Humphrey Seminar

The Humphrey Seminar is intended to ensure that Fellows have the opportunity to explore issues in their professional areas, develop leadership skills, and network with Humphrey colleagues.  This credited class consists of discussions, presentations, and professional/cultural site visits.

Fellows standing with Provost Nick Jones
2017-18 Fellows met with Provost Nick Jones to learn about his strategic vision for Penn State.

For their final project, each Fellow designs a capstone project that they will take home and implement in their home institution/community.  Each project is unique to the individual Fellow and can take a variety of forms.  The capstone project is a reflection of the skills and abilities that a Fellow has developed during his or her fellowship.  

Academic Enrichment

In addition to the Humphrey Seminar, Fellows typically sit in on 1-3 graduate-level courses of their choosing each semester.  While most Fellows find suitable classes within the College of Education, some Fellows attend classes outside of the College (with the permission of the instructor).

Professional Development

Professional development activities may include conferences, workshops, professional network meetings, and certification courses.  Fellows work with coordinators to identify the best activities within their field of interest.  The Institute of International Education also facilitates professional enhancement workshops that engage Fellows in cross-disciplinary and multi-regional exchanges.  Through professional development, Fellows are given opportunities to meet and exchange information and share experiences with their American counterparts and Humphrey colleagues from around the world.

The Washington Global Leadership Forum

All Fellows attend this four-day seminar in Washington, D.C. to learn more about U.S. institutions, federal agencies, and international organizations. Humphrey Fellows meet with representatives of key organizations, participate in sessions on leadership and professional development, and make professional contacts. The Global Leadership Forum provides an opportunity for Fellows to meet their Humphrey colleagues from all 13 host campuses and to initiate the friendships and professional relationships that will continue throughout the Fellowship year and beyond.

Fellows pointing to their country's flag on a flags of the world poster.
Fellows from 2019-20 finding their flags represented during a reception at the State Department.

Community Service

Community service is a significant component of the Penn State experience and a requirement of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program. Through the course of the year, our office seeks out group-volunteering opportunities, such as the United Way Day of Caring. In addition, each Fellow is expected to find an organization to volunteer his or her time for 2-4 hours each week.  Although the main goal of volunteering is to give back to the community, Fellows often describe the impactful experiences and lasting bonds with the community that they develop.

Fellows standing outside Sunset Park after volunteering.
A group of Humphrey Fellows from 2018-19 and coordinators posing after cleaning up Sunset Park.

Professional Affiliation

The culmination of the Fellowship year is a six-week work experience, or Professional Affiliation, arranged by the Fellows, that involves them with American organizations and provides another opportunity for meeting and working with their American peers.  

Ana Gonzalez holding her ID card in front of University of Houston sign
Ana Gonzalez, 2017-18 Fellow from Venezuela, celebrating her professional affiliation with the Physics Department at the University of Houston.

At Penn State, Fellows are also expected to complete a local professional affiliation in the State College area.  This most often takes place with a Fellow's counterpart at Penn State, the State College Area School District, or a local nonprofit organization. This affiliation lasts throughout the academic year, with Fellows dedicating 8-10 hours each week.

Fellows touring Penn State University Press warehouse.
Fellows touring Penn State University Press, the professional affiliation host of Shumaila Memon (second from right), 2019-20 Fellow from Pakistan.