Elon University named a top producer of Fulbright students

Elon is featured on the annual list of American master’s-level institutions whose graduates received Fulbright student awards for 2017-18.   

For a fourth consecutive year, Elon University has been named a top producer of Fulbright students for 2017-18 after eight recent graduates were awarded the prestigious international fellowship to study, research or teach English overseas.

The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced on Feb. 18, 2018, its list of American schools that last year produced the highest number of Fulbright students. Top-producing institutions were highlighted the same day in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Elon tied for fourth on the list of American master's-level institutions whose graduates last year received Fulbright grants. The Fulbright competition is administered at Elon through the National and International Fellowships Office, directed by Professor Janet Myers and Sarah Lentz, who serves as associate director.

Six recent Elon graduates are currently abroad on Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grants: Steven Armendariz '17 (Spain), Elizabeth Menardie '17 (Taiwan), Kelly Richard '17 (Indonesia), Lauren Salig '17 (Argentina), Jacqueline Spencer '17 (Spain), and Gregory Sutton '14 (Indonesia). Hannah Wilpon '17 and Alex Vandermaas-Peeler '17 were named alternates for Fulbright U.S. Student grants. 

"The success of Elon students in the Fulbright competition is due to the excellent preparation they receive through our academic programs, but also through the unique opportunities afforded by the Elon Experiences," Myers said. "Rich and sustained encounters with global engagement, undergraduate research, internships, leadership, and service provide our students with strong foundations to tackle the challenges and opportunities they will encounter living and working abroad, whether they teach, study, or conduct independent research through a Fulbright grant." 

For example, current English teaching assistants did practicums in local schools, volunteered through Elon Academy and the Village Project, participated in study abroad and international internship programs, and connected their disciplinary expertise and undergraduate research to issues relevant to international education, Myers said.

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 380,000 participants – chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential – with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. More than 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 more than 140 countries throughout the world.  

The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by 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 students who are interested in learning more about the application process for Fulbright U.S. Student Grants, the National and International Fellowships Office will host a Fulbright Info Session on Thursday, March 1, from 4:15 to 5 p.m. in Lindner 208, which will feature an Elon alum who completed a Fulbright grant in France. To learn more about Fulbright U.S. Student Grants and other nationally competitive awards, visit the National and International Fellowships website.