President Wayne A.I. Frederick of Howard University, one of the first cohort of Project Passport Leaders who attended the Presidents’ Workshop in Berlin in 2015, generously donated his time to share what he has learned with this year’s attendees. Along with Tonija Hope Navas, director of the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard, he presented his experience developing a study abroad program that really fit in with Howard’s institutional priorities. He and Tonija talked about what support for campus internationalization from the presidential level looks like at Howard – how it’s not just about funding, but about integrating the value of intercultural learning into all leadership decisions and discussions.
Perhaps my favorite part of the conference was the opportunity to spend time with the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship alumni and other young alumni who attended the conference. The stories of their intercultural experiences that they shared so eloquently inspired those listening. It was satisfying to see them take advantage the professional networking opportunities at the conference and to watch people’s faces light up while talking to them.
I returned home from the conference energized by the time spent with my colleagues in international education and inspired to keep working on innovative ways to open study abroad to students from all backgrounds.