UIC named 2022 HSI leader by Fulbright Program

The University of Illinois Chicago has been named a Fulbright Hispanic-Serving Institution Leader for the second year in a row by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

UIC and 42 other HSIs were conferred Fulbright HSI Leader status for demonstrating noteworthy engagement with Fulbright exchange participants during the 2021-2022 academic year and campus promotion of opportunities offered by the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international academic exchange program.

The leaders were announced this week during an international plenary session at the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities’ annual conference.

“The Fulbright Program offers a tremendous opportunity to internationalize students — undergraduate and graduate — and faculty while building global networks. We are proud, once again, to earn this important national recognition for our international exchange commitment,” UIC Interim Chancellor Javier Reyes said. “UIC students and faculty, as well as visiting students and scholars, are supported by staff whose dedicated efforts to recruit, advise and provide resources are all focused on their success in these impactful programs.”    

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered at UIC by Kim Germain, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and External Fellowships and Fulbright Program adviser for undergraduate students and alumni, and Benn Williams, fellowships and awards coordinator in the Graduate College and Fulbright Program adviser for graduate and professional students. They are assisted by Lindsay Marshall, a writing specialist and academic adviser in the Graduate College.

Shawn Conner-Rondot, director of international affairs and outreach in the Office of Global Engagement, is the UIC contact for the Fulbright Scholar Program (visiting foreign students and non-U.S. scholars) and is also a liaison to the Fulbright Program for U.S. Scholars (UIC faculty). Working with Melissa Hickok and Ben Wright in the Office of International Services, Williams is also the unofficial liaison for the Foreign Student Program.

The Fulbright HSI Leaders initiative was established in 2021 to recognize the strong partnerships between the Fulbright Program and selected HSIs, and to encourage all HSIs to increase engagement with Fulbright. It is part of the State Department’s longstanding commitment to building diversity and inclusion within the Fulbright Program and the bureau’s international exchange programs.

Speaking on behalf of ECA, which sponsors the Fulbright Program, Ethan Rosenzweig, deputy assistant secretary of state for academic programs, noted the strong relationship between HSIs and the Fulbright Program.

“The Fulbright Program’s success with HSIs is built on real collaboration with you and your institutions,” he said.

Since its inception over 75 years ago, the Fulbright Program has given over 400,000 talented and accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach, and conduct research abroad, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to complex international challenges.

Each year, the U.S. Congress appropriates funds for the U.S. Department of State to sponsor the Fulbright Program. Many foreign governments contribute substantially as well. Additional funding and in-kind funding is provided by U.S. and foreign host institutions, non-governmental organizations, private organizations, corporate partnerships and individual donors.

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