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African Students to Attend U.S. Department of State's Study of The U.S. Institute For Student Leaders On Women's Leadership at Simmons College

BOSTON (June 7, 2012) — In a true intercontinental exchange of what leadership means for women in the 21st century, Simmons College will host a "Study of the United States Institute on Women's Leadership," as part of a broader U.S. Department of State initiative designed to promote a better understanding of the U.S. abroad and to help develop future world leaders.

Twenty undergraduate women from five African countries, along with 10 Simmons students, will participate in a five-week program, "Women Changing the Face of Leadership." The initiate is designed to develop leadership skills and enhance their understanding of United States' history, government, and society with a particular focus on women's leadership.

The Department of State is supplying the grant under the Fulbright-Hays Act "to foster mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries." The students will arrive on campus toward the end of June.

As part of the program, the 20 young women, who hail from Angola, Liberia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan, will also tour the rich historical and cultural sites of Massachusetts, and participate in an educational tour in Atlanta and Washington D.C., where they will visit historic sites of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.

Simmons faculty in Africana Studies, history, political science, and management, joined by elected and appointed officials, will focus on critical thinking, communication, decision-making, and managerial skills in the context of the history and reality of women in U.S. politics, economics, culture, and society.

"We could not be more pleased to host these international students," said Simmons Provost Charlena Seymour. "The role of women as leaders today, here in the United States as well as across Africa, could not be more important." Seymour noted that the program not only aims for the women to absorb lessons of America's history and democracy, but also to share their experiences and those of their nations.

The Study of the U.S. Institutes are designed and funded by the Study of the U.S. Branch in the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). Study of the U.S. Institute participants are among over 40,000 individuals participating in U.S. Department of State exchange programs each year. For more than 60 years, ECA has funded and supported programs that seek to promote mutual understanding and respect between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Other ECA programs include the Fulbright Program and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program. For more information about ECA programs, visit

For more than a century, Simmons has educated women for their own empowerment and leadership. The School offers the only MBA designed expressly for women, which has been recognized by The Princeton Review among the "Best 294 Business Schools" in the country and is ranked No. 1 in the United States with the "Greatest Opportunity for Women."

Founded in 1899, Simmons College ( is a nationally ranked university located in the heart of Boston with a history of visionary thinking and social responsibility. It offers undergraduate education for women, and renowned coeducational graduate programs in nursing and health sciences, liberal arts, library and information science, social work, as well as an MBA program designed for women. Follow Simmons on Twitter @SimmonsCollege and @SimmonsNews.