University of Iowa

Fourth consecutive year: University of Iowa is a Top Producer of Fulbright U.S. Students

February 10th, 2019
Image with Fulbright logo that says U.S. Student Top Producer 2018-2019

The University of Iowa is proud to be included on the list of U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most 2018-2019 Fulbright U.S. Students. This marks the fourth consecutive year the university has achieved the elite ranking.

Eleven students and alumni from the University of Iowa received Fulbright awards for academic year 2018-2019. They are currently representing the university abroad--in Argentina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, India, Indonesia, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, South Korea, Spain, and Taiwan. 

The UI is tied in the rankings with the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; nearly one-third of its 35 applicants received an award.

Downing Thomas, associate provost and dean of International Programs, commented, "Fulbright top-producer status, for the fourth consecutive year, is the result of the dedication and hard work of students, our team of faculty mentors, and staff in International Programs. Congratulations on this wonderful achievement!" 

“We thank the colleges and universities across the United States that we are recognizing as Fulbright top producing institutions for their role in increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries,” said Marie Royce, assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs. “We are proud of all the Fulbright students and scholars from these institutions who represent America abroad, increasing and sharing their skills and knowledge on a global stage."

Fulbright Program Advisor Karen Wachsmuth of International Programs provides guidance to UI students interested in applying for the competition. Wachsmuth has seen firsthand how critical a turning point applying for and receiving a Fulbright can be. “The process of envisioning and preparing themselves to be citizen ambassadors abroad,” said Wachsmuth, “synthesizes both their excellent academic preparation and the leadership abilities they have developed through extracurricular activities and service projects.  Our students have proved to have the qualities that the Fulbright U.S. Student Program seeks: they are hardworking, compassionate, and prepared to engage personally and professionally with people from other countries to achieve Senator Fulbright’s vision of ‘leadership, learning, and empathy between cultures.’ ”

"That the University of Iowa has been named a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Top Producing Institution for the 2018-2019 academic year, the fourth year in a row, is a tribute to the UI student applicants and to the staff of International Programs who oversee the application process.  Congratulations in particular to Karen Wachsmuth, who advises the students through all the steps of the process.  The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is a wonderful opportunity for students to spend a year in another country either teaching English or conducting research," said Professor Kathleen Newman, 2018-2019 Fulbright faculty mentor. 

Professor William Reisinger, 2018-2019 Fulbright faculty mentor, commented, "The UI’s success in this extremely competitive program reflects the best kind of partnership between our outstanding students and the many faculty and staff from across the university who help and mentor those students. It is a pleasure to see the students learn about themselves in the process of applying and, naturally, quite wonderful when we learn that so many of them will receive the life-changing opportunity a Fulbright represents."

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.

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 390,000 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 abroad each year. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program operates in over 140 countries throughout the world.  

The Fulbright U.S. Student 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.    

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

Students interested in next year’s Fulbright competition are encouraged to contact Fulbright Program Advisor Karen Wachsmuth in International Programs. 

Image showing photos of 11 UI Fulbright U.S. Students
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