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Story International

CSU Recognized for Connecting Students with Global Experiences

Alisia Ruble

Five of its universities named Fulbright HSI Leaders by the U.S. Department of State

a group of college students waving international flags

Five California State Universities have been named Fulbright Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) Leaders by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for their work to produce global citizens and provide a variety of international experiences for all students. The honor recognizes the strong engagement of select HSIs with the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government's flagship international academic exchange program.

Fresno State, CSUN, Sacramento State, San Diego State and San José State were among only 46 schools in the country to receive the designation. It is the third consecutive year for CSUN, SDSU and SJSU.

Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Lee Satterfield commended the institutions receiving the Fulbright HSI Leader designation this year. “Representation matters and pairing the world-class educational opportunities that Hispanic-Serving Institutions provide with the power of Fulbright further enriches the experience and educational opportunities for students and scholars both at home and abroad," she said.

Fulbright HSI Leaders demonstrate noteworthy support for Fulbright exchange participants and promote program opportunities on their campuses. The initiative encourages administrators, faculty and students at HSIs—colleges or universities where at least 25% of the undergraduate, full-time enrollment is Latinx—​to engage with Fulbright and highlights the strength of HSIs as destinations for international students and scholars. 

CSU Chancellor Mildred García applauded the universities recognized, and the Fulbright Program, for helping students from all backgrounds pursue a global education. A veteran Fulbrighter, Chancellor García values increasing access to global experiences, especially among students who may not have the means or ability to travel for semester- or year-long international programs. 

“I know firsthand how traveling abroad … in a new culture and country transforms you," Chancellor García said. “The Fulbright programs continued to fuel my passion to provide international experiences to those students who would never be able to reach them. One of the goals of my presidencies [at CSU Dominguez Hills and Cal State Fullerton] was to provide short-term international experiences for these students." 

Chancellor García has also noted the importance of embracing the intercultural and international future of education, remarking that “as the United States continues the amazing demographic shift of different cultures, we must find avenues to learn in this country and abroad to live in peace and harmony among the beauty of what each culture, language and country brings."

In addition to being leaders among HSIs engaging with the Fulbright Program, CSUs are consistently recognized as top producers of Fulbright Scholars, which sends faculty across the world to teach and do research. In fact, four CSUs were named top producers of Fulbright Scholars among master's institutions in 2022: Chico State, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CSU Channel Islands and Cal Poly Humboldt.

Faculty who participate in the Fulbright Program bring an international perspective home to CSU students and help find solutions to global problems through the prestigious scholarship program.

CSU Channel Islands Professor of Applied Physics Geoff Dougherty, Ph.D., a veteran Fulbright Scholar who has traveled to Australia and Indonesia, says his experiences with the program have further improved his teaching at CSUCI and provided myriad ideas for new course development and student research.

“My interactions with other cultures have honed my insights into student learning, which are particularly relevant to our underserved students, many of whom are bilingual and non-traditional," Dougherty says. “I have also been instrumental in securing Memorandums of Agreement between CSUCI and two Indonesian universities, encouraging increased cooperation including student and faculty exchanges."


More about the Fulbright Program

Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 400,000 students, scholars, artists and teachers from all types of institutions the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research abroad. Fulbrighters build connections, gain experience, exchange ideas and address global challenges.

On November 9, representatives from CSU Fulbright HSI Leaders will join the U.S. Department of State for a Fulbright HSI Virtual Workshop to share best practices to engage and support students and faculty, increase the global footprint on campus through the Fulbright Program, host international Fulbright students and scholars, and build international networks. This event is open to the public and is specifically designed for faculty, staff and stakeholders at HSIs.

Learn about Fulbright's efforts to further diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility within the program and the Fulbright HSI Leaders initiative at the Fulbright Program website.