Campus to host foreign professionals

April 12, 2011

CECS logoUniversity of Michigan-Dearborn's HP-Center for Engineering Education and Practice is partnering with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Arab American Women's Business Council to host 16 foreign professionals from Algeria, Morocco, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority in southeast Michigan for the month of May.

The fellows will become immersed in the region, spending time with community and business leaders in Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Detroit discussing strategies for addressing youth unemployment. Organizations participating include Dow Chemical Company, the Detroit Regional Chamber, Ann Arbor Spark, Wayne County EDGE and the Business Engagement Center of the University of Michigan.

"We look forward to exposing this group of high school teachers and counselors, university professors, government officials and entrepreneurs to our system of guiding and mentoring young people in their educational and career choices" said Jumana Judeh of the Arab American Women's Business Council, "and we also expect to learn new approaches from them on how we can address our own problem of youth unemployment".

This spring more than 220 foreign professionals from more than 30 countries worldwide will be engaged in similar hands-on fellowship experiences at organizations across the United States. UM-Dearborn is the only institution in Michigan hosting Fellows as part of the program.

This exchange program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs through grant awards to 16 U.S.-based non-profit organizations and universities, including the University of Michigan Dearborn's HP-Center for Engineering Education and Practice. The Professional Fellows Program provides substantive professional development and support to emerging leaders working in the fields of global health, legislative development, environmental issues, food security, and educational initiatives aimed at bolstering employment opportunities.

For the 2011 calendar year, there will be nearly 500 foreign fellows coming to the United States. In addition, approximately 300 American participants will be selected for reciprocal fellowship programs overseas later this year and early next year.

As part of the spring fellowships, all of the fellows will travel from their fellowship placements across the U.S. to Washington, D.C. where they will take part in the second annual spring Fellows Congress, May 2-5, 2011. The Congress will focus on such themes as civic engagement, coalition building, advocacy and media outreach.

During the Legislative Fellows Congress in November, 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the participants via video message that she hoped "this exchange will spur new ideas about ways to address challenges in your communities." Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Ann Stock also spoke to the fall group, calling this a "vital exchange…" that "helps individuals, non-profits, businesses and others partner with governments to strengthen communities."


The Professional Fellows Program is designed to provide program participants a substantive 4-8 week practical fellowship experience to broaden their professional expertise, resource base, and skill sets. Placed in non-profit, private, and government offices across the United States, program participants will gain a deeper understanding of how the U.S. addresses issues in their field, a broad and sustainable network of professional colleagues, and a more nuanced understanding of Americans and American society.

The participants are among the approximately 40,000 individuals who take part annually in exchange programs managed by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; exchange programs that are all designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Among those are the Fulbright Program, the International Visitor Leadership Program, and the Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program. Media Contacts: Adam Meier,, 202-623-6067, or Carla Coolman, 202-632-3356,