the DeWitt Rotary Club, Cicero-North Syracuse High School, and Syracuse’s alumni club. Volunteer work included projects at In My Father’s Kitchen, ProLiteracy, and the Samaritan Center.

After completing the campus program in April, fellows started six-week professional affiliations. Placements included local organizations such as ProLiteracy and Onondaga County, and international organizations including the World Bank.

Being a Humphrey Fellow is about “becoming stronger, more supportive, more generous, more tolerant, more empathetic, more self-aware of our weaknesses and our strengths,” said Magda Monteza, a strategic planning specialist at the Panamanian Department of Government chosen by her colleagues to speak at the celebration.

They will return to their native countries with “new tools, knowledge, enthusiasm and, surely, a new perspective,” she said. “Our identity as Humphrey Fellows is something that will be with us for the rest of our lives.”

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program began in 1978 to honor the late Senator and Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey and his lifelong commitment to international cooperation and public service. The fellowship is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Institute of International Education. The Maxwell School has been a host campus of the Humphrey Fellowship Program since 2008.

The 2018-19 cohort includes fellows who are pursuing studies and professional engagement in public policy, public administration, IT policy, NGO management, leadership, and collaboration. They hail from 12 countries: Brazil, Central African Republic, China, India, Mozambique, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, South Sudan, Suriname, Ukraine, and Vietnam.