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Lincoln University Named HBCU Institutional Leader By Fulbright Program

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) made the announcement on Monday that Lincoln University of Pennsylvania had been picked as one of 20 HBCUs to receive the distinction of Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leader.

For the second consecutive year, ECA is recognizing Lincoln’s noteworthy engagement with the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. According to ECA, Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leader status has been conferred on Lincoln because it has demonstrated noteworthy support for Fulbright exchange participants during the 2019-2020 academic year and has promoted Fulbright program opportunities on campus. 

This initiative is part of the U.S. Department of State’s long-standing commitment to build diversity and inclusion within the Fulbright Program and within all of the Bureau’s international exchange programs. ECA established the HBCU Institutional Leader designation in 2019 to recognize the strong partnerships between the Fulbright Program and HBCUs, and to encourage the entire network of HBCUs to increase its engagement with Fulbright.  

Lincoln University boasts a long and rich history with the Fulbright Program. According to the university, Dr. Abbes Maazaoui, professor in the Department of Languages & Literature, has helped bring four or five Fulbright LTAs to Lincoln since his arrival at the university 27 years ago. Their native countries have included: Algeria, Argentina, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Honduras, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Mexico, Morocco, Panama, Peru, Spain, Tunisia, and Venezuela.

“While here in the United States, they function as cultural ambassadors for their country of origin,” Dr. Maazaoui stated in a press release issued by the university last year, “but they also serve as cultural ambassadors for the United States in their own countries, thus building bridges for international understanding and cooperation.”

“These professionals interact with our students on a daily basis. As instructors, they help our students achieve student learning outcomes. As students, they take classes with our students. Outside of the classroom, they participate in numerous extracurricular activities, and use the same facilities as our students.”

“In the process, they help students increase their language skills as well as their cultural awareness. This integration of FLTAS at all levels of student life is a living example of campus internationalization in action.”

Drs. Babatunde, Gbolahade, the 2019-2020 Fulbright Scholar in Residence, and Maazaoui. Photo Credit: Terrance Young

Dr. Dafina Blacksher Diabate, Director of the Office of International Programs, serves as both Fulbright Program Adviser and Scholar Liaison at Lincoln University. Being recognized as a Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leader “recognizes the tangible ways that Lincoln University continues to connect students to people and cultures from around the world, and serves as a testament to Lincoln’s legacy of international engagement,” says Dr. Diabate. “It is exciting to be identified as a leader as we continue to prepare students to thrive in a globally connected world.”  

Dr. Diabate will speak at the Fulbright Program’s June 3rd Fulbright HBCU Symposium to discuss Fulbright opportunities and resources for HBCUs, the benefits of a Fulbright experience, and the role that the Fulbright Program plays in supporting HBCU campus internationalization, global awareness, and engagement. This public workshop will be open to all HBCU faculty, staff, and stakeholders, as well as individuals from other institutions who are interested in attending. 

This symposium will celebrate the Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders by spotlighting the unique role HBCU students, faculty, and administrators play in representing American higher education and the American experience both in our country and around the world. Highlights will include remarks by the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Matthew Lussenhop; a keynote address by Fulbright alumna and President of Prairie View A&M University Dr. Ruth Simmons; and workshop sessions to assist HBCUs in strengthening their relationship with the Fulbright Program. 

The event will close with a panel of representatives of Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders who will share how their campuses use the array of Fulbright Program offerings to support campus internationalization goals and global engagement efforts, and to build worldwide networks, which are essential for success in our 21st-century world.

For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State, visit

We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Lincoln University for this impressive designation as a Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leader. 

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