Fulbright Awardees Join Fulbright-Hays Scholars in International Study, Expanding the University’s Global Research Footprint to Include Colombia, Ghana, Malaysia and Nigeria
Three Morgan State University graduates have been awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to advance their postgraduate studies and research abroad, extending Morgan’s longstanding track record for producing recipients of the highly coveted international grant. These new additions bring the university’s total number of Fulbright Scholarship awardees to 149 in 44 countries, tops among all Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
Morgan also has six other scholars pursuing independent research and teaching fellowships with the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad program. In total, nine Morgan students designated as Fulbrighters are engaged in academic studies in Africa, Asia and South America.
“Congratulations to all of the new scholars joining the ranks of Morgan’s Fulbright Scholarship recipients and achieving one of the most distinguished and competitive awards granted in academia,” said Morgan State University President David Wilson. “We applaud their accomplishment in realizing this great honor. Our motto, ‘Growing the Future, Leading the World,’ is a mission that our Fulbrighters are manifesting through their profound service-learning and research projects taking place around the globe.”
Joining the MSU legacy of Fulbright scholars is Brelyn Brooks, (Cheltenham, Maryland), who received her master’s degree in sociology from Morgan, and Whitney Mugula (Baltimore, Maryland), who received her bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Spanish. Brooks and Mugula are both serving as Fulbright English teaching assistants, or ETAs. Beyond the classroom environment, ETAs also share their knowledge and insights as cultural ambassadors with the people of their host country. Brooks will spend 11 months in Malaysia, while Mugula is gaining 10 months of classroom experience in Colombia.
“Receiving the Fulbright grant means that I can explore teaching English as a second language, (which) is my calling,” said Mugula. Said her fellow Fulbright ETA, Brelyn Brooks: “Winning the Fulbright grant is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will forever broaden my outlook on the world, and I am honored to represent my country.”
Research lies at the cornerstone of the Fulbright Program. Scholars receiving grants for research are charged with orchestrating their own projects, working alongside advisers at a university of their chosen country outside the U.S. Jaquetta Graham, a native of Baltimore and master’s degree recipient in business administration, is a Morgan Fulbright scholar now conducting research in Ghana. Graham’s nine-month intensive will comprise an in-depth examination of building and maintaining strong academic support systems as a benchmark for success within the African diaspora.
“For me, the Fulbright award signifies a bridge of learning and experience that so many can benefit from,” said Graham. “This is not simply about my personal endeavors but about how we, as Africans in the diaspora, can better connect with and learn from continental Africans.”
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), the Fulbright program is designed to advocate educational exchange and promote greater discernment among different cultures. Morgan graduates awarded the Fulbright Scholarship are among a select group of advanced degree students and young professionals who have successfully navigated the fiercely competitive grant application process to win the esteemed award.
Carleen S. Leggett, Ph.D., Fulbright program director at Morgan, said, “Fulbright scholars from Morgan have often stressed not only the academic advantages of teaching, studying or doing research in a foreign milieu but the personal and cultural rewards as well: the enlightenment gained from close contact with other languages and ways of life.”
“The success of the Fulbright Program at Morgan State University is a very important and prestigious mark of distinction for the university as it continues to expand its international impact,” Dr. Leggett continued.
The summer of 2019 has proven to be one of the university’s most active periods for Fulbright-related study abroad. Aided by a Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad award granted to the James H. Gilliam Jr. College of Liberal Arts, a contingent of Morgan faculty and graduate students recently concluded a group fellowship in Columbia. The five-week intensive immersion study abroad project, titled “Colombia in the Twenty-First Century: History, Culture, Peace-building and Reconciliation / Implication for Teaching Spanish, Colombia and Latin America Across Disciplines,” provided essential firsthand experience, curriculum development and primary research activity for the Fulbright awardees.
“Creating invaluable pathways for meaningful exchange of ideas, transfer of culture and immersive experiences that promote an interconnected global village is the nexus of what the Fulbright-Hays program represents,” said M’bare N’gom, Ph.D., dean of the College of Liberal Arts and the Fulbright-Hays GPA Colombia project’s principal investigator.
During their Colombian intensive which concluded on July 28, the Fulbright-Hays fellows engaged in community-based service-learning opportunities, participated in university lectures, conducted site visits meeting directly with community leaders, and immersed themselves in Colombian traditions and ways of life.
Dr. N’gom added, “Our Morgan students and faculty, K-12-teachers and administrators from across the state of Maryland, and Community College faculty engaged in unique in-depth experiential learning, community service, and research opportunities as well as in capacity building activities that provided fertile ground for deepening and enhancing their cultural sensitivity and global competency as educators and professionals.”
Morgan scholars who traveled to South America were greatly enriched by the experience include:
an international studies master’s degree candidate and first-generation college student who strives to assist future scholars through her GPA research, build borderless relationships and promote country-to-country exchanges of knowledge and people.
a master’s degree recipient in educational administration and supervision, who aspires to leverage her Fulbright-Hays award to gain exposure to other research, education systems and teaching methods that will directly affect her impact as a Spanish teacher at Cockeysville Middle School, a public school in Baltimore County.
Morgan’s remaining Fulbright-Hays GPA ambassador and field researcher is Jaylynn Moffat-Mowatt, a multimedia journalism major from the School of Global Journalism and Communication. Moffat-Mowatt was awarded a Fulbright-Hays grant to study in Nigeria, where she will be in engaged in service-learning and research advancing her knowledge of the Yoruba language and Nigerian culture.
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified doctoral research institution offering more than 125 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.
Larry Jones or Dell Jackson, University PR