International Studies & Programs

Humphrey Fellows, MSU celebrate program director’s achievements and mentorship

Program leader Beth Mugavero wins award for public diplomacy

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Published: Monday, 22 Jun 2020 Author: Danielle Fowler

This spotlight is part of a series celebrating the 2020 international award recipients. Learn more about all of this year’s awardees on our International Awards page.

When Humphrey Fellows first arrive on campus, Beth Mugavero is likely the first Spartan they meet.

The Humphrey Fellowship Program brings young and mid-career professionals to the US for a year of non-degree graduate-level study, leadership development, and professional collaboration. For six years, Fellows at MSU have gained valuable knowledge and experience under the leadership of Beth Mugavero, coordinator of the program at MSU.

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Beth Mugavero (fifth from left) stands with a cohort of Humphrey Fellows.

Mugavero is this year’s recipient of the Charles A. Gliozzo Award for Public Diplomacy. The award recognizes a member of the greater MSU community who is making significant contributions to public diplomacy through educating, training or promoting knowledge and understanding between faculty, staff, community members and international students, scholars and visitors.

The Humphrey Fellows Program provides ten months of non-degree academic study and professional experience in the US to young and mid-career professionals from around the world. The experience offers Fellows valuable opportunities for leadership development and professional engagement with Americans and their counterparts from many nations. Only sixteen universities in the US have been chosen to host the Humphrey Fellowship Program, based on their excellence in designated fields of study and for the resources and support they offer Fellows.

Aruna Badoo, a Humphrey Fellow from Republic of Mauritius who came to MSU in 2018, describes his time in the program as “life changing” and credits Mugavero for going above and beyond to make the Fellows feel welcome. “Beth was our asset. She coached us really wonderfully and at times, you do feel she was doing more than her professional duty. She was providing us personal attention to help us in times when we were missing our family,” he says.

“She is a diplomat and very experienced managing the fellowship,” says Aleem Siddiqui Guiapal, a Humphrey Fellow from the Philippines. Guiapal, who came to MSU to study smart cities and green economic practices, points to Mugavero’s experience and skill in communication as a major factor of the success of the program. “The contacts and network she built (and shared with us) were very helpful. Her attitude made me and the other Fellows feel at home.”

For her part, Mugavero points to the talent and passion of the Fellows themselves as a large part of the program’s success. “I have the privilege of helping incorporate a remarkable group of fellows into the Spartan community each year, all of which are doing world-changing work in their home countries, and make lasting impacts here during their stay,” says Mugavero.

“Beth was our asset. She coached us really wonderfully and at times, you do feel she was doing more than her professional duty. She was providing us personal attention to help us in times when we were missing our family.” -Aruna Badoo

In addition to her direct work with students, Mugavero has spent her time at MSU building consensus on campus and in the community to support the Humphrey Fellows Program.

“Beth has consistently been able to convene campus and community constituencies in support of international engagement and development,” says Ashley Green, the award nominator and assistant dean of administration for International Studies and Programs. “Her attention to detail, program management, and innovation has had positive impacts for several years.”

Mugavero explains that a program like the Humphrey Fellows isn’t run alone. “I am grateful to both Assistant Dean Ashley Green and Associate Dean Robert Glew not only for the nomination, but for their patience, their mentorship, and their willingness to only see and bring out the best in others.”

In 2020 the Humphrey Fellowship Program at MSU enters its eighteenth year, six of which Mugavero has served as coordinator. “Because of her committed efforts, our Humphrey Fellow visiting scholars have rich experiences and resources to further their knowledge and professional goals,” says Green. The future of the program looks bright.

“I am honored and humbled to accept the Charles A. Gliozzo Award this year,” says Mugavero. “To work with all of these remarkable people at an institution that so values international cooperation, the community, their staff and faculty has been life-changing for me.  Thank you for the opportunity to continue to contribute to the work of this university.”

Tags: Global