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ASU among top 20 institutions for Fulbright award winners

19 Sun Devil students were accepted to the prestigious international exchange program in 2019-20

February 10, 2020

Arizona State University is again one of the top 20 universities that produced students and faculty members who won the prestigious Fulbright award, according to rankings released Monday.

ASU has been a top-20 university for Fulbright awards every year for the past 10 years. For 2019-20, ASU tied for 16th place, with 19 students accepted into the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program — more than the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Notre Dame and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ten ASU faculty members were Fulbright Scholars for 2019-20, going abroad for research projects in meteorology, social work, drama and environmental science, among other disciplines. The Fulbright rankings include only ASU's Tempe campus, which sent six faculty members abroad through Fulbright. Three faculty from the Downtown Phoenix campus and one from West campus also won Fulbrights during the ranking period.

ASU was one of only 16 institutions to be a top performer every year for the past decade, according to the results released Monday by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, which oversees the Fulbright program.

Among public universities, ASU ranked third in student Fulbright awards, behind the University of Michigan and the University of Arizona. The top Fulbright producers overall, and the number of students sent abroad, for 2019-20 are:

  • Georgetown University, 45.
  • Brown University, 38.
  • Princeton University, 31.
  • Villanova University, 30.
  • Columbia University, 28.
  • Harvard University, Stanford University and the University of Chicago, 27 each.
  • Northwestern University, 23.
  • University of Virginia, 22.
  • Johns Hopkins University, New York University and the University of Michigan, 21 each.
  • Yale University and the University of Arizona, 20 each.
  • Arizona State University and the University of Califonia, Berkeley, 19 each.
  • University of Iowa and University of Pennsylvania, 18 each.
  • University of North Carolina, University of Tennessee and University of Washington, 16 each.

Kyle Mox, associate dean for national scholarships and director of the Lorraine W. Frank Office of National Scholarships Advisement at ASU, said he is not surprised by ASU's continued success as a Fulbright "top producer."

“Our consistent success in Fulbright is the direct result of the ASU commitment to global engagement, service and scholarship. There’s no secret to the success — we work hard for it," he said.

“What this result should tell students who are considering whether or not they should apply for Fulbright is pretty clear: Do it. I believe that, with hard work and perseverance, any ASU student can write a winning application. We have an amazing network of mentors that are ready to make this happen.”

RELATED: Campus community rallies to help students apply for prestigious awards

The Provost’s Office works with ASU faculty members who are seeking Fulbright Scholar positions, according to Karen Engler-Weber, program director in the Office of the University Provost.

“Fulbright’s overarching principles are innovation, impact and inclusion, which are the fundamentals of ASU’s charter and design imperatives," she said. "Our faculty are particularly competitive for Fulbright as our faculty are already engaged in innovative work that supports our charter. It is exciting to see faculty take their work and research abroad through the Fulbright program, contributing to our global communities."

Engler said that ASU's Fulbright office provides a wide variety of resources to support the application process, from identifying awards to having application materials critically reviewed. 

"Nearly every faculty member that has utilized these resources has made it to the finalist round in the Fulbright competition," she said.

The top producer of Fulbright Scholars for the ranking period was Penn State's University Park campus, with 13 faculty members, followed by the University of Minnesota at Twin Cities, with 10, and the University of South Florida, with nine. Seven universities had eight Fulbright Scholars: Florida State, Michigan State, Oregon State, Purdue University at West Lafayette, the University of Kentucky, the University of New Mexico and the University of Washington. Five universities had seven Fulbright Scholars: Texas A&M at College Station, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at Davis, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and Washington State University. Tied with ASU's Tempe campus, with six scholars each, were Colorado State at Fort Collins, Emory University, Florida International University, Northwestern University and the University of Connecticut.

The Fulbright program, created in 1946 to increase mutual understanding between Americans and the people of other countries, provides the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research abroad. The program awards about 1,900 grants annually in all fields of study and operates in more than 140 countries. In addition, about 4,000 foreign Fulbright students and scholars come to the United States annually to study, lecture, conduct research and teach foreign languages.

On March 18, ASU will hold a “Fulbright Day” at the Memorial Union in Tempe. The information luncheon for faculty will be noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Mohave Room, with the student information session, with an alumni panel, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the Pima Room. A networking reception with Fulbright alumni and foreign Fulbrighters will be held from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Cochise.

Top image by Pixabay

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