Christian Kameni, a graduating senior in the Department of History was notified last month of his acceptance in the Fulbright Scholar Program. Kameni will study and teach in Paris beginning this summer, and is excited about the potential for his experience to move him towards a career goal of diplomacy and international affairs. He is the 131st Morgan State student or faculty member to be accepted into the prestigious Fulbright program, and is the latest Morganite to grow the university’s legacy as the leading historically black university in the production of Fulbright scholars.
“They send you a letter to let you know you are a finalist, and once you become a finalist, it’s in the hands of the country to which you applied, said Kameni, recalling the moment he found out about his acceptance. “I was initially surprised, so when I got the finalist letter, I got (MSU Fulbright Program Director Dr. Carleen) Leggett to look it over to tell me what it meant. In April, I got the final letter from the French Ministry of Edcuation. I was speechless. I called my mother, and she said “You’re going to France!”
Kameni, who describes himself as shy when he arrived at Morgan from Parkdale High School in Prince George’s County four years ago, credits Morgan’s family atmosphere as the key factor in his decision to attend the school. Professors and fellow students helped to ease his into college, and motivated him to pursue new opportunities in academic and social development. H is the current vice-president of the MSU Golden Key Honor Society, and is a member of Alpha Kappa Mu and Pi Delta Phi, the French National Honor Society.
“I was impressed with the campus, it felt like a family and I felt at home. I was a bit shy, and I wasn’t involved when I first arrived, so I felt like it was a boring school. Eventually, I started meeting people who were the total oppostite of me. They helped me to break out of my shell, to network and I got involved little by little. I joined the SGA, started going to more social activities. I went from being all the way reserved, to a bit less than that,” he says, jokingly.
Kameni became interested in the Fulbright program after a French professor recommended it to him in his junior year.
“I looked at the website, read a couple of blogs about the Fulbright. It was very complicated. You have to have a lot of recommendations, write the most perfect essay you can write, and you have to make sure you have a strong idea of what you’re going to be doing. Dr. Leggett knows what the program is looking for, so she helped me with my application process.”
Asked what he is most looking forward to with the Fulbright experience, Kameni says his achievement has not yet truly hit him.
“It still hasn’t hit me, and it probably won’t until I’m in Paris, but I’m sure working in the French Ministry is going to be super exciting.”