July 11, 2012
Twenty undergraduate women from five African countries are currently at Simmons attending a "Study of the United States Institute on Women's Leadership," as part of a broader U.S. Department of State initiative designed to promote a better understanding of the United States abroad and to help develop future world leaders.
The African students, along with 10 Simmons students, are currently participating in a five-week program, "Women Changing the Face of Leadership." The program is designed to develop their leadership skills and enhance their understanding of United States history, government, and society with a particular focus on women's leadership.
The Department of State is supplying the grant under the Fulbright-Hays Act "to foster mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries." The students arrived on campus in mid-June and will depart on July 21.
As part of the program, the 20 young women are touring the rich historical and cultural sites of Massachusetts, and participating in an educational tour in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., where they will visit historic sites of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.
Simmons faculty in Africana Studies, history, political science, and management, joined by elected and appointed officials, will focus on critical thinking, communication, decision-making, and managerial skills in the context of the history and reality of women in U.S. politics, economics, culture, and society.
"We could not be more pleased to host these international students," said Simmons Provost Charlena Seymour. "The role of women as leaders today, here in the United States as well as across Africa, could not be more important."