Hendrix Director of Career Services named a Fulbright Alumni Ambassador

CONWAY – Hendrix College alumna and Director of Career Services Leigh Lassiter-Counts ’01, a past recipient of a Fulbright International Education Administration Award to Germany, has been selected as one of 14 U.S. Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors who will spend two years serving as official representatives of the Fulbright Scholar Program.

“We are thrilled for Leigh to share the power a Fulbright award can have on a campus and community as an Ambassador,” said Dr. Peter Gess, associate provost for engaged learning at Hendrix. “Her work will open doors for many more prospective Fulbright Scholars to imagine the possibilities of what a Fulbright Award can do in their lives and careers. And as Leigh benefits from continued involvement with the Fulbright Program, Hendrix students will benefit, too.”

In 2016, Lassiter-Counts participated in a two-week International Education Administrator seminar conducted by the Fulbright Commission in Germany. Through visits to numerous institutions, meetings with colleagues doing similar work, and connecting with professionals in German Higher Education, she gained a better understanding of the international world of work, and how to encourage Hendrix students to pursue a more global view of their lives after Hendrix. As a result, other Hendrix faculty and staff have applied for Fulbright awards, and students have been accepted to German summer study abroad and graduate school programs and earned prestigious post-graduate fellowships, such as the 2017 award to Elana Harrison ’13. 

“My Fulbright experience in Germany was life-changing for me and helped me become more knowledgeable and resourceful in helping Hendrix students to pursue international study, internship, graduate school, and work opportunities,” Lassiter-Counts said. “It only seemed natural to want to give back to the program that gave so much to me. Having the chance to inspire scholars and administrators around the U.S. to participate in Fulbright opportunities is a great honor.” 

The new cohort of Fulbright Scholar Alumni Ambassadors recently participated in a series of interactive online sessions geared toward those who hope to apply to become Fulbright Scholars in the coming years. It is the Fulbright program’s hope that in 2022, Alumni Ambassadors can continue their work in-person by visiting campuses and academic conferences across the United States. 

“The Fulbright program is celebrating 75 years of fostering mutual understanding between the United States and partner nations, advancing knowledge across communities, and improving lives around the globe,” Lassiter-Counts said. “As Ambassadors, our goal is to help the program truly represent America by encouraging applications from all geographic areas and institution types. Fulbright awards are competitive and prestigious, but not unattainable or elitist. I think the most common thing I say as an Alumni Ambassador that really resonates with folks is that ‘Fulbright is for you.’”

Lassiter-Counts graduated from Hendrix cum laude in 2001 and received the President’s Medal, presented each year to the Hendrix student who best exemplifies the highest ideals of the College. She earned a master’s degree in higher education administration in 2003 from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Her work at Hendrix spans 16 years, of which the last decade has been spent growing the impact of Career Services for the Hendrix community. Most notably, Lassiter-Counts and the Career Services team have created the Career Term professional skill-building program for all Hendrix sophomores, grown the internship program by almost 100 percent since 2010, and engaged faculty and staff in promoting the career competencies students gain through the robust liberal arts education provided at Hendrix.