The Johns Hopkins Gazette: February 18, 2002
February 18, 2002
VOL. 31, NO. 22


Goal for his Fulbright experience: Encouraging minorities to travel

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

The best way to become a citizen of the world, in Ralph Johnson’s estimation, is to “visit [others’] homes, eat their food, hear their stories and celebrate their culture.” As associate dean of students and as the director of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at Homewood, Johnson says he is determined to get that message through to students here at Johns Hopkins University.

Johnson will continue to lead by example as a Fulbright Scholar in the U.S.-Germany International Education Administrators Program during the spring 2002 semester. The program is offered to approximately 25 U.S. college administrators each year for participation in a group seminar on German higher education and society.

April 5 through 26, the program will take Johnson through Germany for briefings, meetings with government officials, campus tours and cultural events. He also will have the chance to meet with German university administrators who are his counterparts. Johnson will be spending the first week in Berlin, and the visit will include stops in Thuringia and Aachen before he departs for home from Brussels.

His German excursion will follow closely on the heels of another international journey: During intersession, Johnson led a group of seven Hopkins students and three staff members on a study tour of Ghana. That trip was inspired by his travels there in the summer of 2000.

Johnson, who holds a doctorate in higher education, says his goal is to inspire Hopkins students to see the world around them.

“I am particularly concerned about the relatively low numbers of minority students who participate in study-abroad programs or any type of international travel or education,” he wrote in his application essay for the Fulbright award. “Accordingly, I will begin to address this issue at Hopkins and would do research and publish findings among higher education officials nationally as we seek ways to provide the motivation and financial support to increase the number of minority students traveling internationally.”

--Amy Cowles