Q & A
C. Cymone Fourshey | Associate Professor of History and Faculty Coordinator for Postgraduate Advising
In September, Associate Professor of History C. Cymone Fourshey was appointed Susquehanna’s new faculty coordinator for postgraduate advising. The position was established to further strengthen the outcomes of a Susquehanna education. In this work, Fourshey is partnering with Ed Clarke, assistant provost for postgraduate opportunities and director of foundation and government relations, and Brenda Fabian, director of Susquehanna’s Career Development Center. In addition to these responsibilities and her teaching duties, Fourshey directs the university’s International Studies Program. Susquehanna Currents recently caught up with Fourshey to discuss her new role.
SC: How does teaching intersect with your new role?
CF: As a scholar of African history at a selective national liberal arts college, I see my mission as exposing students to new ideas and ways of thinking so they can analyze situations more comprehensively. I see my work as faculty coordinator for postgraduate opportunities as a chance to connect students to experiences that allow them to expand their skill sets, both intellectually and practically.
SC: What benefits do postgraduate awards offer students?
CF: Fellowships, scholarships, grants and volunteer opportunities are important options to consider in the development of a vocational path. By applying for these opportunities, students can hone in on their values and assess their goals. These opportunities should be seen as a way to build skills and increase one’s intellectual ability and, depending on the opportunity, one’s practical knowledge. Most importantly, a fellowship, internship or volunteer opportunity should be considered an important component of a student’s career path. They open many doors in the professional and graduate school worlds. While most of the opportunities are for postgraduate experiences, there are also a number of opportunities for sophomores, juniors and seniors.
SC: Several scholarships and postgraduate opportunities give students the chance to visit other countries. How beneficial is this to students?
CF: While there are many postgraduate opportunities here in the United States, there is also a host of experiences to be had abroad. Whether abroad or domestic, these experiences tend to be transformative, in that they expose students to ideas, places and people different from [those in] their previous experience. In visiting other countries, students are able to take in entirely new viewpoints and ways of living, which is increasingly important in both the workplace and our personal lives as communities across the globe become more diverse and transnational. If leveraged properly, garnering such opportunities abroad is a professional advantage for positioning oneself.
SC: You received two Fulbright scholarships to perform research in Tanzania. Why do you think it’s important to help others have meaningful postbaccalaureate experiences like yours?
CF: I am interested in helping students pursue such opportunities because I do believe that they will be transformational for them, whether through a Fulbright, Rhodes, Udall or other postgraduate award, or through volunteer opportunities such as the Peace Corps and Teach for America. Beyond allowing recipients to pursue issues of personal value, they provide individuals with the opportunity to refine their values and plans, while also enhancing skills that are essential in the professional world and one’s personal life.