The University of Iowa

In the news: University of Iowa named one of the top producers of Fulbright scholars on the program’s 75th anniversary

March 1st, 2021

Samantha Murray, The Daily Iowan

As the Fulbright program enters its 75th year, the University of Iowa has been named one of the nation’s top producers of Fulbright scholars for the sixth year in a row.

The Fulbright program sends students from across the nation to several different parts of the world to act as a citizen ambassador while continuing their education. Fulbright recipients are handpicked by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Cultural and Educational Affairs.

UI Dean of International Programs Russell Ganim said he believes the UI’s success with the Fulbright program is because of the mentorship and rigorous application process the university offers its students.

Ganim said he encourages students to start thinking about the program early. Even for first- and second-year students, the university can help guide students into getting involved across campus and particular class options, he said.

“Even if you don’t end up getting accepted into a program, the application process helps you learn a lot about yourself,” Ganim said.

Lucas Fagre, UI alum and Fulbright scholar, said that because of COVID-19 travel restrictions, he has not been able to begin his joint research program in Bulgaria and Romania.

During his time at the UI, Fagre said he double majored in anthropology and public health, and spent time researching in both Romania and Ukraine. For his upcoming Fulbright trip, he plans on doing vaccine outreach research with the Roma population.

Fagre’s application to the program took place over several months, he said, requiring him to rewrite and improve upon his essays many times.

“The process of getting very positive feedback, over and over again from a multitude of perspectives is probably the most valuable part of working with the Iowa Fulbright program,” Fabre said.