10 Humphrey Fellows begin on-campus portion of program

Jim Carlson
January 20, 2021

Although the fall portion of the program was conducted virtually because of restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 10 international fellows are on the Penn State University Park campus for in-person completion of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program during the spring semester.

For nearly five decades, Penn State University has hosted more than 440 fellows from 130 countries throughout Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe. 

More than 40 universities nationwide host these accomplished mid-career professionals from around the world for one year of non-degree academic training and professional development. 

About 6,000 fellows from at least 160 countries have completed the experience since 1978.

This semester, professors, administrators and teachers from nine countries will participate in all aspects of the Humphrey Fellowship Program, albeit virtually for many of the components, according to Leila Bradaschia, director of the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program in the College of Education.

“Our goal, to offer a rich professional development and cultural experience for each fellow, remains,” Bradaschia said. “We will meet virtually with the people and offices we would usually see in person. We will explore more local cultural sites since we cannot travel to the cities and states we often visit during other years. 

“This group has the time and resources to participate in more online trainings, workshops and certifications than previous groups and they are working hard to identify what professional development opportunities will be most valuable to them.”

Topics covered include teacher training, technology, e-learning, strategic planning, methodology, university development, curriculum development, school management and planning, and higher education administration.

Bradaschia said because of the pandemic, many orientation and teambuilding activities over the past two weeks have been held on Zoom or outside. 

“For fellows who are not accustomed to a cold winter, it’s a big adjustment, but they are doing great and we’ve been lucky with the temperatures and sunshine January has offered so far,” she said.

Here is a list of this year’s fellows and their occupations and interests:

Mekdes Abera is the dean of students at St. Mary's University, Ethiopia. She is interested in international and comparative education, early childhood education, education policy, higher education administration and multiculturalism. 

Maria Luisa Rendon is an administrator at National University of Honduras. Her interests include best practices and models of online management of higher education.

Lubosi Kikamba is assistant registrar for quality and risk assurance at the National Institute of Public Administration, Zambia. He is focused on quality assurance, risk management, strategic planning and leadership, and higher education administration. 

Arnaud Freddy Koumba Koumba is an English teacher at Ecole Nationale de Commerce, Gabon. He is interested in American English, business English and foundations. 

Marijan Misic is the principal of Gimnazija “Svetozar Markovic” in Serbia. He will look at education policy in the U.S. and education leadership.

Zaw Myo Naing is an education coordinator at Monastic Education Development Group (MEDG), Myanmar. He is focused on teacher education, professional development and educational leadership.  

May Zon Oo is a professor at Mandalay Technological University, Myanmar. She wants to learn more about U.S. higher education administration, university autonomy governance systems and improve communication skills.

Pir Qasim Shah is an assistant director of quality assurance at the Higher Education Commission in Pakistan. He is focused on higher education governance, policy and data science, as well as U.S. higher education regulation and quality assurance. 

Vladislav Slavov is an associate professor and vice dean at Technical University of Sofia, Bulgaria. He is interested in engineering education and uses of artificial intelligence in higher education.  

Pamoussa Sawadogo is the supervisor of Ecole nationale d'administration et de magistrature (ENAM) in Burkina Faso. He is focused on project management and adult education.


    The newest group of Humphrey Fellows gathered recently at the Nittany Lion Shrine. From left to right in the front row: Marijan Misic, May Zon Oo, Troy Carl (outreach coordinator for Humphrey Fellowship and international programs), Vladislav Slavov, Zaw Myo Naing, Arnaud Freddy Koumba Koumba, Lubosi Kikamba and Leila Bradaschia (director of international programs). Behind the Lion from left to... Read more ›

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated January 20, 2021