A Busy Spring for UC Davis Humphrey Fellows: Meeting Former Presidents and Seeing Giant Pandas

Humphrey Fellows at National Zoo

Written by Rowan O’Connell-Gates, student writer, Global Affairs

Over the past four decades or so, Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows have traveled from all over the world to American universitiesincluding the University of California, Davis—for professional and leadership development. The Humphrey Fellows also find time for traveling within the United States, and this past spring, the UC Davis Fellows traveled to Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, Georgia. 

Meeting Former President Jimmy Carter

Starting March 4, Humphrey Fellows from across their host universities congregated at Emory University in Atlanta for the Global Development and Social Justice Enhancement Workshop. Throughout the week, UC Davis Humphrey Fellows participated in workshop activities involving reflections, team building, human and civil rights, and justice issues.

UC Davis Humphrey Fellows, Fathimah Handayani (Indonesia), Kahlil Hassanali (Trinidad and Tobago), Litia Gaunavou-Tuberi (Fiji), and Xin Liu (China) with the Emory University Humphrey Fellowship Program coordinators (center) at the Global Development and Social Justice Enhancement Workshop.
(L-R): UC Davis Humphrey Fellows, Fathimah Handayani (Indonesia), Kahlil Hassanali (Trinidad and Tobago), Litia Gaunavou-Tuberi (Fiji), and Xin Liu (China) with the Emory University Humphrey Fellowship Program coordinators (center) at the Global Development and Social Justice Enhancement Workshop. 

Following the workshop, the attending Humphrey Fellows were treated to a question and answer session with the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program Founder and Former United States President Jimmy Carter. Later in the week, the Humphrey Fellows received a tour of President Carter’s non-profit organization, The Carter Center.

Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows posing with President Jimmy Carter (Center) at the Global Development and Social Justice Enhancement Workshop.
Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows posing with President Jimmy Carter (Center) at the Global Development and Social Justice Enhancement Workshop. 

Learning from a Former Humphrey Fellow

Two weeks after their time in Atlanta, the UC Davis Humphrey Fellows traveled to Washington, D.C. on March 19 to attend a workshop at the Institute for International Education. Taught by a former Humphrey Fellow, the workshop left a lasting impression on the mid-career professionals.

“Personally, it was one of the best workshops I have ever attended,” said UC Davis Humphrey Fellow Fathimah Handayani from Indonesia. “The facilitator was really great in creating a conducive atmosphere. Knowing the instructor was a Humphrey alumna, and learning from her experience during and after her Humphrey years was so inspiring.”  

UC Davis Humphrey Fellows Kahlil Hassanali (Trinidad and Tobago), Anita Kazamer (Hungary), Laila Annouri (Morocco), Maria Fernanda Gonzalez (Ecuador), Fathimah Handayani (Indonesia), Litia Gaunavou-Tuberi (Fiji), and Xin Liu (China)  at the Institute for International Education in Washington, D.C.
(L-R): UC Davis Humphrey Fellows Kahlil Hassanali (Trinidad and Tobago), Anita Kazamer (Hungary), Laila Annouri (Morocco), Maria Fernanda Gonzalez (Ecuador), Fathimah Handayani (Indonesia), Litia Gaunavou-Tuberi (Fiji), and Xin Liu (China) at the Institute for International Education in Washington, D.C.

Crossing Seeing Giant Pandas off of the Bucket List

Four days later, on March 23, the UC Davis Humphrey Fellows traveled to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, first greeted by Shellie Pick, an Animal Keeper at the park.

Unbeknownst to the UC Davis Humphrey Fellows, Pick explained that she, too, is a UC Davis affiliate. A 2012 graduate, Pick holds a UC Davis degree in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

UC Davis Humphrey Fellows Litia Gaunavou-Tuberi (Fiji), Laila Annouri (Morrocco), Maria Fernanda Gonzalez (Ecuador), Anita Kazamer (Hungary), Fathimah Handayani (Indonesia), and Kahlil Hassanali (Trinidad and Tobago)  alongside UC Davis alumna and Smithsonian National Zoological Park Animal Keeper Shellie Pick (center) at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.
(L-R): UC Davis Humphrey Fellows Litia Gaunavou-Tuberi (Fiji), Laila Annouri (Morrocco), Maria Fernanda Gonzalez (Ecuador), Anita Kazamer (Hungary), Fathimah Handayani (Indonesia), and Kahlil Hassanali (Trinidad and Tobago) alongside UC Davis alumna and Smithsonian National Zoological Park Animal KeeperShellie Pick (center) at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.

Later in the day, Pick provided the fellows with a guided tour of the facilities, with a stop, of course, to see the rare Giant Pandas.

One of the three Giant Pandas in its enclosure at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.
Caption: One of the three Giant Pandas in its enclosure at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.

The fellows reveled in the opportunity at spending time with a new UC Davis connection and with the Giant Pandas.

“We loved the pandas,” Handayani said. “It was so great to be able to see the pandas and get an explanation from a UC Davis alumna. There was so much Aggie spirit.

UC Davis Humphrey Fellows Litia Gaunavou-Tuberi (Fiji) and Maria Fernanda Gonzalez (Ecuador) on a guided tour by UC Davis Alumna and Smithsonian National Zoological Park Animal Keeper Shellie Pick.
(L-R): UC Davis Humphrey Fellows Litia Gaunavou-Tuberi (Fiji) and Maria Fernanda Gonzalez (Ecuador) on a guided tour by UC Davis Alumna and Smithsonian National Zoological Park Animal Keeper Shellie Pick.

Reflecting on the Trip

The opportunity to spend time in the U.S. capital and at Emory University are the latest in a long list of professional endeavors and travel adventures embarked upon by the UC Davis Humphrey Fellows, leading to both professional and personal growth.

“This has been an amazing opportunity,” Handayani said. “Knowing professionals from other disciplines and from many other countries expands our knowledge on cultures and points of view.”


About Global Affairs

Global Affairs brings the world to UC Davis, welcoming more than 8,400 international students, scholars and leaders, and hosting programs that inspire global curiosity, understanding and engagement. Compelled by the valuable outcomes of thinking globally, we make transformative opportunities a reality by supporting the thousands of students and faculty studying and researching internationally-and by facilitating collaborations that tackle the world's most pressing problems through more than 150 international partnerships.

Putting our vision of a UC Davis community that engages, thrives, and leads in this interconnected world into action, Global Affairs is now in pursuit of an ambitious goal: Global Education for All.


About Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program provides a year of professional enrichment in the United States for experienced professionals from designated countries throughout the world. The Humphrey Program is a Fulbright exchange activity that is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE), with primary funding provided by the U.S. Congress through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.

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