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Historic alliance launches between Howard University and UCD Smurfit School

  • Date: Fri, Sep 2, 2022

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By Beth Gormley, UCD College of Business, PR and Communications Manager

Photo: Howard University, Washington, D.C.

UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School has announced a new strategic partnership with Howard University (HU), one of the most prestigious universities in the US and one of the oldest historically black colleges and universities (HBCU’s) in the country. 

Two new scholarships, for one female and one male student, will be available for Howard University graduates to undertake an MBA or MSc programme at UCD Smurfit School. 

“International collaborations are an integral part of our work in universities, and this partnership is the first of its kind in Ireland,” said Professor Gerardine Doyle, Director of UCD Smurfit School and Associate Dean of UCD College of Business. “It highlights UCD’s commitment to offering programmes in partnership with top-tier global partners like Howard University that advance high academic standards and diversity, equity and inclusion in business and entrepreneurship.”

“As Ireland’s leading graduate business school, this partnership augments our ability to continuously evolve our offerings to meet the needs of students and businesses in our rapidly changing world.” 

The HU-UCD Global Scholarships form part of a broader collaboration between both institutions. The primary goal is to explore and identify opportunities to promote global experiences and facilitate the advancement of knowledge by fostering collaboration and cooperation between HU and UCD. 

In addition to the scholarships, a range of student travel options will form part of the new alliance. Graduate level business students will have the opportunity to participate in exchanges incorporating intensive study tours, lectures, collaborative projects with an emphasis on entrepreneurship and site visits to leading international firms.

Howard University

“The partnership will offer students the opportunity to engage in a significant global learning experience which includes lectures at the partner university and completing a joint project around societal challenges,” Anthony D. Wilbon, Ph.D., Dean of Howard University School of Business.

“In addition, the long-established business connections between the US and Ireland offer the opportunity for students to visit organisations to learn first-hand the dynamics of international business operations. These interactions beyond the classroom will enhance the student experience as they develop meaningful, business relationships and strengthen international career networks.”

Located in the heart of Washington D.C., Howard University is a private, research university and is ranked 83rd in the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges list. The student population is just under 10,000 with business majors accounting for around 15% of graduates. In addition, the Howard University School of Business has been ranked number one for “greatest opportunity for minority students,” by the Princeton Review. With a strong alumni network and state-of-the-art resources, Howard is a welcome partner with Ireland’s global university. 

“As a globally-connected, research-intensive, business school we seek to actively inspire and co-create a transformational educational environment and new knowledge so that our students, alumni and faculty deliver a positive impact for business and society,” continued Professor Doyle. “This innovative partnership with Howard University will allow for students and faculty from both universities to explore new opportunities for exchanges and research links, and to expand their networks in America's capital and Dublin, the dynamic European business hub for the world’s leading companies.”

The African American Irish Diaspora Network

Initial discussions regarding a potential collaboration were developed between Professor Doyle and Dennis Brownlee. Mr Brownlee is the Founder and Chairman of the African American Irish Diaspora Network and has an extensive career as an entrepreneur and business development executive in media and entertainment, which included the role as vice president at iHeartMedia and an Emmy Award to his name. 

Launched in early 2020, the mission of the African American Irish Diaspora Network (AAIDN) is to foster relationships between African Americans and Ireland through shared heritage and culture. It is estimated that roughly a third of African Americans have some Irish ancestry, and AAIDN is working to build a community through which Irish and African Americans can connect not only through that ancestry, but also via other affinities.

“This partnership is an important part of AAIDN’s initiative to promote entrepreneurship opportunities between Ireland and the African American community. It will provide emerging entrepreneurs new channels to enhance learnings around dignity and respect across cultures and to ensure that all talent has an opportunity to grow and develop,” said Mr Brownlee. “This is an unparalleled chance for students to understand historical cultural links, and through the shared experience of international exchange, highlight the value of new ideas, new ways of thinking and how diversity enhances international business.” 

This September 29th, AAIDN is holding its inaugural  Diaspora Leadership Awards Gala in New York City, at which it will honour former President of Ireland Mary McAleese; Harvard University Professor Henry Louis (Skip) Gates; International President of the Transportation Workers Union John Samuelsen, and 2019 Miss Universe Ireland and NASA Data Engineer Fionoulla (Fig) O’Reilly. AAIDN will earmark a portion of proceeds raised through the Gala to help fund this scholarship and student exchange program.   

Innovative Collaborations

“As Ireland’s leading global business school, the UCD College of Business, prioritizes innovative collaborative partnerships and our new alliance with Howard University reflects our global strategy of Embracing the World”, according to Professor Don Bredin, Associate Dean International, UCD College of Business. “Our new collaboration with Howard University highlights UCD’s commitment to offering programmes in partnership with top-tier global partners like Howard University that advance high academic standards and diversity, equity and inclusion in business and entrepreneurship”.

For more information about this exciting partnership between the UCD Smurfit School and Howard University, contact the UCD Smurfit School Admissions team or the Howard University Admissions team. 


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