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Young global leaders celebrate with UD on July 4

U.S. State Department programs administered by UD's Institute for Global Studies

More than 70 young leaders from the Middle East and Africa experienced their first U.S. Independence Day celebrations at the Lums Pond State Park.

The trailblazers, selected from tens of thousands of their peers, collectively hail from more than 30 countries and will spend five to six weeks at the University of Delaware as a part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) Women’s Leadership Program and the Student Leaders Program. These programs, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, are administered at the University of Delaware by the Institute for Global Studies.

“These individuals have been chosen as the best of the best in their countries and universities,” said Amanda Bullough, Academic Director of the UD SUSI Women’s Leadership Program.

“We are hoping to help take the dynamic and exciting individuals they already are and make them even better leaders.”

The Fourth of July celebrations began with a picnic, complete with all of the traditional fixings, and ended with basketball and volleyball games at the park.

The occasion also provided the opportunity for the leaders to settle in and get to know members of the University community. “My favorite part of the Fourth is seeing people come together to have fun, eat, interact and meet new people,” noted Jeremiah Vanwen, a UD Mandela Washington Fellow from Liberia.

“In Zambia, we usually see the celebrations on TV and usually people only get invited by the Head of State that attend those,” said Musanje Maggie Bukowa, a UD SUSI participant from Zambia. “Here, even individuals celebrate their independence.”

Some students took away a sense of unity and pride among the many Americans they met.

“For the past few days I have noticed that the United States is a patriotic society,” said Nouhaila Moqaddem, a participant in the Student Leaders Program from Morocco. “There is a sense of community, a sense of unity and I see that wherever I go...I think it teaches everybody, each one of us, how important nationalism is and I think this is something that I can take home with me.”

Many students joined U.S. students in displays of patriotism,  wearing red, white and blue, donning Statue of Liberty headbands and waving American flags.

In the coming weeks, the leaders will continue to engage in leadership skills sessions, explore American culture and create lasting relationships with members of the Delaware community through host family dinners, volunteerism and peer collaboration.

To learn more about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, SUSI Women’s Leadership Program or the Student Leaders Program at the University of Delaware, visit the Institute for Global Studies website. Follow along and engage @UDGlobal on Twitter and Instagram.

A special social media campaign, #UDGlobalSummer, allows those with interest to meet the participants in all of the U.S. Department of State programs hosted by UD and facilitated by the Institute for Global Studies this summer.

About the Institute for Global Studies

The Institute for Global Studies (IGS) was created in 2009 to enhance the international dimensions of teaching, research and outreach at the University of Delaware. IGS provides leadership and support for programs and experiences that contribute to the education of informed, skilled, open-minded citizens of the world.


Best known for coordinating the University’s study abroad program, IGS also awards scholarships and grants to faculty and students, administers State Department-sponsored programs such as the UD Fulbright Initiative, Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Student Leaders Institute and the Study of the U.S. Institutes for Student Leaders on Women’s Leadership (SUSI-WL) program, and sponsors globally-focused events throughout the year.

IGS collaborates with campus partners, including the Office for International Students and Scholars, the Confucius Institute and the Center for Global and Area Studies. In addition, IGS partners with Enrollment Management to coordinate the UD World Scholars Program.



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