Georgia Chapter of the Fulbright Association

News & Updates

Career Corner: Using Summer Wisely

Career Corner: Using Summer Wisely

The summer is upon us.  Life naturally takes on a different rhythm during this season. The days are longer, and this frequently leads to a burst of energy in the evening. We also tend to socialize more, often around holidays like Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day (at least in the U.S.). There are friends and family that we only see during this time of year. And, of course, many of us try to pack in vacation during the summer.

David J Smith — career coach, author, and Fulbrighter

The hiring process tends to be slower in the summer. With organizational fiscal years often starting in the fall (the U.S. federal government fiscal year starts October 1), summer is a time when planning is the priority.  As such, making major decisions on hiring staff is something that is kicked backed until the fall.  In addition, vacation impedes hiring in several ways. Human resources managers take off, but more importantly, hiring committees might have a difficult time getting together because of vacation. For instance, if you are thinking about a career in a college or university in a research or teaching position, getting hired in the summer is unlikely since faculty are off.  Generally, decisions about hiring in academia have been made by late spring. Overall fewer jobs are listed, and for open positions, the recruitment process can be very slow.

As such, summer planning might be better than summer applying. Use the summer months to engage in those activities that require engagement with others (it’s really the best time of the year to be networking) and do those things that improve your overall well-being and fortify you for a fall career campaign.

Here are a couple of suggestions:

  1. Attend events, both professional and social ones. The summer is packed with parties and receptions, some personal and some work related. Summer is no time to be a wallflower. Commit to being in as many “spaces” as you can (meaningful ones, of course). Summer is prime networking season.
  2. Engage in healthy and connective activities. Take advantage of the better weather to see to your physical and psychological health: hike, camp, swim, eat well, and sleep in when you can.  Also, connect with friends, colleagues, and family through events and one on one get-togethers. Often during the hustle and bustle of the year, we lose track of friends or colleagues.  Why not have coffee now, especially when you can have your iced latte outside?
  3. Develop a strategic plan for the fall. Now is the time to think and plan.  Make lists and collect your thoughts on how you will go about looking for work in the fall.  Planning to find work is looking for work!  The better planning you do now, the better the execution in the fall. You can line up informational interviews and put in applications in September, plan conferences to attend in October (like the Fulbright Association conference in DC in October), and focus on interviewing in November and December. Of course, your plans might change, but having a plan of action that you can put in motion in early September will lessen your anxiety about looking for work, and make the process more efficient.
  4. Make space for quiet time. Networking and even planning can be exhausting. The summer is a good time to do nothing! Studies show the benefits of disengagement with others and work (and social media). This disengagement and “nothingness” offers some mental rest and promotes creativity.
  5. Finally, take a vacation. Though there are other times of the year when vacation takes place, the summer allows for outside and physical activities. The beach or the mountains, makes no difference, getting out may be the best means of improving your mental health and wellness. If you don’t, once the fall comes, you might regret it.

Enjoy your summertime! Use the time to renew your commitments, think big and envision your future. But also connect with your humanity.

—David J. Smith

David J. Smith (Fulbright Scholar, Estonia 2003-2004) is a career coach and the author of Peace Jobs: A Student’s Guide to Starting a Career Working for Peace (Information Age Publishing 2016). He is on the career advisory board of the Peace and Collaborative Development Network. David writes regularly on career issues at He can reached at


Announcing: New Logo

Announcing: New Logo

We are excited to share important news affecting the Fulbright community worldwide. On the 22nd of May, the Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board unveiled a rebranding of the Fulbright Program, with a new logo and mission-driven language.

In coordination with all Fulbright-related organizations around the world, the Fulbright Association is joining this effort, and we are pleased to share our new logo.  You will find this now on our website and all social media channels.  Over the coming days, all of our chapters will make the same transition.

Why is this happening?  The new logo is part of a wider effort to put the Fulbright’s mission front and center, conveying the Program’s prestige without being elitist.  The messaging and the logo emphasize the impact on mutual understanding, the exchange of knowledge and solutions to complex global challenges.

How did we get here?  The State Department and its partners have spent several years developing this rebranding, interviewing over 100 Fulbrighters, educators and others worldwide, surveying over 1,000 U.S. college students, and analyzing Fulbright’s coverage in the U.S. media.

We hope that you are excited by this rebranding and the new logos for Fulbright and the Fulbright Association.  You can celebrate by getting your new Fulbright t-shirt, and catching up with Nan McEntire, as “Nan Rides for Fulbright” across the U.S—sporting the new brand!

You can also celebrate by taking action right now to ensure Fulbright’s continued funding by Congress.  If you haven’t signed the petition, do that right now.  If you have, but didn’t send a quick email, then click here to contact Congress.  Both will take just a minute and help ensure the future of Fulbright!

Celebrating the Life of Fulbright Prize Laureate Richard Lugar

Celebrating the Life of Fulbright Prize Laureate Richard Lugar

The Fulbright Association mourns the passing of Richard Lugar, former Indiana senator and the 2016 recipient of the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding. Senator Lugar was known for his leadership in foreign policy, his bipartisanship approach to decision-making, and his passion for pursuing global citizenship. His political career, marked with compassion and pragmatism, won him the respect and friendship of Republicans and Democrats alike.

As a Fulbright Prize laureate, the Association recognized Lugar’s support of international diplomacy. Serving as the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1985-87 and again from 2003-07, Senator Lugar occupied the position that Senator Fulbright himself once held. In response to the attacks on September 11, 2001, he co-sponsored the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange Study Program, which awards scholarships to students from countries with significant Muslim populations to study in the United States. He was a strong supporter of nuclear nonproliferation, and co-sponsored the Nunn–Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program.

“It’s important because the Program is fundamental, not only to the foreign policy of the United States, but to the building of relationships among nations,” said Senator Lugar on his strong support for the Fulbright Program. “The opportunity for students – who are going to be leaders – to be in other environments, to understand different disciplines, different histories, is a remarkable explosion of talent and interest. The momentum of this must continue.”

He was awarded the Prize in a ceremony that was followed by the opening ceremony of the 2016 annual conference in Washington, DC. Representative Joaquin Castro (Texas District 20) attended to give a speech in his honor. The Prize recognizes and rewards outstanding contributions toward bringing peoples, cultures, or nations to greater understanding of others. Other awardees include South African president Nelson Mandela, United States president Jimmy Carter, Secretary-General to the United Nations Kofi Annan, and most recently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“When he walked across the stage at our 2016 conference, Richard Lugar carried with him the seriousness of purpose that characterized his work and a vision of  hope, like that of Senator Fulbright, that we could shape a better world,” said Nancy Neill, who presented the Prize to Senator Lugar as the 2016 President of the Fulbright Association.

Among Senator Lugar’s many other accolades, former president Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. Along with Senator Joe Biden, his partner on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, received the Crescent of Pakistan in recognition for his multifaceted support for Pakistan in 2008. In 2005, the American Foreign Service Association awarded him the Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy Award. His legacy continues in the Lugar Center, a nonprofit and bipartisan public policy institution established to provide research-based advice on some of the issues most important to the senator: global food security, the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, foreign aid effectiveness, and bipartisan governance.

Senator Lugar will be remembered as a dear friend to the Fulbright community.

–Alison Aadland