Fourteen Fulbright finalists place Notre Dame among top-producing universities in US

by Michael O. Garvey

Fulbright U.S. Scholars

Fourteen University of Notre Dame students have been awarded Fulbright grants in the 2015-16 program, placing the University among the top-producing universities in the nation.

The Fulbright program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. It awards a one-year postgraduate fellowship for research, study or teaching English abroad. During their fellowship, scholars will work, live and learn in their host country.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program Top Producing List appears in the Feb. 22 edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Notre Dame also was listed among the top Fulbright-producing universities last year.

“The University of Notre Dame’s first-ever second consecutive appearance on the Top Producing list is an indicator of the outstanding global education provided through the University’s excellent international programs, such as Notre Dame International and the units that will contribute to the Keough School of Global Affairs when it opens next year,” said Jeffrey Thibert, interim director and assistant director of national fellowships in Notre Dame’s Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE). “These programs are preparing Notre Dame graduates to be just the kind of well-educated and engaged global citizens that, with the assistance of CUSE, the Graduate School Office of Grants and Fellowships, program advisers and faculty mentors, can produce compelling applications for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.”

Notre Dame’s 2015-16 U.S. Fulbright students are:

  • Kathryne Bascom, Brecksville, Ohio; Russian and Medieval studies, Class of 2015 — English Teaching Assistantship to Russia.
  • Michael Berino, San Pablo, California; Alliance for Catholic Education Class of 2014 — English Teaching Assistantship to Senegal.
  • Eric Donahue, Brentwood, Tennessee; biological sciences and German, Class of 2015 — study and research grant to Germany.
  • Claire Donovan, Lafayette, Colorado; French and international development studies, Class of 2015 — study and research grant to Togo.
  • Leila Green, Milwaukee; English and education, schooling and society, Class of 2015 — English Teaching Assistantship to South Africa.
  • Christina Gutierrez, Nashville, Tennessee; political science and Romance languages and literatures, Class of 2015 — study and research grant to Italy.
  • Stefanie Israel, South Bend, Indiana; sociology graduate student — study and research grant to Brazil.
  • Mae Kilker, South Bend, Indiana; Medieval Institute graduate student — study and research grant to Sweden.
  • Alexis Palá, San Antonio, Texas; anthropology and theology, Class of 2015 — study and research grant to Chile.
  • Kendra Reiser, Seattle; psychology and education, schooling and society, Class of 2015 — English Teaching Assistantship to Indonesia.
  • Megan Rogers, Mishawaka, Indiana; sociology graduate student — study and research grant to China.
  • Rachel Ruddick, Des Plaines, Illinois; biological sciences, German and education, schooling and society, Class of 2015 — English Teaching Assistantship to Germany.
  • Kathryn Sawyer, South Bend; history graduate student — study and research grant to Switzerland.
  • Ryan Schultheis, Evansville, Indiana; political science, international economics and business economics, Class of 2015 — English Teaching Assistantship to Mexico.

“This application cycle has once again confirmed that, whatever the specific results, the process of applying for a grant or fellowship is a fruitful and worthwhile exercise for a student at any level, especially when assisted,” said Mike Westrate, program director of the Graduate School Office of Grants and Fellowships. “We have been told countless times by students that have gone through the application process that they now know — many for the first time — what their future careers will be, and how and when they will approach those careers. More importantly, these students also have a much better idea of why they chose their careers (since writing a personal statement often has this effect). Therefore, the number of students who receive the Fulbright award each year represents an even larger number of students who have been positively affected by the process of applying.”

CUSE provides undergraduate students in all the University’s colleges opportunities for research, scholarship and creative projects. More information on CUSE is available at cuse.nd.edu.