University Park, Pa. -- Fourteen international professionals are participating in this year’s Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program at Penn State. The Humphrey Program brings accomplished mid-career professionals from specific countries around the world to selected universities in the United States for public service, advanced study, professional training, and work-related experiences.
The one-year, nondegree Humphrey Program provides its fellows with combined academic and professional development opportunities. President Jimmy Carter established the program in 1978 in honor of the late Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey.
Penn State has hosted Humphrey fellows each year since the program was established. The College of Education is the University’s administrative home of the program.
The Humphrey fellows represent a diversity of origins and cultures, but this year’s participants have a common thread: They all work in the field of higher education.
“This year’s fellows bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to Penn State,” said Leila Bradaschia, director of Penn State’s Humphrey Program. “They are university administrators themselves, and I anticipate the connections they make here with Penn State faculty and administrators will be insightful and rewarding on both ends. We have a solid program planned for the group, and our year is off to a great start.”
Below is a list of this year's fellows:
-- Amal Alachkar is the deputy dean for administrative and student affairs for the University of Aleppo Faculty of Pharmacy in Syria. She teaches courses in pharmacology, advises graduate students, and works in administration to direct the oversight of all graduate education activities. She aims to gain a critical understanding of theories and practices in strategic planning, quality management, program design and assessment, and project management in higher education.
-- Jacqueline Austin is director of the Industry Services Unit at the Barbados Community College in Barbados. She is responsible for customized curriculum design, business planning, workforce development, staff management, and student affairs. Her objective during her fellowship year is to develop her competencies in higher education administration. She has particular interest in leadership, curriculum design, programming, assessment, and student learning and development.
-- Romina Avila is coordinator of accreditation for Santa Maria La Antigua Catholic University (USMA) in Panama, where she is responsible for all aspects of the accreditation process for her university. During her fellowship year, she intends to improve and gain experience in the evaluation and accreditation processes in higher education.
-- Olga Buchko is the education administrator and coordinator of the quality assessment team at Odessa National Maritime Academy in Ukraine. She plans to gain knowledge and develop her skills in policy, planning and administration of higher education. She is especially interested in assessment and monitoring education quality.
-- Ilangalibalele “Edward” Dhlamini is bursar of the University of Zimbabwe, responsible for all fiscal matters of the university. He wants to focus his fellowship year on business development and management with an in-depth study of project management, strategic planning and financial management.
-- Mateo Estrella-Durán is dean of the faculty of hospitality at the Universidad de Cuenca in Ecuador. He is vice president of the Ibero-American Society of Tourism & Law and a former vice minister of tourism. He has worked in many positions in public and private organizations. Estrella-Durán has conducted important specialized consulting projects of tourism in Ecuador and abroad, focusing on strategic planning and tourism management destinations. He is interested in administration, finance, policy, and management.
-- Renata Horvatek is the international relations officer for the Faculty of Organization and Informatics at the University of Zagreb in Croatia. In her position, she coordinates international agreements with partner universities, manages the exchange of students and professors, and develops, manages, and promotes outreach activities. In addition to higher education administration, she is interested in improving access to higher education for underrepresented groups.
-- B. Venkatesh Kumar is a professor at the Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai and director of the Indian Council for Social Science Research in Mumbai. As a Humphrey fellow, Kumar would like to learn best practices of American universities in terms of governance, effective fund-raising, international collaborations, public-private partnerships, and industry linkages. He is interested in learning ways to rejuvenate public universities in India.
-- Anne-Marie Niandou, of Cote d'Ivoire, is an in-service teacher advisor at the National Ministry of Education, a lecturer at the College of Statistics and Applied Economics, a member of the National Pedagogic Commission of Education, and a mentor at the Teacher Training College of Abidjan. She wants to enhance her knowledge of curriculum design, pedagogy, vocational and lifelong learning programs, and the use of technology in higher education.
-- Srifani Simbuka is a lecturer of English at Manado State Institute for Islamic Studies in Indonesia, as well as a researcher, academic advisor, and head of the Institute’s language unit. She would like to obtain skills and knowledge in the area of higher education administration with a focus on developing a Department of English Teaching at her institution.
-- Amany Soliman is an assistant lecturer at the New Valley branch of Assuit University in Egypt, where she is completing her dissertation on the academic standard of quality assurance and accreditation in postgraduate programs. Soliman is interested in education quality, management, research, policy, finance, administration, human rights and academic freedom.
-- Armend Tahirsylaj is a teaching assistant in the Faculty of Education, the University of Prishtina, Kosovo. He is enrolled as Ph.D. student at the University of Vienna, Austria, with a focus on roles of instructional regimes on student achievement. Tahirsylaj would like to expand his knowledge of curriculum and instruction, assessment, research methods and institutional management.
-- Karma Thinley is the senior program officer for the Department of Higher Education at the Ministry of Education in Bhutan, where he participates in the development of higher education in the country. Thinley would like to study the higher education systems of other countries, accreditation systems, the internationalization of higher education, and distance education.
-- “Micah” Weiguo Yang is professor and vice chair of the school council in the School of Labor and Human Resources at Renmin University of China. He is a teacher, researcher, and academic advisor. Yang would like to improve his problem-solving abilities, leadership and communication skills, and policy planning and decision-making abilities. He hopes to continue his research on labor issues and preparing youth for employment.