Category: Uncategorized

Spring Seminar Begins with Session on Leadership and Professional Development

January 23rd, 2018 in Uncategorized


On January 22nd, the Fellows and coordinators gathered for the first seminar session of the spring semester.  After a delicious lunch, each Fellow described his or her experiences over the winter break and their plans for the remainder of the Fellowship year.

HHHP Director and Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior Jack McCarthy then led the next session of his continuing series on leadership development. In addition to delivering a lecture, Dr. McCarthy led the Fellows in beginning to craft and discuss their personal mission statements.

Questrom School of Business Professor Tom Anastasi then introduced Career Development resources at BU—both those offered at Questrom and others made available to the entire student population at BU. Professor Anastasi promises to return soon to work more with the Fellows on their professional development goals.

Mendieta, Konstantinakos & Others Complete “Culture and Climate Change in Nicaragua”

January 18th, 2018 in Uncategorized

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In January 2018, Assistant Director Cyrus Konstantinakos and 2013–2014 BU HHHP Alumnus Ricardo Mendieta completed a bilingual photo-essay book entitled Culture and Climate Change in Nicaragua with students and faculty at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua at Managua, Peace Corps Volunteers, BU HHHP student interns, and members of the Hubert H. Humphrey Family.

OGC LogoThis project is part of Our Global Cultures (OGC)—an initiative of the BU HHHP that aims to raise awareness of Fellows’ home cultures. OGC was brought to life by two Public Diplomacy Grants from the U.S. Department of State, funds from National Geographic Learning (where Ricardo completed a Professional Affiliation), and individual donations. Peace Corps and the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, Managua also provided logistical and other support.

Nicaraguan students who participated in this project have learned to promote global awareness of their culture using English and digital media. The book, now in press, is scheduled for classroom use by these entities:

Culture and Climate Change in Nicaragua has been featured by the Nicaraguan news outlets La Prensa, Metro and El Nuevo Diario and by Peace Corps and BU’s Pardee School of Global Studies.

Many Humphrey Fellows have supported and participated in OGC since 2010:

Syeda Nail Batool (2013–14, Pakistan/BU) Julio César Canelo Castillo (2007–08, Nicaragua/BU)
Amara Moussa Doumbia (2013–14, Mali/BU) Arwa Eshaq (2011–12, Yemen/BU)
Agnes Igoye (2010–11, Uganda/U. Minnesota) Dilorom Mirsaliyeva (2011–12, Kazakhstan/BU)
Lubna Mohammed (2014–15, Yemen/BU) Tatiana Momoldaeva (2013–14, Kalmykia, Russia/BU)
P. W. Anusha Nishanti (2014–15, Sri Lanka/BU) Melanie Noguera Carrillo (2008–09, Nicaragua/BU)
Ganga Ray Gautam (2010–11, Nepal/BU) Siany Gordon (2010–11, Costa Rica/BU)
JC Rivera Mendieta (2014–15, Panama/BU) Samira Moussaoui (2010–11, Algeria/BU)
Shanta Nagendram (1987–88, Malaysia/Tufts U.) Eva Ramos (2012–13, Panama/BU)
Juvaria Shahid (2011–12, Pakistan/BU) Sujeev Shakya (2002–03, Nepal/BU)
Jovita Tamosaityte (2013–14, Lithuania/BU) Nada Tarradah (2014–15, Bahrain/BU)
Fermin Vallecillo Moreno (1990–91, Nicaragua/BU) Deki Yangzom (2011–12, Bhutan/BU)
Reema Zarough (2010–11, Libya/BU)

Several BU HHHP student interns have also contributed:

Megan Antonellis, International Relations, 2016 Alex Babcock, International Relations, 2015
Joy Cohen, International Relations, 2016 Alec Lynde, International Relations, 2016
Jasmine Miller, Int’l Relations & Economics, 2016 Kathleen Nave, International Relations, 2016
Montana Rispoli, Communication, 2017 Katie Teran, International Relations, 2016
Haley Wiebel, International Relations, 2016 Vanessa Zarba, Communication, 2016

OGC is advised by Dr. Ksenya Khinchuk, former Director of the BU HHHP, Anne L. Howard-Tristani, Humphrey Family Representative to the Humphrey Fellowship Program, Dr. Philip M. Tate, Professor at the BU School of Education, and Dr. Kristi Rudelius-Palmer, former HHHP Director at the University of Minnesota.

A second book project is currently underway in Uganda with Agnes Igoye (2010–2011, Uganda/University of Minnesota) and Jovita Tamosaityte (2013–2014, Lithuania/Michigan State), with support from the U.S. Embassy, Peace Corps, and alumni of the Young African Leaders Initiative—another exchange program under the U.S. Department of State.

Al Petras and former Durgin Park Chef Host Christmas Eve Dinner

December 28th, 2017 in Uncategorized

On December 24th, Al Petras, a BU HHHP seminar speaker, host family member, BU alumnus and former Senior Vice President of Bank of America hosted several Fellows, their families and friends, and Assistant Director Cyrus Konstantinakos and his family for a special Christmas Eve dinner at his home in Milton, Massachusetts.

Al prepared the dinner with Mr. Paul George, a longtime friend and former chef at the storied downtown Boston restaurant, Durgin Park among other Boston-area restaurants.

Al and Paul pulled together a diverse and exquisite menu that included fresh beef from Pennsylvania Amish country and spiral baked ham from Virginia. Each guest brought foods from their cultures as well; for example, Waqas Munir and his family brought Pakistani rice pudding, and Aziza Pulotova, Milena Vucinic and their families brought homemade sweets from Tajikistan and Montenegro.  Here is the mouth-watering menu that Al prepared:

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We thank Al and Paul for making Christmas Eve a warm, memorable night for several members of the cohort and their families who were spending the holiday break in Boston.

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Host Family Member and Seminar Speaker Janet Ferone Takes Fellows to Massachusetts Conference for Women

December 7th, 2017 in Uncategorized

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On December 6th and 7th, Janet Ferone, a former administrator of the Boston Public Schools and Boston-area chapter president of the National Organization for Women, arranged for two BU Humphrey Fellows—Alena Vachnová of Slovakia and Milena Vučinić of Montenegro, to join the 2017 Massachusetts Conference for Women.


Alena Vachnová of Slovakia and Milena Vučinić of Montenegro

The event has been sold out since long before the Fellows arrived in August, and it was amazing that Janet was able to make this happen. She, Alena and Milena had a fabulous time together, which included attending presentations such as these:

Viola Davis

An actress who rose out of “the absolute epitome of poverty” to become the first African American actress to win a Tony, Oscar and Emmy Award in addition to being the most Academy Award nominated black actress in history. 

Meryl Streep

One of the most critically acclaimed actresses in the U.S. of the past forty years and co-founder of Mothers and Others, a consumer advocacy group that promotes sustainable agriculture. Streep is also actively involved in Women for Women International, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Donor Direct Action, Women in the World Foundation and Partners in Health.

Meryl Streep speaking during a lunch eventMeryl Streep speaking during a lunch event

Gloria Steinem

A journalist and social political activist who became nationally recognized as a leader and a spokeswoman for the American feminist movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Steinem was a columnist for New York magazine and a co-founder of Ms. She is also a co-founder of the Women’s Media Center, an organization that strives “to make women visible and powerful in the media.”

Janet also brought four students from Boston Public Schools to attend the young women’s program at the conference, and one was a young woman who had just moved to Boston from Bosnia two years ago. As Janet notes, “she was delighted to meet women from her part of the world and even have conversations in her native language. A lot of great connections all around.”


Fall Semester Closes with Leadership Seminar and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Tour

December 5th, 2017 in Uncategorized

On December 4th, we concluded the Fall Seminar program and leadership development series with a reflective final session over lunch, during which HHHP Director and Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior Jack McCarthy led the Fellows through a review of the semester’s lessons and a series of related, reflective activities.

The centerpiece of this session was an exercise called Life Lines, in which the Fellows charted and then discussed with one another their professional, personal and family lives since the beginning of their careers, including projected their future goals for each of those three Life Lines.

Professor McCarthy also described in more detail the main leadership development activity of the spring term, a survey-based individual coaching session with our August Orientation Retreat Facilitator, Dr. Chris Roland. The Program will send a short survey to a list of about fifteen people that each Fellow believes can provide constructive, anonymous feedback on their leadership behaviors. The data will then be processed into a report, which will form the basis of each Fellow’s discussion with Dr. Roland.

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Following this session, we enjoyed a brisk walk over to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum for a docent-led tour. The Gardner Museum houses an art collection of global importance. Taking it all in was a wonderful way to close our fall semester and look forward to the second half of our Fellowship Year together. 

Professor Tom Anastasi and HHHP Director Jack McCarthy Lead Session on Conflict Resolution

November 28th, 2017 in Uncategorized


On November 27th, Adjunct Assistant Professor Tom Anastasi joined BU HHHP Director and Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior Jack McCarthy in leading the Fellows through an engaging introduction to conflict resolution.

Dr. Anastasi has taught courses in the departments of Organizational Behavior, Marketing and Operations at the Questrom School of Business for over twenty years. He previously served as Interim Dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies at Daniel Webster College and managed the MBA Program as well as a number of other programs. He has completed research and authored books on negotiation and conflict resolution, interpersonal dynamics, international relations, and entrepreneurship.

Dr. Anastasi first provided an introduction to some basic models for thinking about conflict resolution. He explained, for example, that all conflicts result in one of five outcomes:

  • win-lose
  • lose-win
  • lose-lose
  • compromise
  • win-win

Also, he explained that there are five styles of conflict management:

  • Collaborating
  • Competing
  • Avoiding
  • Accommodating
  • Compromising

Dr. Anastasi emphasized that none of these strategies is superior in and of itself—that how effective they are depends on the context in which they are used.

Following Dr. Anastasi’s brief lecture, the Fellows completed the Conflict Management Styles Assessment, and then Dr. Anastazi facilitated a discussion of the results. During the discussion, he noted the influence of sociocultural bias and explained that the U.S. is considered to have a culture that emphasizes compromising and avoiding styles of conflict management.

In closing remarks, BU HHHP Director Jack McCarthy underscored the critical value of this activity to the Fellows’ leadership development.


Dr. Chris Roland and HHHP Director Jack McCarthy Lead Reflective Seminar Session

November 21st, 2017 in Uncategorized

On Monday, December 20th, Dr. Chris Roland, a BU SED graduate and the facilitator of the BU HHHP’s Orientation Retreat in New Hampshire last August, joined HHHP Director and Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior Jack McCarthy in leading the Fellows’ group reflections on their experience since the beginning of the Fellowship year.

With Professor McCarthy’s assistance, Dr. Roland led a number of exercises that engaged the Fellows in thinking about and discussing their successes and challenges of the past four months. 

P1020409During the spring term, Dr. Roland will join us again as the program’s series on leadership development continues. First the Fellows will obtain 360-degree feedback from their peers and colleagues both back home and in the U.S., and then they will individually meet with Dr. Roland to discuss the data.  

Fellows, Coordinators and Host Families Visit Old Sturbridge Village

November 19th, 2017 in Uncategorized

P1020355On November 18th, the Fellows, members of their families, and Coordinators gathered with a few host family members for a daylong excursion to Old Sturbridge Village, a living museum that re-creates life in rural New England from the 1790s to the 1830s. It is the largest living museum in New England, covering more than 200 acres (80 hectares). The property includes 59 antique buildings, three water-powered mills, and a working farm. It is a popular tourist and educational field trip destination. Costumed interpreters speaking in modern language help visitors understand 19th-century life.


Following a guided tour, we enjoyed a festive Thanksgiving feast on the premises, which included hard-carved turkey, mashed potatoes, butternut squash, vegetables, salad, cranberry sauce, rice pudding, and apple pie. Everyone then broke into small groups to stroll around the village, ride on a horse-drawn carriage, and observe various activities taking place inside the buildings.

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Fellows Cheer On BU Women’s and Men’s Basketball Teams

November 15th, 2017 in Uncategorized

On the evening of Friday, November 10th, team spirit was in the air as Fellows, host families, and staff got together to cheer on the the women’s and men’s basketball teams at the opening home games of the 2017–2018 season. We thank Al Petras—a BU alumnus, former SVP of Bank of America, and HHHP seminar speaker and host family member—for arranging this vibrant and exciting evening for us on an otherwise very cold Friday night in Boston.

The doubleheader against Northeastern University started off with the women’s team winning a 74 73 nail-biter. The men’s team followed and fought hard, but they ended up losing 59-65.

Win or lose, it was a great evening for the Fellows and the Program. With the BU dance team, cheerleaders, marching band, and energetic fans, everyone got swept up in the excitement of Division I basketball.  Al even arranged a visit by BU mascot Rhett at our seats!

Waqas Munir of Pakistan and his family with Rhett the BU mascot

Waqas Munir of Pakistan and his family with Rhett the BU mascot

Humphrey Fellows Kick Off International Education Week at Pine Manor College

November 14th, 2017 in Uncategorized

On the evening of Monday, November 13th, BU Humphrey Fellows dined with students and faculty at Pine Manor College in what was Pine Manor’s kickoff event of International Education Week.

pmc collage3International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Departments of State and Education during which schools, colleges and universities, embassies, businesses, and other organizations throughout the country celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange.

pmc collageThe event began with remarks by President Tom O’Reilly, an experienced business leader, teacher, former President of the Boston School Committee, and a big fan of Hubert Humphrey’s. With Fellows flanking him on both sides, O’Reilly spoke about the significance of Hubert Humphrey’s legacy and the spirit of international education at Pine Manor. Then each Fellow, accompanied by a student assistant, joined tables where other students were already seated and enjoyed conversations well into the evening.

Pine Manor has one of the most diverse student populations in the United States. As the Fellows and students dined on international cuisine specially prepared for the event, they enjoyed wide ranging conversations about their respective backgrounds, future goals, and the world at large. Many of Pine Manor’s first-year students enrolled in the seminar Living in a Multicultural World were present, and this topic was also broadly discussed.

It was inspiring to see everyone bond so well with one another!

pmc collage2We thank William Stargard, Professor of Art History and Assistant Dean of Faculty Development and Teaching Excellence, and Michele Ramirez, Professor of Psychology, for organizing this wonderful event in the spirit of international exchange.

P1020307We were also delighted that Josiane Sylvie Mbakop Noukeu of Cameroon, a member of the 2016–2017 cohort at BU who is still in Boston completing an extension of her Fellowship, was able to join us for this event. Josy connected with the new cohort and had a great time speaking with Pine Manor students.

We were further delighted to realize that President Tom O’Reilly and HHHP Director Jack McCarthy were high school classmates at the Boston Latin School, the oldest and first public school in the United States.  It is a small world indeed!