University of South Florida St. Petersburg



Regional Chancellor Christian Hardigree.

Regional Chancellor receives Fulbright award for international education leadership program

By Matthew Cimitile, University Communications and Marketing

USF St. Petersburg Regional Chancellor Christian Hardigree has been selected to participate in the Fulbright International Education Administrators (IEA) Program in France this fall. Hardigree will take part in an intensive two-week seminar along with a dozen higher education leaders from across the U.S. to learn more about the French university and college systems from October 5-17, 2024. 

The Fulbright IEA Program seeks to build greater capacity for international education programming, enhance cross-cultural perspectives and initiate collaborations . Successes that have come out of previous IEA programs include establishing research initiatives, hosting international scholars, organizing conferences and engaging in student exchange opportunities. 

“It is an absolute honor and privilege to be selected and I look forward to representing USF and increasing the brand awareness for our institution while there,” Hardigree said. “I hope to learn and bring back some great nuggets of information on their approaches to higher education that are effective and that we could consider, evaluate and potentially implement here.” 

Hardigree has been regional chancellor of USF St. Petersburg since May of 2022. In this role, she oversees the overall operation and excellence of the campus and provides leadership in planning and execution of key strategic initiatives, from student success to increasing campus efforts in internationalization.

During the two weeks, the cohort will visit a wide range of universities and colleges across France. They will learn about best practices in education and student success taking place in the country and engage with faculty and administrators at public and private institutions as well as government officials. The group will also tour historical and cultural sites. The IEA program has taken place in France since 2013.

“Engaging with a diversity of experiences, of thoughts and of approaches on how other countries and institutions do things a certain way can help us re-evaluate our systems and create the potential for greater growth and successes,” Hardigree said.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and other countries. Since its establishment, the Fulbright Program has given more than 400,000 students, scholars, teachers, leaders and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

USF has a long history of academic collaboration with France at institutional, faculty and student levels. 

USF has three international agreements with French universities. Also, the university’s longest-running study abroad program brings students to Paris to explore the nation’s art and art history through visits to museums, galleries and cultural institutions. It is one of several faculty-led study abroad experiences to the country. 

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