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ASU named one of top producers of student Fulbright awards

October 26, 2010

ASU has been named one of the top producers of students who win Fulbright awards to study and teach abroad, by The Chronicle of Higher Education. The university stands out among public colleges, coming in second only to the University of Michigan. 

A record 23 ASU students received Fulbright awards last spring, and 20 currently are representing the school in 13 different countries. Three students declined their awards to pursue other opportunities.

Especially notable is that ASU has the highest winning percentage of any school in the nation, with 46 percent of the university’s 50 applicants achieving success. The other schools at the top of the list – Michigan, Yale, Brown, Stanford, University of Chicago and Northwestern – achieved an 18 percent to 33 percent success rate.

ASU students are especially successful at winning these overseas study grants, partly because of ASU’s emphasis on global studies and foreign languages, and also because of the strong support of faculty mentors, said Janet Burke, associate dean for national scholarships and internships at Barrett, the Honors College.

“Our students typically get started on their applications early and take advantage of the expertise and generosity of their faculty mentors in formulating their projects,” Burke said. “They also write multiple drafts of their essays and carefully implement the suggestions made at their Fulbright campus interview.

“I believe this seriousness of purpose and willingness to take advantage of the enormous opportunities offered to them at ASU is what leads so many to success.”

ASU’s Office of National Scholarship Advisement works with students across all four campuses, not only Honors College students, helping them prepare to compete for national and international awards of merit.

Fourteen of ASU’s student Fulbright winners are teaching English in foreign countries, while the others are working on sophisticated research projects, ranging from solar energy to cancer research. Each award winner developed a proposal and applied for a specific country.

The Fulbright Program is the premier fellowship program of the U.S. State Department. Its aim is to increase mutual understanding between the United States and other countries, while helping develop creative responses to problems as serious as climate change and pandemics.

This year the program has expanded the number of countries to which it sends English-language teaching assistants, as more countries have requested such aid. The department has sent 768 teaching assistants to almost 70 countries in the 2010-2011 academic year. Nine countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Latin America are participating for the first time.