Astrid Villamil Takes Fulbright Specialist Program Award

Work takes her to Colombia, where she will assist with student success team

Astrid Villamil, assistant professor in the Department of Communication, recently received a Fulbright Specialist Program Award by the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Villamil, whose studies focus on identity, diversity, and communication; as well as organizational communication; was one of more than 400 U.S. citizens who share experiences each year with host institutions abroad through the Fulbright Specialist Program, according to a Fulbright press release.

“My research focuses on understanding how institutions and its members develop messages and practices that foster diversity, inclusion, and equity,” Villamil says.

The purpose of the award is to engage in a collaborative effort with administrators, student success staff, and students. She is doing this through her continued work at Uniminuto -- a private, nonprofit, Catholic university in Colombia. She said her work involves learning about how personal, social, and cultural identities shape students’ educational experiences and academic needs.

Villamil will be working with a student success team who is enthusiastic about transforming the university’s policies, procedures, and climate to ensure that Uniminuto remains an affirming and inclusive institution. Uniminuto is part of a broader organization – “Minute of God Organization” and has 75 physical campuses as well as distance-learning programs.

“I am excited to receive this award, as it will allow me the opportunity to do work in Colombia, my home country,” she adds. “I hold a great deal of respect and appreciation for the work Uniminuto is doing to foster an inclusive climate that meets students’ specific needs and acknowledges the fullness and importance of each students’ identities. I am eager to collaborate with and learn from this team.”