Howard Bison Beat May 2021

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A Monthly Newsletter from the Office of the President

B SON BEAT Howard and the World

May 2021

Dylan Paul (B.B.A. ’20), studying abroad in France

DEAR HOWARD UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY, uring this year’s graduation season, it is imperative that we congratulate Howard’s Class of 2021 and once again offer our D congratulations to the Class of 2020. These students earned their degrees under incredibly trying circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In order to do so, they demonstrated tremendous resolve and resilience as well as strength and integrity of character. At a time when they could not be faulted for focusing on themselves and their own problems, they instead chose to direct their attention outward to the needs of other people – within their communities, across the country and around the world. The past two graduating classes remind us of Howard’s diversity and global reach. Even at a time when we could not send students from the Mecca to study abroad, our students could still be found in numerous time zones staying up late or waking up early to take remote classes from their home or adopted countries. All that we strive to accomplish as an institution stems from our globalist attitude. We cannot hope to achieve social justice in America by ignoring it in other countries. We cannot make progress on women’s rights in the United States without helping women throughout the world. We cannot tackle climate change without working with the international community to save the planet. Nor can we take care of ourselves without caring for our neighbors. When we grow accustomed to seeing the world through a globalist perspective, we cultivate one of our most important skills: the ability to recognize the humanity in all people. This is a talent that our two most recent graduating classes exhibited in abundance over the past year. Despite everything they had to endure, their commitment to community service and social justice never wavered.


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In an important way, the pandemic has helped us see each individual’s humanity, no matter how different they look from us or whether we share much common. From our nurses and custodial staffs to our grocery store workers and bus drivers, to people in India and Brazil and Italy, we are all human beings, and we have a responsibility to support one another. In continuing their studies during the pandemic, the classes of 2021 and 2020 reminded us that our pursuit of education is not for self-enrichment, but for the betterment of our world. Even when we are consumed with isolating individual work, we should never lose our worldwide perspective of what we are working for.

Excellence in Truth and Service,

W AY N E A . I . F R E D E R I C K , M . D . , M B A




Campus Happenings


Commencement 2021


Awards & Recognition


Senior Ashley Tousana on her interest in Sino-African relations


Alumna the Honorable Teta Banks, Ph.D., on her work with spreading the mission of the United Nations


Professor Clarence Lusane on the importance of a global outlook


Taking the World by Storm How the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center makes study abroad possible for Howard students


The Globalization of Howard In an effort to increase diversity in American diplomacy, Howard brings more international studies to its students.


In Memoriam Ambassador Larry Palmer


Patricia Roberts Harris Public Affairs Fellowship

Charles R. Drew Professor of Surgery P RESIDENT

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CAMPUS HAPPENINGS Howard Launches HU/COL Avanza To increase engagement with universities and other entities in the country of Colombia, Howard launched HU/COL Avanza, a comprehensive partnership with Colombia to increase academic and research careers. The strategy will provide opportunities for Howard students and faculty to have compelling international experiences, strengthen their Spanish language skills, and build relationships with other members of the African diaspora. Additionally, there will be initiatives to support entrepreneurship, innovation, education, health care, justice, equity, diversity and inclusion for people of African descent in Colombia through intensive engagement and educational exchange opportunities led by Howard University.

Students Selected for Clinton Global Initiative University Fifty Howard undergraduate and graduate students were selected for the 2021 cohort of the Clinton Global Initiative University. As part of the year-round program, the students receive training, mentorship and access to international experts and changemakers in their respective interests as well as networking opportunities. The partnership between Howard and the Clinton Global Initiative University was announced in October 2020 by President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton. “Howard students’ participation in CGI U is a natural outgrowth of their commitment to service. The opportunity to connect with other like-minded students around the world, all of whom have identified ways they can take a specific action to meet the demands of the communities they hope to help improve, is a unique one that we are happy to support,” said Dana Williams, Ph.D., dean of the Howard University Graduate School.

Howard Law International Moot Court Team Wins at Recent Competition The Goler Teal Butcher International Moot Court Team, representing Howard University School of Law, recently placed third overall at the 3rd Annual U.S. Nepal International Moot Court Competition. Additionally, the team won the following awards: Colombia has one of the largest Black populations in South America, as much as 25 percent of the country’s total population, according to estimates by the World Bank and the Inter-American Bank. In 2018, President Frederick traveled to Colombia to develop memoranda of understandings between Howard University schools of business, law and education with Howard’s Colombian counterparts at the Universidad Santiago de Cali. The U.S. Department of Education and the Colombian Ministry of Education also signed an MOU in 2019 to commit to strengthening relationships between HBCUs and Colombian institutions.


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Second Place Best Brief: Ogo Orizu/Morgan Sills Third Place Best Oralist: Alaina Parris First Place Best Opening Statement: Jade Bismark Second Place Best Opening Statement: Morgan Sills The competition was founded in 2017-2018 by Howard Law Adjunct Professor Waris Husain, S.J.D. (J.D. ’11) and hosted annually with support of Ambassador Randy Berry, Ambassador Alaina Tepliz and the U.S. Embassy in Nepal. While the competition was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was held virtually this year.

President Frederick, U.N. Under-Secretary-General Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka Discuss HBCUs’ Role in Global Fight for Gender Equity President Wayne A. I. Frederick held a fireside chat with Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on Howard University’s place in leading the charge for HBCUs in the global fight for gender equity. Mlambo-Ngcuka is the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and the executive director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (U.N. Women). The fireside chat is part of the global dialogue series by the new Howard University Center for Women, Gender and Global Leadership. Howard recently became a member of the U.N. Women HeForShe Campaign, launched by Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson to engage men and boys as allies of the women’s movement around the world.

Howard University College of Medicine Receives Grant for Mobile Unit COVID-19 Vaccine Operations Howard University College of Medicine has received a $1.59 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative to expand its mobile unit vaccine operations. This occurs as equity and public health advocates signal the need for trusted vaccine administrators to combat lack of access and vaccine hesitancy within Black and medically underserved communities. The school’s mobile units reach the most vulnerable and work with trusted partners, such as the District of Columbia Department of Health, to set up temporary vaccination sites. The support from Bloomberg Philanthropies will provide mobile medical unit upgrades, paid staffing for the units, medical supplies and increased outreach to the community.

The Amistad The Amistad, Howard University’s premier student-run literary arts journal, recently released its Spring issue. Its mission is to elevate the creative voices of the Black diaspora through poetry, fiction, interviews and visual art. The staff strives to publish strong up-and-coming talent in conjunction with established writers that speak directly to the Black community. Under Howard’s banner, it is continuing the legacy of great alumni, such as Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, Amiri Baraka, Lucille Clifton and Paul Laurence Dunbar, by publishing unique work that push the boundaries of craft and theme. The Amistad prides itself on being open to all writers and artists who speak directly to its continuing mission. This year, The Amistad is proud to present another journal filled with electrifying writers, including a poem by celebrated poet Nicole Sealey and an interview with The New York Times bestseller Roxane Gay. You can read the latest issue at

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From Washington to Uganda, With Love When Euland Rumsey embarked on her first mission trip to Uganda in 2009, she originally thought she’d just chalk it up to a great experience and cross it off her bucket list. But as she and the other volunteers were handing out the 200 pairs of flip flops that they brought over for the locals, she saw that the number of people in line far exceeded the amount of footwear they had left in the boxes. Today, the director of enrollment services at Howard She recalls thinking, “Hey, there is so much work to is working on constructing a 16-building technical be doing. That’s what got me to keep going.” school complex in Uganda to help young adults train in a variety of skills, including carpentry, auto mechanics, tailoring and health sciences. She works with a nonprofit, Dr. Herldleen Russell Ministries (DHRM), where she serves as financial secretary of the board. In addition to bringing various supplies — clothing, books, medical items, toothbrushes and so forth — the nonprofit has helped build primary schools with dormitories and partnered with an organization that would build a well on each of the schools’ properties so the students would have access to clean water. All of the projects are funded through donations. Rumsey is also working to grow a partnership between the new technical school and Howard University. She has spoken with the School of Divinity about the possibility of having students gain field education experience by teaching English in the school and training teachers as well. “Anytime you can be a part of something bigger and greater than you are is always wonderful,” Rumsey says. “To know that the fruit that’s going to come from it will go beyond my years is amazing in and of itself.”


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COMMENCEMENT 2021 Howard University welcomed the classes of 2021 and 2020 to campus on May 8, 2021 for a socially distant, in-person commencement ceremony to send off graduates into a postpandemic world. “Your Howard journey began in one world, and this chapter of it will conclude in another one entirely,” said President Frederick. “And as you can continue to leave an imprint on our society through your leadership and your passion, I am sure that each new chapter of your Howard journey will take place in worlds that will be distinct from the ones that preceded them.” On what began as a rainy, chilly morning soon turned into a sunny day as students from the classes of 2021 and 2020 participated in the commencement exercises held at Green Stadium. Graduates sat six feet apart while families and friends cheered them on via livestream. Individual schools recognized their graduates in a mix of in-person and virtual services. Those who did not attend in person did so virtually, as many from the Class of 2020 did last year. Bryan Stevenson, social justice activist and founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI),

delivered the keynote address to this year’s graduates. “Even in the midst of this pandemic, even in the midst of these complications, I want to charge you to stay hopeful. Never allow your hope to leave you,” Stevenson said. “I really do believe that helplessness is the enemy of justice. Injustice prevails where hopelessness persists. Generations of Howard graduates have understood that hope is our superpower.” Prior to commencement, the Office of the Dean of the Chapel hosted a virtual Senior Sunday to celebrate graduates on May 2, 2021. The program concluded with a musical selection by Mr. Jonathan Salley, a senior architecture major, who wrote, arranged and performed an original song titled “My HBCU.”

Class of 2021 2,356 DEGREES AWARDED 224 MASTER’S DEGREES 555 PH.DS




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AWARDS AND RECOGNITION Howard’s First Foreign Affairs IT Fellow Taylor Rainey (B.A. ’19) has been named Howard’s first Foreign Affairs IT (FAIT) Fellow. The fellowship is funded by the United States Department of State. It provides undergraduate and graduate students in IT-related fields with tuition assistance, as well as mentorship and professional development, to launch their careers in the foreign service as information management specialists. Rainey, a political science major and Spanish minor, currently works as an associate analyst for Hillard Heintze, a Jensen Hughes Company. She will pursue graduate studies in cybersecurity with the support of the FAIT Fellowship. Her research interests include online hate and extremism, diplomacy, data protection and service to the international community.

2021 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Scholar Senior Maggi Chambers has been selected as a 2021 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Scholar. She is an international business major with a specialty in political science. The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program is a sixweek summer program designed to provide undergraduate students with a deeper appreciation of current issues and trends in international affairs, a greater understanding of career opportunities in international affairs, and the enhanced knowledge and skills to pursue such careers.


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2021 Truman Scholar Senior David Edgerton III has been named a 2021 Truman Scholar by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. Edgerton, a political science major and legal communications minor, was selected from a pool of 845 applications from 328 institutions, a record number. He will receive a $30,000 scholarship to pursue graduate studies, leadership training, career counseling, and special internship and fellowship opportunities within the federal government. Edgerton is currently interning for the Executive Office of the National League of Cities and plans to attend the Howard University School of Law and pursue a career in civil rights law and young adult ministry. Howard University is now the top HBCU producer of Truman Scholars with 12 recipients.

2021-2022 Goldwater Scholar Junior Jazmine Grant has become the third student in Howard history to be named a Goldwater Scholar. This scholarship was established by Congress in 1986 to serve as a living memorial to honor the lifetime work of Sen. Barry Goldwater and recognizes students planning to pursue STEM research careers. Grant is a biology major and chemistry minor and a Karsh STEM scholar, as well as a member of the College of Arts and Science Honors Association, the Biology Honors Program and the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

2021 Eugene P. Odum Award for Excellence in Ecology Education The Ecological Society of America (ESA) announced Howard University Professor of Biology George A. Middendorf as the winner of its 2021 Eugene P. Odum Award for Excellence in Ecology Education. Odum Award recipients demonstrate their ability to relate basic ecological principles to human affairs through teaching, outreach and mentoring activities. Over his 40 years as a member of ESA and as a faculty member at Howard University, he has taught, mentored and inspired countless students and colleagues, specifically focusing on addressing and including underrepresented populations in ecology. Middendorf is headed into retirement this Summer. During his tenure at Howard, which began in 1981, he was able to help reestablish environmental studies as a program of study among many other accolades. He is currently the co-director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program in environmental studies at Howard. “I think the millennials and Gen-Z, who we’re now teaching, recognize that [communities of color are disproportionately impacted by climate change] and want to do something about that, and I hope that they are able to do a far better job than we did,” said Middendorf.

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Student Profile

THE LANGUAGE OF DIPLOMACY For senior Ashley Tousana, learning languages is the first step to building foreign relations. She has spent enough time studying Mandarin and living abroad in China that she considers it a second home. It has also reinforced her interest in possibly pursuing a career in China-Africa development affairs, specifically in their trade policy and economic relations. An interdisciplinary studies major with a concentration in international affairs and minor in economics, Tousana was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study language in-country, and she chose Kenya and Tanzania to work on learning Swahili next.

Q: What made you decide to focus on international affairs? A: Studying with State Department [funding for] my first time, I knew I wanted to learn Mandarin, but I was unsure of how I could make cultural anthropology, language learning, policymaking, and community service/engagement/advocacy a career. I found direction within international affairs, economic development and the women’s/youth empowerment initiatives.

Ashley Tousana on Mount Tai in Shandong Province, China, the home of Confucius.

Q: What are some critical issues on the global front that you’re particularly interested in focusing on? A: I have always respected both China and the African continent, and I want to see that their relations are inclusive, sustainable, equitable, respectful, humane and beneficial for both. Of course, as an American, I am always interested in China-U.S. relations, but mainly in the creation of pathways for Black students from America (and the rest of the diaspora) to study languages, travel abroad, and understand how we better the world as representatives of our own nations and initiatives. Q: What was the biggest takeaway from your study abroad experiences? A: I have been to China three times (TaiCang, Jiangsu in 2015, Suzhou in 2016, Dalian in 2018). My biggest takeaway is that success in anything, especially in learning languages, is based on your personal discipline, patience and drive. My second and third trips were both Department of State-sponsored and I found them on my own. There are so many opportunities, and where there are none, make them. Be the first if you have to! Q: Why Mandarin? A: I have been studying Mandarin for about eight years now, starting in middle school at an international baccalaureate school in Atlanta. I have had some pretty dedicated professors that pushed me to study abroad, participate in competitions and contests, and apply for Chinese language camps. Naturally, I fell in love with the art and intention within the language [as well as the] deep history and rich culture you see in China. Traveling abroad really solidified my language skills and cultural competency. Q: What are your post-graduation plans? A: I am looking into opportunities in international development, specifically in the women’s and youth empowerment and economic development field. I have my options open now to explore exchange initiatives and positions in American [nongovernmental organizations]. I would ultimately love to come back to Howard to pursue a Ph.D. in African studies with a concentration in SinoAfrican relations!


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Alumna Profile

THE MAKINGS OF A GLOBAL CITIZEN The Honorable Teta V. Banks, Ed.D. (B.A. ’73) has spent her career striving to address issues affecting people around the world, most recently with the United Nations. She is the immediate past chair of the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) and serves on the executive committee of the World Federation of the United Nations Associations (WFUNA). She is the first woman of African descent in both positions. Originally from Liberia, Dr. Banks attended and taught at Howard, following in her father’s footsteps (he was an alumnus as well as a member of the Board of Trustees). Q: What are your core responsibilities with UNA-USA and WFUNA? A: To promote the mission and vision of the United Nations to our 20,000+ members and their communities, particularly on a local level throughout the USA. This includes human rights, the protection and advocacy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the advocacy and goals of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As a member of the Executive Committee of WFUNA, I represent the concerns and interests of the USA and promote multilateralism among nations and members of the 100 countries represented in the WFUNA. As the only woman of color to serve on this committee, I strive to ensure our inclusion of perspectives on issues/programs.

Q: Why is it important for Americans to be aware of what the United Nations does and its mission? A: The U.N. is the only world organization specifically formed by agreement of nations to work collaboratively toward world peace, resolution of conflicts, and the promotion of the welfare of all people. Issues affect not only other nations but also the USA. For example, the UNA-USA urged the U.N. to decry human rights violations of the George Floyd murder; pollution in the water of Flint, Michigan and other cities; global sex trafficking; and systemic gender and racial inequities.

Q: What interested you in embarking on a global career? A: I have always been interested in global perspectives, especially since I am originally from Liberia and have witnessed the impact of nations assisting other nations. When I studied in England, my interest expanded. Then as special assistant to the mayor in Philadelphia, I helped refugee Liberians during the Liberian Civil War. During that critical period, I was appointed consul general and part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission so I could continue and expand my assistance to Liberia and help bring peace to the land. Q: Why is it important for college graduates to be more globally aware/invested? A: All professions impact and are impacted by global factors. Whether we are in education, law, sciences, the arts, etc., these professions and their products/achievements are shared globally and intersect with other nations’ progress in these areas. A key example today is the COVID-19 pandemic issues. The reality is that all careers are now global. In addition to learning the subject matter and history, the preparation needed is knowledge, skill of cultural understanding, appreciation, respect and social communications. Above all, young people must develop a sense of being a global citizen and its responsibilities.

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Faculty Profile

CONFRONTING RACE RELATIONS ‘GLOCALLY’ Clarence Lusane, Ph.D., has immersed his 40-plus-year career in national and international human rights, antiracism politics, diaspora engagements, foreign policy, social justice and more. To accomplish all this, he’s traveled to more than 70 countries and lived abroad in many of them, including Japan, South Korea, Cuba, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Ghana, Germany, New Zealand and South Africa. It’s only fitting, then, that this political science professor is the director of the international affairs program at Howard University, where he encourages students to view race from multiple perspectives – locally, nationally and globally. Q: How does globalization help enhance students’ awareness, and how can they be prepare for an increasingly global world? A: While the world has always been interconnected – economically, politically and culturally – the capacity of multiple millions to engage globally has been enhanced by new technologies, rapid transit and global policies. We are all “glocal” more than at any point in human history. Q: How are race relations changing overseas in countries with a lot of races, such as European and South American countries? A: Race relations, on a global level, have been informed by the globalization of race-related theories, scholarship, policies and activism. Communities, nonstate actors, civil society and states have learned from and continue to learn from each other. Q: What about countries that have been fairly homogenous until recently because of corporate globalization, such as China? What do they need to do to catch up? A: It is illusionary for countries to believe that they are homogenous. As with every country, including China and other nations that have historically isolated themselves, the option to avoid heterogeneity no longer exists. It is in their interest to engage the racial justice energies that have grown around the world. Q: What is something surprising you experienced while living abroad? A: Perhaps the most surprising experience has been to be as much identified as an American as to be identified as AfricanAmerican. I was not prepared for being recognized as having an “American” accent. I think it is great to be seen in a broader identity that is sometimes difficult to see inside the United States. Q: As the world becomes more connected, what are some things that have changed for the better? How can this help influence the future growth in worldwide race relations? A: The ability to share resources, strategies and ideas through social media, websites and other means has been invaluable. For states and civil society, these assets should be used to build policies, laws and practices that further racial justice.


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Study abroad programs have grown in popularity in the past several years. Here’s how the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs center makes it possible. After her educational and professional pursuits took her all over the world to places like the Dominican Republic, Cuba, South Africa, Brazil and Colombia, among others, Tonija Hope came to work at Howard in 2015. She started as the deputy director of the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center, becoming the director in 2018. A key part of her mission was to ensure that a study abroad experience could be a natural part of a Howard education.

“I think [study abroad] is an experience that students are expecting. If universities can’t provide it, they will look elsewhere. We’ve been very intentional about raising the visibility of these opportunities,” Hope says – for Howard students and for all Black students.

According to 2018-2019 data from the Institute for International Education's Open Doors report, African-Americans comprise only 6.4 percent of study abroad students despite making up 13.4 percent of U.S. post-secondary enrollment. Hope says that certain barriers make study abroad experiences a challenge for minority students, including the additional costs associated with participating in these programs and fear of travel. The Ralph J. Bunche Center started the #StudyAbroadSoBlack movement on social media to educate Black students about the benefits of studying abroad and how they can take advantage of opportunities. The center received the Innovation in Diversity Award from because of the success of the social media campaign. Ralph J. Bunche, whom the center was named after, established the political science department at Howard and was also a world-renowned American diplomat and founding member of the United Nations. In recognition of his efforts in the Middle East and Africa, Bunche became the first African-American individual to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950.

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Since Hope became director of the center, study abroad has become more popular at Howard. While metrics prior to her arrival were unreliable because they did not include faculty-led programs that often took place outside of the auspices of the center, participation has increased by as much as 600 percent. Of course, Hope’s efforts to bolster study abroad at Howard have been altered over the past year. The coronavirus pandemic has upended study abroad programs even more than it has disrupted higher education. While colleges and universities remained operational through in-person, virtual or a hybrid approach to instruction, a study abroad experience requires a student to physically travel to a new place. With study abroad all but shut down this year, and with only 10 students signed up to go abroad in the Fall of 2021, Hope knows the center will have to re-instill confidence and rebuild interest. But she is hopeful that by Spring 2022, interest will reach pre-pandemic levels. For Hope, who has dedicated so much of her life to seeing the world herself and empowering others to do the same, study abroad is an essential. She points to data showing students who participate in study abroad have higher retention rates and graduation rates; they also have improved employment prospects. But just as important is the perspective they gain.

“This experience will completely shift the trajectory of their lives,” Hope says. “It will allow them to step out of their comfort zone, look back on where they’ve come from, and be able to figure out how it is that they fit into the world.” When Hope herself participated in an exchange program in Mexico during high school, she developed her Spanish-speaking skills and strengthened her own self-awareness and self-confidence. Because no one in her town spoke English, she conversed exclusively in Spanish, often discussing the nuances of race and what it means in Latin America compared to the United States. That wider global worldview helped her better understand and appreciate her Black identity. Hope believes that study abroad is a critical driver of Howard’s mission to pursue domestic social justice and global service.


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“The connection that needs to be strengthened between people of African descent in the United States and the rest of the diaspora, Latin America and elsewhere, is very important, and I think Howard plays a key role in that and always has,” Hope says. “Howard’s global story is long and deep.” While Barcelona, Spain remains Howard’s most popular destination for students, there are Howard students studying all over the globe. Recently, Howard students have studied in Ireland and France, South Africa and Ghana as well as Brazil and Colombia. Howard students are part of a critical exchange network of cultures and perspectives. One of the biggest changes for Howard students who study abroad is the abrupt transition from a historically Black college and university (HBCU) to a primarily white institution (PWI). Howard has advocated for more diverse curriculum content among its provider partners to ensure students can continue their education that often focuses on the Black experience when they go abroad. In Colombia, for instance, Howard developed a semester-long program on race ethnicity and identity in collaboration with its partner, CET Academic Programs.

Howard has worked diligently to emphasize studying abroad by encouraging students and making it easier for them to do so.








South Korea Thailand







South Africa Nepal



















New Zealand

Netherlands Tanzania










Costa Rica








“Howard is very generous in that it allows students to use their full financial aid package to study abroad for a semester. That’s unusual,” Hope says. Hope’s aspiration is that prospective students, for whom study abroad is their top priority, will place Howard at the top of their list.

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OF HOWARD In an effort to increase diversity in American diplomacy, Howard brings more international studies to its students. Howard University has always approached its academics with a slightly different perspective than other American universities: one that has celebrated diversity, both in race and in nationality. Today, the Howard community continues to demonstrate increased interest in international relations and general global immersion. In response, Howard has committed to growing the number of African-Americans working in international affairs and to provide students with the tools and knowledge needed to succeed on a global level.

“Globalization, in every way imaginable, is here,” says Charles Lusane, Ph.D., director of the international affairs program in the political science department at Howard. “The future has arrived, and there is no area of life and labor, culture and politics, sports and medicine that does not have an international manifestation. I tell students that regardless of your area of study, there is an international component.” Howard has been at the forefront of presenting its academics with an international perspective. Situated in the nation’s capital, Howard already has the advantage of being surrounded with a worldwide existence. Though some majors and programs on campus have a decidedly global focus, others have recognized the international influence in their studies. In response to the increased interest in international topics, Howard now offers a certificate in international studies through the graduate school. With a large presence of foreign students already on campus and a number of international clubs and organizations, Howard students can acquire a global education without necessarily getting on an airplane. More importantly, they can help reverse the severe underrepresentation of people of color in leadership positions across multinational corporations, government agencies, diplomacy and even within academia. These are a few — not all — of the ways students can gain some global knowledge on campus.


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International Business Thinking about business on a global level is nothing new at Howard, says Masoud Kavoossi, Ph.D., professor and Fulbright-Johaness Kepler distinguished chair in the department of finance and international business. It is one of the oldest international business programs nationwide for undergraduate students, he says. Students take a number of core courses and select a concentration. The concentrations can be in any of the functional areas in the school of business, such as accounting, finance, management, supply chain or marketing. Students can also concentrate on a particular region, such as Asia, Africa, Middle East and North Africa, Europe or South America. They must also take four courses in a non-native language, so a student whose native tongue is Mandarin would be required to take another course, such as Arabic. The business school offers semester-long study abroad programs as well as shorter, one- or two-week programs, where professors take students to visit and tour companies in other countries. Howard students have traveled to India, China, Brazil, South Africa and Europe. The main takeaway for students focusing on international business, Kavoossi says, is “we have to be inclusive and have to be accepting [of] diversity because that’s the nature of the global economy and business.” During the pandemic, due to canceled travel, Kavoossi introduced students to people around the world through live webinars. “The students … see that the horizon of international business is not just limited to their textbook,” he says, noting how he emphasizes how the American economy is impacted by the actions of companies and manufacturers in other countries. To help broaden their global perspective, Kavoossi stresses the importance seeking non-American points of view. Students are required to submit research in which none of the sources are American. “It’s not to say the Chinese news are not biased from their side,” he says. “All news are views. But at least I want them to see the other side.” In the future, he hopes to create a Center for International Business and Development to study the business environment of emerging countries.

International Affairs Program The international affairs major, delivered out of the political science department, is an interdisciplinary program that includes, but is not limited to, politics, history, law, economics, sociology, education, health, the arts, the environment and technology. Students are required to take a foreign language. The program has “ballooned” in interest in the past few years, says Lusane, from three students in 2016 to over 100 today. Students not only take a number of courses pertaining to international politics and economics, but also participate in internships, service

learning, and other hands-on experiences at agencies, government, nongovernmental organizations and the corporate sector. Most also go abroad to gain more experience. The program aims to address issues of global inequality, conflict resolution, human resource development and equity, environmental justice and human rights, information and communication, and multiculturalism. Much of this is discussed in relation to race, gender, ethnicity and class, with the goal of increasing diversity in leadership roles within diplomacy and international affairs. As someone who has lived abroad in several cities and visited more than 70 countries in a capacity related to international affairs, Lusane advises students to truly immerse themselves into the experience. “This means attending local events, walking through neighborhoods and other areas, and meeting local residents,” he says. “Learning the language is important, but not an impediment to getting to know people and the local area.”

World Languages and Culture Languages continue to be a necessity for Howard students, particularly those pursuing an international major of some kind.

“The knowledge of a second or third language is the norm, and it is necessary and important for Americans to learn about other cultures,” explains Leonard Muaka, interim

chair for the department of world languages and cultures. “America is not an island; the challenges faced in other parts of the world will have an impact on American lives.” The department currently offers a Spanish major and minors in eight languages, including Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swahili. It plays a critical role for many students seeking to enhance their majors, whether it be in other international majors or even in the arts, sciences, engineering or something else. Muaka says students recognize how essential it is to be educated in global thinking, and that involves comprehending that thinking in its very language. “To be successful in the 21st century, students need to be exposed to and equipped for the opportunities that occur beyond their localities, and, therefore, the interaction between the local and global necessitates the knowledge of world languages spoken in other parts of the world,” he says. The department of world languages and culture is currently examining its curriculum to design a more encompassing major with several concentrations.

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Public Health Howard’s master’s in public health program has experienced significant growth since reopening in 2017. The program prepares students to become public health leaders locally, nationally, and globally. In particular, students are required to take a global health course as part of their curriculum. Global health addresses topics including ethics and human rights, natural disasters and global emergencies, maternal and child nutrition, environment, health systems, health advocacy and more. Opening students’ minds to thinking beyond the American method is critical in public health, says Pamela Carter-Nolan, Ph.D., MPH, director of the MPH program at Howard. “You have to think outside the box using an interdisciplinary approach,” she explains. “A program or project here may not be accepted internationally. You have to think how to make it culturally relevant and impactful, as well as how to engage the global community of interest.” While many students may end up staying within the United States to work after graduation, she wants to prepare them for any possible option. “You want to equip students with the tools they can implement both nationally and globally,” she says. The program partners with several agencies for internships that fall into an international realm. For example, students have the opportunity to train with nongovernmental organizations such as the Population Council and FHI360.

Beyond the Classroom Outside the classroom, students can also be active in any number of activities, including the African Business Club, the Chinese Culture Club, International Medicine Interest Group, the French Society and the International Affairs Society, to name a few. Many of them bring some cultural exposure to campus through lectures and discussions, or even just by celebrating various holidays and exploring foods and traditions. Students can also apply for internships at any number of international organizations, agencies, nonprofits or embassies as well. Because of Washington, D.C.’s international diversity, students can also easily immerse themselves in a variety of cultures right in town. “I could have Ethiopian injera for breakfast, pick up my favorite Asian products from H-Mart, and have Spanish tapas with friends for dinner,” says Mary Silva Varela, a junior international business major living in Silver Spring, Maryland. “Living in a neighborhood such as this one made me want to study international business, which is the reason that my [cultural] lifestyle has been possible.”



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In 2020-2021, Howard hosted students from 91 countries. These are the top 10: Nigeria............................................................... 256 Saudi Arabia......................................................207 Jamaica..............................................................174 Trinidad and Tobago..........................................99 Nepal.....................................................................91 Canada..................................................................43 Ethiopia.................................................................31 India.......................................................................30 Ghana....................................................................23 Bangladesh...........................................................21


Ambassador Larry Palmer Ambassador Larry Palmer served as ambassador in residence at Howard University following a distinguished career as a diplomat and member of the senior foreign service. Dr. Palmer was a key leader in the development of strategies to increase the University’s engagement with the U.S. Department of State, international embassies, and various foreign and domestic organizations. Dr. Palmer was also program director for the Rangel, Payne and Pickering fellowship programs, which were created to help diversify the foreign service.

As chief of mission in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, he managed the complex bilateral agendas of six additional countries: Grenada, Antigua, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines and successfully implemented the president’s Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, combating corruption and transnational organized crime as well as the illegal trafficking of drugs and persons. In addition, he has served with distinction in Uruguay, Paraguay, South Korea, Sierra Leone, Northern Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and as a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia. An accomplished diplomat, academic and development professional, Ambassador Palmer served as president and CEO of the Inter-American Foundation (IAF), an independent U.S. government agency that provides grants to poor and marginalized communities in Latin America and the Caribbean. As president of the IAF, he supervised a team of development professionals and traveled over 100,000 miles annually, funding projects in education, health, alternative energy, agriculture, ecology and economic development, ensuring that the foundation’s assistance funds reached the neediest recipients. We are grateful for Ambassador Palmer’s significant contributions to the University, and we are indebted to his service to the country as a distinguished diplomat.

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PATRICIA ROBERTS HARRIS PUBLIC AFFAIRS FELLOWSHIP The Patricia Roberts Harris Public Affairs Fellowship is a one-year fellowship program designed to provide a dynamic professional development experience to Howard University students interested in public affairs. The fellowship provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the public affairs landscape and the competencies necessary to pursue such a career. The fellowship is administered through the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center and will aid students in recognizing the central role of public affairs in an increasingly global world. Over the course of the fellowship year, fellows engage in three major programmatic components: mentorship, internship and monthly professional development workshops. In addition, fellows participate in various servicelearning opportunities throughout the fellowship period. Fellows receive a stipend for the Summer internship, based on the internship placement. Patricia Roberts Harris (B.A. ’45) became the first African-American woman to serve as an American ambassador, when she represented the United States in Luxembourg. She also became the first AfricanAmerican woman to serve in the United States Cabinet, under President Jimmy Carter. Visit online for more information and to apply.


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Enclosed is my gift of $

A Conversation with President Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA

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“The Journey” Recent guests on the “The Journey,” the podcast hosted by Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick, included Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer and Maryland’s current Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford. The topics covered the new administration and the current political climate facing the country.

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