Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship, journalism, Cronkite School

State Department renews Humphrey Fellowship Program at ASU Cronkite School

By

Chris Fiscus

The U.S. Department of State has awarded Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication the opportunity to host the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship in journalism for another five years. 

The program, in its 10th year at the Cronkite School, is a Fulbright exchange program that selects participants from emerging democracies to engage in academic, leadership and professional development experiences in the U.S. 

The Cronkite School is the only institution in the nation to host Humphrey Fellows in journalism and mass communication. Over the past decade, the Cronkite School has welcomed 102 fellows from 58 countries. 

The Humphrey Fellowship Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs with taxpayer funding allocated by Congress. Marie Royce, assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, looks forward to the renewed partnership with ASU’s Cronkite School.

“Since 1979, the State Department’s Humphrey Fellowship Program has developed a network of 6,000 leaders around the world in partnership with outstanding U.S. university hosts,” Royce said. “Arizona State University’s renowned faculty, resources and networks have empowered Humphrey journalists and communication professionals to promote a strong and independent press.”

Assistant Dean Bill Silcock, who has curated the program at ASU for a decade, said the Humphrey program goes beyond a traditional exchange program.

“This program takes mid-career journalists and communication professionals and inspires them to master innovative strategies, hone their leadership skills and bring the knowledge of 10 months in America back to their home countries,” Silcock said. “Fellows interact with and impact our students, faculty and staff, and when they do, they bring the world to Arizona. We continue to learn there are so many global voices, and none of them are without significance.” 

Humphrey Fellows at ASU live in downtown Phoenix, participate in academic study, develop professional affiliations and friendships, receive mentoring from Cronkite faculty and experience a rich cultural immersion into American life. During the program, the fellows attend conferences, participate in roundtable discussions, engage in research projects and make valuable connections with industry peers.

Peter Moran, director of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship for the Institute of International Education (IIE), said the organization is pleased to continue working with the Cronkite School.

“ASU has advanced some creative innovations, such as supporting collaborative programming with other Humphrey campuses, that have enhanced the Humphrey Program structure and our fellows’ experiences,” Moran said. “ASU’s leadership in communications and journalism is well known, and its commitment to the Humphrey Fellowship Program is also very strong. We are glad to have Arizona State University as program partners — advancing leadership and professional development for our outstanding Humphrey Fellows.”

Recent fellows at Cronkite have reported on U.S. immigration, South American police brutality and Burmese beauty regimens. They’ve volunteered in the community, filmed documentaries and collaborated with students from other campuses. And, perhaps most valuable, they experienced a level of press freedom that their home countries may not afford them.

“We learn as much from our Humphrey Fellows as they do from us,” Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan said. “Our students gain immeasurably by getting to know and interact with journalists and professional communicators from around the world. Thanks to the leadership of IIE and the State Department, the world is brought to our students through the Humphrey program while we bring the values of American democracy and free press to the fellows. We are tremendously proud to host the program for another five years.”

The Cronkite School’s goals for the program include personal and professional growth for each of the fellows, preparing them for positions of leadership in their home countries, and providing them with opportunities to exchange information among peers, faculty, students, professionals and the local community. 

Fellows also have an opportunity to attend the Washington Global Leadership Forum, a four-day seminar in Washington, D.C., where attendees learn about federal agencies, international organizations and U.S. institutions.

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, named in honor of the late vice president, began in 1978 to provide professional enrichment and nondegree studies at selected American universities for experienced professionals from around the world. Each year, the program brings accomplished mid-career professionals from designated countries to the U.S. for an intensive 10-month academic study and professional experience.