UC Santa Cruz named 2022 Fulbright HSI Leader

UC Santa Cruz has been named a Fulbright HSI Leader for the second year in a row by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).

Fulbright HSI Leader status has been conferred on 43 HSIs for demonstrating noteworthy engagement with Fulbright exchange participants during the 2021-2022 academic year and promoting Fulbright Program opportunities on campus. The Fulbright Program offers international educational and cultural exchange programs for passionate and accomplished students, scholars, artists, teachers, and professionals of all backgrounds to study, teach, or pursue important research and professional projects.

In the 2021-22 academic year, UC Santa Cruz hosted 11 graduate students and faculty who were Fulbrighters and UC Santa Cruz has more than 30 faculty members who have received a Fulbright award. 

“I am thrilled and honored that our campus is once again recognized as a Fulbright HSI Leader,” said Chancellor Cynthia Larive. “The program itself celebrates diversity and inclusivity, and is a key component of our campus internationalization plan. It’s an avenue for visiting scholars, artists and researchers who bring a high degree of expertise and global perspectives, both of which are essential for a public research university. It also opens up the world to our students.” 

In support of a campus wide effort to build and strengthen worldwide partnerships, UC Santa Cruz is implementing a new strategic plan for internationalization to ensure that the members of the campus community — students, faculty, and staff — are prepared and encouraged to study, teach, conduct research, and work in a global context, and that institutional policies, programs, and initiatives are aligned to achieve this shared goal.

The Fullbright honor comes just weeks after UC Santa Cruz earned the Seal of Excelencia, recognition of intentional campuswide efforts to serve Latinx students. UC Santa Cruz was one of six institutions that earned the Seal of Excelencia for the first time this year. The only other University of California campuses that have earned the seal are UC Riverside and UC Merced.

To advance efforts to increase opportunities for those historically underserved by higher education, UC Santa Cruz earlier this year joined other leading universities to form the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities. A coalition of 21 research universities, the alliance is working to double the number of Latinx doctoral students enrolled at member universities and increase by 20% the Latinx professoriate in member universities.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Academic Programs Ethan Rosenzweig, speaking on behalf of ECA, which sponsors the Fulbright Program, announced the Fulbright HSI Leaders on October 10 during an international plenary session at the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) annual conference in San Diego. 

Rosenzweig thanked HSI leaders for their collaboration and for recognizing the value of the Fulbright Program in deepening campus internationalization efforts; and he recognized Fulbright campus liaisons and advisors for recruiting and advising applicants.  He also commended current Fulbright participants and alumni from and hosted by HSIs for sharing “their expertise, experience, perspective, and enthusiasm with their institutions, their communities, and their societies.” 

On November 7, a Fulbright HSI Virtual Workshop will feature representatives of Fulbright HSI Leaders sharing best practices for HSIs to leverage Fulbright Program engagement to support students and faculty, increase campus internationalization, and build global networks. This virtual event is open to the public and while all are welcome, the session is specifically designed for HSI faculty, staff, and stakeholders. Institutions can sign up online

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government's flagship international academic exchange program. 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, exchanging ideas, and contributing to finding solutions to complex international challenges.

Each year, the U.S. Congress appropriates funds to 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.

Over many years the Fulbright Program has designed and implemented a wide range of initiatives to increase participant diversity and inclusion. The program strives to ensure that its participants reflect the diversity of U.S. society and societies abroad. Fulbrighters come from all backgrounds and are selected through an open, merit-based competition, regardless of their race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, geographic location, socio-economic status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.