The 20th Anniversary of Humphrey Alumni Association of Turkey and the 35 th year of the Humphrey Program in Turkey is celebrated convivially in an Alumni Dinner organized by Humphrey Alumni Association of Turkey on March 6, 2015. Many humphrey program alumni (including the first and the latest alumni members) participated the event and US Embassy Public Affair Officer and Deputy Executive Director of Turkish Fulbright Commission joined the alumni in this special evening.
The Association’s President Aysegul Cerci highlighted the program features and the impacts of humphrey experiences on alumni and talked about the past achievements and future plans of the Association in her opening remarks. US Embasy Public Affair Officer Jonathan D. Hennick underscored the importance of the humprey program and efforts of Turkish humphrey alumni on networking and their giving back to their country.
Humphrey alumni all together cut the 20th year cake and took family photos. The event ended with the launching of recently renewed the Association’s website which is designed to reach a wider audience as well as to provide a platform for networking among larger humphrey community. That was a fun evening in which a lot of humphrey memories remembered and cherished and many future plans have been discussed.
An excerpt from the President of the Association, Aysegul Cerci’s opening remarks ;
“About Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program
As humphrey alumni, we are often asked by program officials,colleques, friends and potential applicants about our humphrey experience; how do we describe it? What was it like? How is it different from standard graduate studies? And in fact its a complex question that you can not easily answer with one word or so..Some of the answers we usually give are like “its a great program or, “Humphrey program is a unique international experience” or “its once in a lifetime experience you can possibly have”.
My answer, now, after ten years later, would be like this;, “the humphrey program is truly a multicultural experience by its nature which you can not quite repeat in another setting and it is also an amazing growth experience both on professional and personal level because of its multidimensional structure, and of course it is full of challenges and opportunities which actually makes it fun and interesting!”.
But, what I mean by saying “multicultural and growth experience”, let me explain a bit;
As you know humphrey program is created to honor late senator and vice president Hubert H. Humphrey’s prominent career as a statesman and champion of civil rights in 1978. So, each year nearly 200 young and mid-career public service professionals from 160 countries come together and based in 15 different US universities in a group of 12-15 fellows. So with your group of fellows, each is coming from a different country, literally you study together, travel together, be neighbors if you live on campus, and share some joyful and difficult moments of life for the whole humphrey year. Of course you also meet and interact with many Americans like professors, program officers and local people. As a result of this integrated academic and professional process, you certainly develop and improve some relationship skills and gain some insights about the meaning of tolerance and mutual understanding. That’s why humphrey program is a unique example of celabrating and practising diversity in a community. I guess thats what the world needs the most in our age..!”