Cronkite School welcomes largest-ever Humphrey Fellowship cohort

Several award-winning journalists from around the world are part of this year’s cohort of Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows who began a 10-month academic study and professional development experience at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University on Aug. 2.

Fourteen fellows will participate in this year’s journalism cohort, making it the largest one in the Cronkite School’s 12-year history of hosting the Humphrey Fellowship Program.

The program, operated in partnership with the U.S. Department of State and the Institute of International Education, seeks accomplished mid-career professionals with a commitment to public service and leadership potential. In addition to at least five years of professional experience, selected professionals must also have strong English skills and at least an undergraduate degree.

The Cronkite School is the only journalism and mass communication school in the country to host a Humphrey Fellowship Program.

Twelve countries and the West Bank Palestinian territory are represented in this year’s cohort. The West Bank, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Albania, South Korea and Belize are all represented by Cronkite-hosted Humphrey Fellows for the first time.

Including this year’s cohort, Cronkite has hosted 124 fellows representing 65 countries and the West Bank.

Jan Holland-Malcom, program manager for Cronkite’s Humphrey Fellowship, said the fellows can look forward to a wide array of offerings at the Cronkite School.

“There is a wealth of opportunity that they can take advantage of,” said Holland-Malcom, who is in her fifth year as program manager. “It also gives these individuals an opportunity to also explore their own leadership capabilities, and that’s a big touchstone of this program.”

Mohamed Asmieu Bah brings 15 years of broadcast journalism experience from his home country of Sierra Leone. He said he looks forward to improving his journalism and leadership skills at the Cronkite School.

“I think being here and also interacting with lots of professors who have both academic and practical experience will enrich my knowledge,” Bah said. “I’m sure back home I will use that knowledge to mentor some of the younger ones that are coming up in the journalism profession and also increase my own knowledge and my own skills.”

Angela Aurora, who works as a professor of journalism at the University of El Salvador, wants to conduct research on how social media and news impact people’s behavior. She said she hopes to add to her 25 years of experience in higher education by improving her English language skills and learning from the other international fellows.

“It’s more cool to share the experience with other people from other countries,” Aurora said.

There are 13 Humphrey Fellowship programs in a wide variety of disciplines that bring 150 fellows to U.S. host universities each year under the sponsorship of the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and its partner, the Institute of International Education. The program has received funding as a Fulbright exchange activity from the U.S. Congress since 1978 to honor the public service career of the late Hubert H. Humphrey, who served as both a U.S. vice president and U.S. senator.

2021–2022 Humphrey Fellows in Journalism

Tasneem ALzamara, West Bank
Angela J. Aurora, El Salvador
Atok Dan, South Sudan
Mohamed Asmieu Bah, Sierra Leone
Elira Çanga, Albania
Bálint Fabok, Hungary
Anum Hanif, Pakistan
Elita Dilshad Karim, Bangladesh
Gahyeok Lee, South Korea
Hyuntaek Lee, South Korea
Johnson Mayamba, Uganda
Milana Mazaeva, Russia
Andrea Polanco, Belize
Siqi Yao, China

Written by Nicholas Hodell