During Spring break six NOVA faculty, provosts and administrators traveled to Brazil to advance a newly established partnerships with the Federal Institute of Science and Technology in Acre, Brazil (IFAC). An MOU was signed with IFAC as a result of the English teacher training programs NOVA has been hosting for the past two years. In March 2017, a team from Acre visited NOVA and an MOU was signed between Dr. Ralls and Dr. Rosana Cavalcante, Rector of IF-Acre formally establishing the relationship. In order to further develop the relationship, NOVA was invited for a reciprocal visit to meet with the IFAC faculty, staff and students in the hopes of finding common areas of interest to establish partnerships and exchanges.

IF-Acre is part of a federally funded system of 48 Federal Institutes (IFs) of Science and Technology with over 600 campuses located in every state of Brazil. IFs serve students at the high school, undergrad and graduate level primarily in the areas of science and technology. Like community colleges, each IF has specialty areas that meet the needs of their specific community and industries.

The state of Acre is one of the most remote in northwestern Brazil, bordering Peru and Bolivia and largely within the Amazon rainforest. Given its distance from the capital and the richer metropolitan areas on the coast, Acre is often overlooked and lacks exposure to international partnerships. It is home to many indigenous tribes which also make up part of their student populations as well as some of the most pristine rainforest and wildlife in the world.

As a result of the visit, plans are being made for faculty and student collaborations between the institutions that may include opportunities for academic and service learning projects abroad.

The visit was sponsored by NOVA’s Office of International Education and Sponsored Programs with support from the Annandale, Manassas, Woodbridge campuses as well as NOVA’s Workforce Development Division.  The NOVA delegation included; Dr. Pamela Hilbert (Provost AN), Dr. Sam Hill (Provost WO), Dr. Ghada Abdelmoumin (IT Professor AN), Dr. Rebecca Hayes (History Professor and Honors Chair MA), Ms. Keila Louzada (ACLI Coordinator, Workforce) and Stacey Bustillos (Associate Director, OIESP).

NOVA Named Fulbright Top Producing Institution for 2017-18


The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs recently announced the U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most 2017-2018 Fulbright U.S. Scholars. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Top-producing institutions are highlighted annually in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Professor Amy Coren from NOVA’s Alexandria campus was awarded a Fulbright grant for 2017-2018 to the University of Pecs in Hungary. NOVA was one of 25 community colleges who had Fulbright scholarships awarded this year.  NOVA faculty have consistently been awarded Fulbright scholarships over the past decade.

The Fulbright Scholar Program is supported at NOVA through the Office of International Education and Sponsored Programs.  Interested faculty can reach out to Stacey Bustillos ( who acts as the College’s Fulbright Liaison and can assist with application strategies and country selection.

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 380,000 participants—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Over 1,100 U.S. college and university faculty and administrators, professionals, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, and independent scholars are awarded Fulbright grants to teach and/or conduct research annually. The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program operates in over 125 countries throughout the world.

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State, funded by an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and supported in its implementation by the Institute of International Education’s Council for International Exchange of Scholars.

For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit


Scholarship for Business, Technology, and Innovation Internships in Russia!

American Councils Study Abroad is pleased to announce a new Scholarship for Business, Technology, and Innovation Internships in Russia!

U.S. undergraduate and graduate students in business, innovation, and STEM fields are now eligible to apply for the Business, Technology, and Innovation Scholarship for internships in Russia across two programs:

Scholarship Awards
Scholarships are awarded on the basis of financial need, program compatibility, and academic merit. Awards range from $3,000 to $5,000. Click here to learn about the Business, Technology, and Innovation Scholarship.

Internship Program

Students are matched with internship hosts from a network of companies in business consulting, finance, advertising, marketing, social media, technology, e-commerce, fashion, education, and more. Participants will prepare internship goals before departure, earn credit, and complete a capstone project of their choice upon program completion.

U.S. undergraduate and graduate students in business or STEM fields are eligible to apply for American Councils Business, Technology, and Innovation Scholarships. Applicants must be admitted to either OPIT or BRLI to receive funding. No prior study of Russian is required to participate in OPIT.

Application & Questions
Interested students should submit an online application to OPIT or BRLI by February 15 for summer 2018, or by March 15 for the fall 2018 BRLI program. Please direct any questions regarding the application process to the AC Study Abroad Team at