FORTY SIX Fulbright Association chapters, represented by 50 leaders coming from all over the United States are gathering in Chicago for the second annual leadership meeting the weekend of April 19-21. Columbia College Chicago is hosting the three-day event.
Last year the first gathering was held in Washington D.C. headquarters of the National Fulbright Association. This year, Chicago was chosen to host the training.
“Chicago is a central hub with several airports and easily accessible, making it logistically easier for chapters leaders to attend,” said Shaz Akram, Director of Chapter Relations of the Fulbright Association.
Promoting the Fulbright program, membership and recruitment, partnership building, diversity initiatives, grant writing, communications and social media are among the topics that this conference is addressing.
A big focus is shoring up support for funding the Fulbright program. This is the grassroot movement by chapters at state levels, for ensuring continuity for future generations of Fulbrighters.
“We are confronting new challenges and the Fulbright Association is ready to face them,” Stephen Reilly, Executive Director of the Fulbright Association said. Reilly, who was appointed as executive director this past January said he is very interested in adding more value to the services that the association provides to their members.
But he is also mindful that this is a joint effort by all chapter leaders and alumni.
Other presenters include David Levin, Senior Program Manager, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State, Sarah Sears, Senior Director, Membership, Fulbright Association, Rebeccah Sanders, Executive Director of the Chicago Cultural Alliance speaking on community partnerships for chapters, and Ana Gil-García, who presented on the Chicago Chapter Book Partnership Project, and the viability to extend it to all national chapters.
There is a total of 58 Fulbright Chapter Associations in the United States and this conference has been possible due to a grant from the State Department.