Panelists at the “Fulbright for Food Security” global forum. Left to right – Curt Rom, Kabo Segokgo, Kay Goss, Mark Alexander, Erick de la Barrea (on screen)

Panelists at the “Fulbright for Food Security” global forum. Left to right – Curt Rom, Kabo Segokgo, Kay Goss, Mark Alexander, Erick de la Barrea (on screen)

Fulbright College Hosts Fulbright Board, Global Forum on Food Security

Board members and staff at the Fulbright Statue

Board members and staff at the Fulbright Statue

by Darinda Sharp

In September, Fulbright College broadened its Fulbright connections by hosting the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. The board was on campus for three days, and members and staff had the opportunity to visit with Fulbright Scholars, several deans, the provost and the chancellor.

Chancellor Gearhart took the group on a tour of campus, they spent time with the Fulbright Papers in Special Collections and saw the Fulbright Triptych, a piece of art inspired by the artist’s trip to Germany on a Fulbright Fellowship. They also visited the Fulbright home, spoke with members of Sen. Fulbright’s family and had an opportunity to tour Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

The board holds four meetings a year at various locations. This was its 264th quarterly meeting, and the members and staff in attendance were happy to be in the senator’s home town and to see some of the places that help shape the public servant. Many said they gained a new perspective on the man and his vision to bring the world together by turning nations into people through educational exchange and mutual understanding.

At every meeting, the board holds a public forum of interest to the Fulbright Program and the world. The event that they co-hosted with Fulbright College, “Fulbright for Food Security,” was well received by the local community and drew and an audience that represented 28 countries. Those who attended in person and via live stream engaged with expert panelists about initiatives by Fulbright fellows and alumni to combat hunger through collaborative research, education, innovation new technology, and economic and policy development. 

Participant comments included:

It was an honor to have UA host the Fulbright Board.

Great panelist selection!

The facilitator was absolutely excellent.

It was very informative.

I liked having the perspective of the woman from Botswana, and the man from Mexico.

I liked the degree of audience participation and the questions that were taken.

These events are important to bring people together to become aware of issues.

I am studying abroad this semester and am unable to attend many events.  I am very pleased to see events like these made available via livestream.  Although I am thousands of miles away, it felt like I was right back on campus again.

I enjoyed it and would like to see more events like this in the future.

So wonderful to have the Fulbright board here on campus.

Panelists included board member and Fulbright Program alumnus Mark Alexander, who served as moderator; Fulbright NEXUS fellow Erick de la Barrera, who participated from his current post in Mexico where he is investigating issues on ecology, climate change, policy and public education in food security; Kay Goss, an internationally recognized lecturer, author and former associate director of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency in charge of National Preparedness, Education and Exercises and national chair of the National Emergency Food and Shelter Program; Curt Rom, professor of horticulture, interim dean of the Honors College and Fulbright Program alumnus; and Kabo Segokgo, a food and nutrition educator from Botswana, who is currently using a Fulbright grant to pursue a graduate degree in human environmental science.

Board members are appointed by the President of the United States. The members select participants and set policies for the Fulbright Program, which is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. More than 360,000 participants from 165 countries have had the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

The Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and Fulbright College are making plans to continue their collaborations and looking for innovative ways to support and advance the Fulbright legacy.

Darinda Sharp

About the author

Darinda Sharp serves as director of communications for the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.