Two Fijians Attend the Study of the U.S. Institute for Scholars (SUSI) Fellowship

USP Journalism Program Coordinator Dr. Shailendra Singh (left) and USP Counsellor Saimone Tuni (right) with U.S. Embassy's Public Diplomacy Officer Rebecca Archer-Knepper.

Source: The University of the South Pacific Wansolwara Staff 

Two USP staff are among a group of international recipients of the prestigious Study of the U.S. Institute for Scholars (SUSI) fellowship this year.

USP Journalism Program coordinator Dr. Shailendra Singh and USP counsellor Mr. Saimone Tuni will participate in separate six-week fellowships in the United States, from June to July 2019.

The SUSI program engages scholars and practitioners in rigorous academic coursework and panel discussions, interact and establish networks of American scholars, meet experts in respective disciplines, visit civic institutions, and in some cases, participate in research symposia and conferences.

Dr. Singh will join journalists and media educators from 18 different countries at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication studying entrepreneurship, media innovation and government, while experiencing life in the United States.

Dr. Singh, a senior lecturer who has written widely about Pacific media, politics and development, both as a journalist and academic, said it was a privilege to be part of the program.

He is the first from Fiji and the Pacific to be selected for the SUSI progam in journalism. “I look forward to learning and sharing knowledge with colleagues from all parts of the world and applying it in my work,” said Dr. Singh.

“The contexts may be different but there are some common challenges that transcend national and regional, borders. I expect it to be an enriching experience.”

Dr. Singh is the first local coordinator of USP Journalism. He is also the first PhD in Journalism and Communication from the Pacific region to teach journalism at USP.

Meanwhile, Mr. Tuni said the central focus of his program with New York University’s Multinational Institute of American Studies (MIAS) was America’s reconciliation of culture and social diversity with national unity.

“I hope to apply what I’ve learnt in my work, particularly in the area of gender and sexual diversity. Part of my work as a counsellor is to coordinate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersex and queer, questioning (LGBTIQ+) activities and opportunities for USP students,” he said.

“I became a member of the USP Gender Committee under the Diversity Equity Inclusive Committee headed by the dean for the Faculty of Arts, Law and Education, Dr. Akanisi Kedrayate.”

Mr. Tuni is also the director of Rainbow Pride Fiji, a not-for-profit registered organisation in Fiji that advocates for the human rights of LGBT persons.