Frederick Douglass Global Fellows Address CIEE Annual Conference on Study Abroad

Three alumni of the prestigious Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship (FDGF) program are presenting at the CIEE Annual Conference on Study Abroad taking place this week in Barcelona.

The Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship is a product of a partnership between the CIEE and the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) created to increase access to study abroad opportunities for MSI students. It is named in honor of the African-American social reformer, abolitionist, and international statesman Frederick Douglass and is bestowed each year on 10 outstanding freshmen and sophomores from Minority Serving Institutions. It covers all fees and travel costs of participation in a four-week experiential education program designed to provide a global perspective and strengthen the leadership and intercultural communication skills of each participant.

Peire Wilson, part of the first cohort of Frederick Douglass Global Fellows who studied in London in the summer of 2017, will be a co-presenter on a panel entitled "Attitudes on Policing in U.S. International Education." Carmen Crusoe and Juan Duran, from the second cohort who studied in Cape Town in the summer of 2018, are featured speakers at the conference breakfast where they will discuss what was meaningful to them about being part of the Frederick Douglass Fellowship program.

“We’re so proud of the alumni of the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship program,” said Marybeth Gasman, the Judy and Howard Berkowitz Professor of Education and the Director of the Center for Minority Serving Institutions. “They fully engaged in the study abroad experience and committed to sharing what they learned with their campuses after their return home. Their outreach makes them encouraging examples for other students at Minority Serving Institutions and beyond."

The 2018 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows were an extremely ethnically, regionally, and culturally diverse group of students –  including among others, students of Hmong, Dominican, Liberian, Mexican, African American, Venezuelan, and Nigerian backgrounds.

“The student’s own cultural diversity and interest in cultural nuances became a wonderful enhancement to how they interacted with each other, with the course, and with the host country in meaningful ways,” said Keshia Abraham, Director for Strategic Initiatives at CIEE. “Students committed to learning indigenous languages, sought out residential advisors for cultural dialogues, and both men and women participated in traditional dance classes in the evenings.”

“The carefully crafted international experience for diverse students shared by the Frederick Douglass Global Fellows has proven to be very effective at developing students’ intercultural competence,” said James Pellow, President and CEO of CIEE. “Fellows’ Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) assessment score jumped significantly between pre and post-program testing, increasing by an average of almost 12 points – a far greater increase than students in the Georgetown Consortium study who achieved only a 1.32-point gain after an unfacilitated study abroad program.”

CIEE and CMSI are currently accepting applications for 2019 Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship. The deadline for students from MSIs to apply is February 14, which is Frederick Douglass’ adopted birthday. Details on eligibility requirements and the application process can be found here.

New this year, all qualified students who apply, but are not selected for the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship, will be awarded a $1,500 grant that can be applied to select CIEE summer programs in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Cape Town, Paris, and Shanghai.

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