In its second year as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), NAU is one of only 43 universities to be named a 2022 Fulbright HSI Leader by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)
The designation recognizes the noteworthy engagement that NAU has achieved with Fulbright exchange participants in the 2021-22 academic year, as well as promoting Fulbright opportunities on campus. Every year, the Fulbright Program funds research and teaching opportunities for NAU faculty, graduate students and alumni at universities throughout the world and brings international students and faculty to NAU to continue their work.
The list was announced Monday at the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities’ annual conference in San Diego. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Academic Programs Ethan Rosenzweig thanked university leaders for valuing the Fulbright Program and ensuring participation was a priority at their institutions.
Preparing students to be part of the global economy is a top priority for NAU President José Luis Cruz Rivera; one critical piece of that engagement is to ensure students from all backgrounds, identities and lived experiences have opportunities for international work and study. The Fulbright Program is a flagship provider of international academic exchange programs and is an important partner in NAU achieving this mission.
“Throughout my career, I have had countless opportunities to study with, learn from and collaborate with scholars from all over the world, and my life and scholarship are so much stronger for those opportunities,” Cruz Rivera said. “I’m pleased that NAU’s efforts to encourage these unparalleled learning experiences, and the Fulbright Program’s 75-year support of these global exchanges, have led to this recognition.”
Since 1962, NAU has had 97 faculty members receive a Fulbright to do research or teach internationally, with 35 faculty coming to NAU as Fulbright Scholars since 1984. Since 1988, 21 students have received Fulbrights to work or study abroad, and 114 have come to NAU to study or do research.
In a letter to President Cruz Rivera, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken encouraged the university to expand the impact of the Fulbright program for students, faculty and administrators.
“As a diplomat, I love the Fulbright Program because it supports changemakers and fosters global cooperation. Fulbrighters make the world a better place in classrooms and countries worldwide,” Blinken wrote. “Northern Arizona University’s designation as a 2022 Fulbright HSI Institutional Leader recognizes your dedication to promoting global engagements and mutual understanding among peoples and nations.”
NAU Fulbright winners have gone all over the world to study and research, while others sought out Flagstaff to continue their education:
- A doctoral student, whose first career was as a classical singer, is going to Malaysia in January to study English as a lingua franca.
- A 2021 grad studied abroad in Spain, then returned to the country to teach English to elementary school-aged children on the Canary Islands.
- An Italian student came to Flagstaff and taught Italian 101 to NAU students for a year.
- A Navajo student who studied abroad in China then went to Taiwan to study for a master’s degree in energy engineering.