A man addresses a small group of people.

Inaugural Reception Recognizes Visiting Fulbright Scholars

Several Fulbright Scholars visiting from around the world were recognized during the inaugural Summer Days in Tuscaloosa reception on June 5. The event was hosted by UA’s Division of Community Affairs’ Office of Global and Community Engagement.

Scholars from Indonesia, Panama, Russia, Mali, Iraq, Madagascar, Bahrain, South Korea, Burma (Myanmar), Argentina, West Bank, Japan, Slovenia, Angola, Egypt, Spain, Ukraine and Morocco were hosted at Capital Hall’s Global Café, which serves as a campus hub for intercultural learning and interaction.

“When we envisioned Global Café and Language Partners, the emphasis on Fulbright, we could see an opportunity to have the world in this space,” said Dr. Samory Pruitt, vice president for Community Affairs. “We just appreciate you being here. We want you to know that this place is another home for you on campus.”

Xavier Nunes from Angola (left) and Miantso Soloharison from Madagascar (right) were among the visiting Fulbright scholars.
Xavier Nunes from Angola (left) and Miantso Soloharison from Madagascar (right) were among the visiting Fulbright scholars.

Dr. Fran Oneal, director of Global and Community Engagement and former Fulbright scholar, created the event to acquaint visiting scholars with summer activities to enjoy while in Tuscaloosa.

“The city and the campus change a lot when we go from May into June, and everything becomes very quiet, so we have collected many recommendations on how to enjoy summer days in Tuscaloosa,” Oneal said.

Other guests included UA faculty who had previously received Fulbright awards, along with many current international students, faculty and staff.

“It’s particularly nice to have events outside the regular academic year,” said Dr. Catherine Roach, a professor of gender and cultural studies in New College and a two-time Fulbright recipient. “So much is concentrated during September to April, but a lot of our Fulbright guests are here year-round, so I like this emphasis of things for them to do in the area with their families outside the academic setting or off campus.”

“I’m having a very good experience here, and I would recommend this city to future Fulbrighters coming to the USA,” said Xavier Nunes, a visiting Fulbright scholar from Angola. “I had the chance to meet people from different nationalities, different backgrounds, and these just help me to broaden my mindset and understanding of how people operate, and I would say that this is one of the most important things that I could take from this event.”