14:22 PM

The Honors Keep Coming: UHD Named Fulbright HSI Leader by the U.S. Department of State


By Marie Jacinto

Fulbright Badge_HSI_2023University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) was recently named a Fulbright HSI (Hispanic-Serving Institution) Leader for the first time. Each year since 2021, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs recognizes the strong engagement of select HSIs with the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government's flagship international academic exchange program.

This accolade is an honor indeed, considering that UHD is just one of 46 higher education institutions to be designated as a Fulbright HSI Leader. The recognized colleges and universities include two associate degree colleges, five baccalaureate colleges and special focus institutions, 14 master’s universities, and 25 doctoral universities.

Fulbright HSI Leaders demonstrate noteworthy support for Fulbright exchange participants and promote Fulbright program opportunities on campus. The initiative encourages administrators, faculty, and students at HSIs to engage with Fulbright and highlights the strength of HSIs as destinations for international students and scholars. 

Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Lee Satterfield commended the institutions receiving the Fulbright HSI Leader designation this year: “Representation matters and pairing the world-class educational opportunities that Hispanic-Serving Institutions provide with the power of Fulbright further enriches the experience and educational opportunities for students and scholars both at home and abroad.”

“This latest distinction for the University of being named a Fulbright HSI Leader stems from the scholarly excellence of our faculty,” said UHD President Loren J. Blanchard. “UHD experienced an unprecedented honor in the University’s history in 2022 when four of our professors (Ms. Natacha Poggio and Drs. Edmund Cueva, Shahnaz Savani, and Rahul Verma) were named Fulbright Scholars. Through their scholarship abroad, they sought to prevent suicide in Badakhshan; teach environmental communications in Ecuador; determine the current behavioral finance and environmental, social, and governance investments in the United Arab Emirates; and lead courses in Spain on the influence of the Classics in Latin America. These faculty members clearly demonstrate not only the research capital within UHD’s faculty base but also the diversity of thought, scholarship, and practice at UHD.”

On Nov. 9, the U.S. Department of State will host a Fulbright HSI Virtual Workshop featuring representatives from Fulbright HSI Leaders to share best practices to engage and support students and faculty, increase the global footprint on campus through the Fulbright Program, host international Fulbright students and scholars, and build international networks. This event is open to the public and is specifically designed for faculty, staff, and stakeholders at HSIs.


Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 400,000 students, scholars, artists, and teachers from all types of institutions the opportunity to study, teach, and conduct research abroad. Fulbrighters build connections, gain experience, exchange ideas, and address global challenges.

Learn more about Fulbright at https://fulbrightprogram.org.

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.