By Special to the AFRO
Three Morgan State University graduates have been awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to advance their postgraduate studies and research abroad, extending Morgan’s longstanding track record for producing recipients of the highly coveted international grant. These new additions bring the university’s total number of Fulbright Scholarship awardees to 149 in 44 countries, tops among all Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
Morgan also has six other scholars pursuing independent research and teaching fellowships with the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad program. In total, nine Morgan students designated as Fulbrighters are engaged in academic studies in Africa, Asia and South America.
“Congratulations to all of the new scholars joining the ranks of Morgan’s Fulbright Scholarship recipients and achieving one of the most distinguished and competitive awards granted in academia,” said Morgan State University President David Wilson. “We applaud their accomplishment in realizing this great honor. Our motto, ‘Growing the Future, Leading the World,’ is a mission that our Fulbrighters are manifesting through their profound service-learning and research projects taking place around the globe.”
Joining the MSU legacy of Fulbright scholars is Brelyn Brooks, (Cheltenham, Maryland), who received her master’s degree in sociology from Morgan, and Whitney Mugula (Baltimore, Maryland), who received her bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Spanish. Brooks and Mugula are both serving as Fulbright English teaching assistants, or ETAs. Beyond the classroom environment, ETAs also share their knowledge and insights as cultural ambassadors with the people of their host country. Brooks will spend 11 months in Malaysia, while Mugula is gaining 10 months of classroom experience in Colombia.
“Receiving the Fulbright grant means that I can explore teaching English as a second language, [which] is my calling,” said Mugula. Said her fellow Fulbright ETA, Brelyn Brooks: “Winning the Fulbright grant is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will forever broaden my outlook on the world, and I am honored to represent my country.”
Research lies at the cornerstone of the Fulbright Program. Scholars receiving grants for research are charged with orchestrating their own projects, working alongside advisers at a university of their chosen country outside the U.S. Jaquetta Graham, a native of Baltimore and master’s degree recipient in business administration, is a Morgan Fulbright scholar now conducting research in Ghana. Graham’s nine-month intensive will comprise an in-depth examination of building and maintaining strong academic support systems as a benchmark for success within the African diaspora.
“For me, the Fulbright award signifies a bridge of learning and experience that so many can benefit from,” said Graham. “This is not simply about my personal endeavors but about how we, as Africans in the diaspora, can better connect with and learn from continental Africans.”
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), the Fulbright program is designed to advocate educational exchange and promote greater discernment among different cultures. Morgan graduates awarded the Fulbright Scholarship are among a select group of advanced degree students and young professionals who have successfully navigated the fiercely competitive grant application process to win the esteemed award.