PORTLAND, Maine, Nov. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Last week, three alumni of the prestigious Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship (FDGF) program gave presentations at the CIEE Annual Conference on Study Abroad in Barcelona.
The Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship is a product of a partnership between the Council on International Exchange (CIEE) and the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) created to increase access to study abroad opportunities for MSI students. It is named in honor of the African-American social reformer, abolitionist, and international statesman Frederick Douglass and is bestowed each year on 10 outstanding freshmen and sophomores from Minority Serving Institutions. It covers all fees and travel costs of participation in a four-week experiential education program designed to provide a global perspective and strengthen the leadership and intercultural communication skills of each participant.
Peire Wilson, part of the first cohort of Frederick Douglass Global Fellows who studied in London in the summer of 2017, was a co-presenter on a panel entitled "Attitudes on Policing in U.S. International Education." Carmen Crusoe and Juan Duran, from the second cohort who studied in Cape Town in the summer of 2018, were featured speakers at the conference breakfast where they discussed what was meaningful to them about being part of the Frederick Douglass Fellowship program.
"We're so proud of the alumni of the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship program," said Marybeth Gasman, the Judy and Howard Berkowitz Professor of Education and the Director of the Center for Minority Serving Institutions. "They fully engaged in the study abroad experience and committed to sharing what they learned with their campuses after their return home. Their outreach makes them encouraging examples for other students at Minority Serving Institutions and beyond."
The 2018 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows were an extremely ethnically, regionally, and culturally diverse group of students – including among others, students of Hmong, Dominican, Liberian, Mexican, African American, Venezuelan, and Nigerian backgrounds.
"The student's own cultural diversity and interest in cultural nuances became a wonderful enhancement to how they interacted with each other, with the course, and with the host country in meaningful ways," said Keshia Abraham, Director for Strategic Initiatives at CIEE. "Students committed to learning indigenous languages, sought out residential advisors for cultural dialogues, and both men and women participated in traditional dance classes in the evenings."
"The carefully crafted international experience for diverse students shared by the Frederick Douglass Global Fellows has proven to be very effective at developing students' intercultural competence," said James Pellow, President and CEO of CIEE. "Fellows' Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) assessment score jumped significantly between pre and post-program testing, increasing by an average of almost 12 points – a far greater increase than students in the Georgetown Consortium study who achieved only a 1.32-point gain after an unfacilitated study abroad program."
CIEE and CMSI are currently accepting applications for 2019 Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship. The deadline for students from MSIs to apply is February 14, which is Frederick Douglass' adopted birthday. Details on eligibility requirements and the application process can be found here.
New this year, all qualified students who apply, but are not selected for the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship, will be awarded a $1,500 grant that can be applied to select CIEE summer programs in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Cape Town, Paris, and Shanghai.
CIEE, the country's oldest and largest nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization, transforms lives and builds bridges by promoting the exchange of ideas and experiences. To help people develop skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world, CIEE sponsors a wide variety of opportunities for cultural exchange, including work exchange programs, teach abroad programs, and a worldwide portfolio of study abroad and internship programs for college and high school students. Visit www.ciee.org.
About the Center for Minority Serving Institutions
The Center for Minority Serving Institutions brings together researchers and practitioners from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions. CMSI's goals include: elevating the educational contributions of MSIs; ensuring that they are a part of national conversations; bringing awareness to the vital role MSIs play in the nation's economic development; increasing the rigorous scholarship of MSIs; connecting MSIs' academic and administrative leadership to promote reform initiatives; and strengthening efforts to close educational achievement gaps among disadvantaged communities. For further information about CMSI, please visit www.gse.upenn.edu/cmsi.
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SOURCE Council On International Educational Exchange (CIEE)