Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Ben Partridge
Fulbright top producer badge 2016-17

The University of Iowa has once again been named a top producer of Fulbright students for 2016-17, according to the list released Monday in The Chronicle of Higher Education. This is the second  year in a row that the University of Iowa has achieved this elite ranking.

The UI is ranked 6th nationally among research universities in the ratio of awards to applicants, with one third of the applicants receiving an award, and is tied in the rankings with the University of California at Berkeley, Duke University, and George Washington University.

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.

Fifteen University of Iowa students were awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant to conduct research, undertake creative projects, or serve as English teaching assistants abroad in the 2016–17 academic year. Of these, twelve UI students and alumni are currently representing the university abroad in Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Russia, and Taiwan.

“The University of Iowa’s presence among the top producers of student Fulbright awards is testimony to the investment we have made in student success and internationalization," said Downing Thomas, associate provost and dean of International Programs. 

The Fulbright competition is administered at the University of Iowa through International Programs under the guidance of Fulbright Program Advisor Karen Wachsmuth.

"We are very happy for all of the UI students who have been able to participate in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. International Programs – particularly Karen Wachsmuth and her staff – has been very effective in supporting our students throughout  the application process,” said Kathleen Newman , 2016-17 Fulbright faculty mentor.

Wachsmuth noted that the high success rate speaks to the hard work  of UI student applicants, who often spend six months to a year working on their essays and applications. UI faculty are also strongly committed to the program, contributing many hours serving as mentors for students, writing expert recommendations, and serving on the faculty committee. According to Wachsmuth, “The UI’s recent success in becoming a top producer has produced a significant increase in the number of UI Fulbright  applicants, particularly diverse applicants. As a result, we have developed a new peer mentorship program for minority students underrepresented in national competitive fellowships called the Diversity International Scholarship Academy.”

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 370,000 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 1,900 U.S. students, artists, and young professionals in more than 100 different fields of study are offered Fulbright Program grants to study, teach English, and conduct research annually. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program operates in over 140 countries throughout the world. Lists of Fulbright recipients are available at: fulbrightonline.org/us.

The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the United States Congress to the Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.

In the United States, the Institute of International Education administers and coordinates the activities relevant to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program on behalf of the Department of State, including conducting an annual competition for the scholarships.

The Fulbright Program also awards grants to U.S. scholars, teachers, and faculty to conduct research and teach overseas. In addition, some 4,000 new foreign Fulbright students and scholars come to the United States annually to study for graduate degrees, conduct research, and teach foreign languages.

For more information about the Fulbright Program, as well as resources on applying, and upcoming events, visit the UI’s student funding website: https://international.uiowa.edu/funding/students/awards.