Diverse group of students listening to a lecture in a modern lecture hall
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Elena Zhukova
UC Santa Barbara students attend a lecture in the Interactive Learning Pavilion

‘Sharing knowledge across communities to improve lives around the world’

For the third year in a row, UC Santa Barbara has been named a Fulbright HSI Leader by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), cited for its steadfast commitment to international exchange and to building connections between people of the United States and people of other countries.

The campus is among 46 Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) so recognized for 2023, in acknowledgement of their support for Fulbright exchange participants and promotion of Fulbright program opportunities in 2022–2023 academic year. The initiative encourages administrators, faculty and students at HSIs to engage with Fulbright and highlights the strength of HSIs as destinations for international students and scholars.

“As a diplomat, I love the Fulbright Program because it supports changemakers and fosters global cooperation. Fulbrighters make the world a better place in classrooms and countries worldwide,” said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “The University of California, Santa Barbara’s designation as a 2023 Fulbright HSI Leader is a testament to the institution’s dedication to promoting global engagement and mutual understanding among peoples and nations.”

For the current 2023–2024 academic year, three UC Santa Barbara graduate students are teaching and conducting research abroad as Fulbright Fellows: Claire Chevallier, from the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, in Nepal; Rachel Levine, from the Department of East Asian Languages & Cultural Studies, in Japan; and Nicole Rehnberg, from the history department, in Germany. 

In addition, faculty member Vladimir Hamed-Troyansky, an assistant professor of global studies, is studying Muslim refugee migration as a Fulbright Global Scholar in Pakistan and Turkey. Fulbright Global Scholars represent a diverse and dynamic network of academics and professionals who are working to foster mutual understanding between the United States and partner nations, sharing knowledge across communities to improve lives around the world.

HSIs serve approximately two-thirds of all Hispanic students in U.S. higher education. The Fulbright Program works closely with stakeholders, including the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), to promote international exchange opportunities to staff, students and faculty at HSIs. With a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and access, the Fulbright Program takes concerted steps to ensure that participants have successful and rewarding experiences before, during and after their exchanges.

The institutions honored with the HSI Leader 2023 designation were recognized at HACU’s annual conference in October.

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