Lincoln University again named HBCU institutional leader by Fulbright Program

Lincoln University again named HBCU institutional leader by Fulbright Program

FLTAs: Meriem Safiddine, Loris Vivarelli, and Carolina Lautaret (Terrance J. Young | Staff Photo)
FLTAs: Meriem Safiddine, Loris Vivarelli, and Carolina Lautaret (Terrance J. Young | Staff Photo)

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, Pa. — Lincoln University is proud to be named a Fulbright Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Institutional Leader for the 2019-2020 academic year. For the second consecutive year, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) is recognizing the noteworthy engagement that selected HBCUs have achieved with the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government's flagship international educational exchange program.

ECA has conferred Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leader status on 20 HBCUs, including Lincoln University, because they have demonstrated noteworthy support for Fulbright exchange participants during the 2019-2020 academic year and have promoted Fulbright program opportunities on campus.

ECA established the HBCU Institutional Leader designation in 2019 to recognize the strong partnerships between the Fulbright Program and HBCUs, and to encourage the entire network of HBCUs to increase its engagement with Fulbright. This initiative is part of the U.S. Department of State’s long-standing commitment to build diversity and inclusion within the Fulbright Program and within all of the Bureau’s international exchange programs.

“We are honored to be recognized for our sustained engagement with Fulbright.,” said Dr. Dafina Diabate, director of the university’s Office of International Programs. “In cooperation with various Fulbright programs, Lincoln University creates a vibrant exchange of cultures on campus, cultivating the skills students need to lead their communities and change the world.”

The Fulbright programs include the Fulbright Language Teaching Assistants (FLTA) exchange program. Each year, FLTAs come to Lincoln’s campus to develop students’ knowledge of foreign cultures and languages. This exposes the campus community to a true understanding of people of different nations while also allowing the FLTAs to discover American life through the HBCU experience. FLTAs on campus currently include Meriem Safiddine from Algeria who teaches Arabic. Loris Vivarelli from France who teaches French, Carolina Lautaret from Uruguay who teaches Spanish. This past academic year’s FLTAs included Anissa Bounouara, a French teacher from France; Maria Silvina Gijon, a Spanish teacher from Argentina; and Norhan Magdy, an Arabic teacher from Egypt.The 2019-2020 FLTAs included Riham Dardeer, an Arabic teacher from Egypt; Mustsuko Sato, a Japanese teacher from Japan; Audrey Halley, a French teacher from France; and Meimalin Rivas, a Spanish teacher from Venezuela.

Since he arrived at Lincoln 28 years ago, Dr. Abbes Maazaoui, a professor in the Department of Languages & Literature who retired this past May, annually helped bring four or five Fulbright LTAs to Lincoln. Over the years their native countries have included: Algeria, Argentina, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Honduras, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Mexico, Morocco, Panama, Peru, Spain, Tunisia, and Venezuela.

“It is my honor to follow in Dr. Maazaoui's footsteps as the coordinator of Lincoln's FTLA Program,” said Dr. Nora Lynn Gardner, assistant professor of Spanish. “He has left a legacy of excellence and innovation in his tenure as FLTA coordinator. I am thrilled to continue Lincoln's partnership with scholars and language instructors from around the globe in order to offer our students world-class training in foreign language and international cultural education.”

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fulbright programs at Lincoln University also included a Scholar in Residence Program, which for four straight years brought outstanding scholars from African universities to Lincoln for a year. “Their presence has globalized and transformed our curriculum and created a linkage between our institutions,” said Dr. Emmanuel D. Babatunde, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice and Anthropology. “Funding has been leveraged for our students and faculty to visit and interact with and learn from other faculty at their universities in Nigeria and Mozambique.

“For a good number of Lincoln University graduates, this has reinforced the understanding that they are international citizens who must use their education to enrich the globe even as they enrich the United States.”


Lincoln University Fulbright faculty & staff: Dr. Michael Ehi Ayewoh, Dr. Dafina Blacksher Diabate, Dr. Nicole Files-Thompson, and Dr. Michael Lynch
(Terrance J. Young | Staff Photo)

In addition, during the 2019-20 academic year Dr. Nicole Files-Thompson, associate professor of communication and former chair of Lincoln’s Department of Mass Communication, was a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program awardee. For two semesters, she taught and conducted research in intercultural communication and tourism studies in Jamaica at the University of the West Indies Mona and Western Jamaica campuses.

Fulbright also offers graduating seniors and young professionals the opportunity to participate in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Lincoln University graduating seniors and recent alumni who are interested in applying for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program are encouraged to work with the Office of International Programs and the Center for Undergraduate Research for help preparing their application.

The Fulbright program at Lincoln University is supported by a joint committee of faculty and staff members. Dr. Michael Lynch, Ms. Morgan Shaw, and Dr. Dafina Diabate serve as Fulbright advisors, promoting student and young alumni engagement. Dr. Michael Ayewoh and Dr. Dafina Diabate serve as Fulbright Scholar Liaisons, assisting faculty who seek to explore Fulbright programs.

Bruce Beans & Terrance J. Young, M.Div.