Summer Days in Tuscaloosa Reception Recognizes Visiting Fulbright Scholars

Xavier Nunes from Angola (left) and Miantso Soloharison from Madagascar (right) were among the visiting Fulbright scholars.

by Dr. Elisabetta Zengaro
Communications Specialist, Division of Community Affairs

The Division of Community Affairs’ Office of Global and Community Engagement hosted the inaugural Summer Days in Tuscaloosa reception to honor Fulbright scholars at 5:00 p.m. on June 5 at Capital Hall.

Visiting Fulbright scholars in attendance are from Indonesia, Panama, Russia, Mali, Iraq, Madagascar, Bahrain, South Korea, Burma (Myanmar), Argentina, West Bank, Japan, Slovenia, Angola, Egypt, Spain, Ukraine and Morocco. The event was held at Capital Hall’s Global Café, which serves as a campus hub for intercultural learning and interaction.

“When we envisioned Global Café and Language Partners, the emphasis on Fulbright, we could see an opportunity to have the world in this space,” said Dr. Samory Pruitt, vice president for Community Affairs. “We just appreciate you being here. We want you to know that this place is another home for you on campus.”

Dr. Fran Oneal, director of Global and Community Engagement and former Fulbright scholar, created the event to acquaint visiting scholars with summer activities to enjoy while in Tuscaloosa. The Global Café staff surveyed the campus community for recommendations for summer activities in Tuscaloosa and shared the results in a slide show at the event.

“The city and the campus change a lot when we go from May into June, and everything becomes very quiet, so we have collected many recommendations on how to enjoy summer days in Tuscaloosa,” Oneal said. “[Capital Hall] is a home for you. If there’s anything we can do to facilitate your having a great experience here for the summer, we’re glad to help you have a wonderful experience.”

Throughout the evening, attendees networked with UA’s Fulbright community over ice-breaker activities, while enjoying live jazz music and hors d’oeuvres.

“I’m having a very good experience here, and I would recommend this city to future Fulbrighters coming to the USA,” said Xavier Nunes, a visiting Fulbright scholar from Angola. “[During this event] I had the chance to meet people from different nationalities, different backgrounds, and these just help me to broaden my mindset and understanding of how people operate, and I would say that this is one of the most important things that I could take from this event.”