Restore Fulbright-Hubert H. Humphrey program at Maryland

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  • Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, US Department of State, Washington D.C
  • Institute of International Education (IIE)
  • J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board


Dear decision makers,

We are deeply saddened to learn that we, the 2016-17 Hubert H Humphrey Fellows, were the last cohort placed at Philip Merrill College of Journalism. For a second year, the prestigious Humphrey program has overlooked the University of Maryland (UMD) campus, our alma mater.

We are not sure of the reasoning – whether it was a financial or bureaucratic decision – but, what we do know is this school has done wonders for program alumni in terms of their professional development, their outlook and their local communities. WE - in addition to many before us - STAND TESTIMONY TO THE FACT.

One of the top ten journalism schools in the United States, the Philip Merrill College of Journalism has a very proficient and committed faculty. The Dean, Lucy Dalglish, personally oversees the program implementation and the commitment of Humphrey Program Director, Serap Rada is unflinching.

Leadership seminars at the White House and Eisenhower Executive Office Building, the Supreme Court, Smithsonian Museums, United Nations and media outlets in Baltimore and New York City provided valuable insight into United States culture and the media.

Having Washington D.C. as their backyard, certainly gives UMD fellows an edge over others whether they are journalists or public policy officials.

All major media outlets are located or have a large presence in the area.
A number of think-tanks, universities, embassies and museums found here – meaning a countless number of daily professional development events such as talks, panels, conferences, meetings, training.
Fellows don’t have to make much effort to network as the region is full of expertise in all areas of interest everywhere you go.
While fellows from other campuses come to Washington D.C. to do their professional affiliations at the end of their year, UMD fellows have the advantage of starting more substantial affiliations much earlier.

As journalists, media/communication professionals, and public policy specialists, we could not imagine being placed anywhere else in the United States for the program.

World over training of journalists has never been more important than today. Without a free, functional, well-trained, skilled press, one cannot have a vibrant democracy. And, what happens in one country has consequences all over the world including the Americas. As democracies around the world crumble, it would impact the United States also.

We write this petition with a hope that this great Humphrey Program is restored where it belongs at the University of Maryland. This would be in the interest of both the upcoming fellows and the program.

With great hope …..

Humphrey Fellows 2016-17

Angelo C Louw (South Africa), Belen Mora (Paraguay), Claudia Serrano (Mexico), Evin Tas (Turkey), Hitender Rao (India), Karlis Dagilis (Latvia), Sharifa Kalokola (Tanzania), Shristi Rajbhandari (Nepal), Waseem Abbasi (Pakistan)