University faculty, students receive Fulbright grants
Students at the University of Michigan received a total of 24 Fulbright grants for the 2018-2019 academic year, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. This is the highest number of Fulbright scholarships given to any public university for the 14th year in a row, according to the U.S. State Department.
The Fulbright Program, one of the most prestigious awards funded by the U.S. State Department, granted scholarships to University faculty members, alumni and students. The grants will be used to fund the scholar’s overseas research for six to 12 months.
In an interview with the University Record, University President Mark Schlissel commended the University’s newest Fulbright awardees for their dedication to making positive global impacts.
“U-M’s commitment to international education helps students and scholars gain new perspectives and higher levels of understanding that make our world a better and safer place,” Schlissel said.
There are two main types of Fulbright grants for students. English teaching assistantships provided by the Fulbright grant send students to other countries to work various jobs. There are additional academic Fulbright grants that can be used to seek a degree in another country or be used as an overseas research award. Beth Dutridge-Corp, coordinator of International Institute fellowships and grants, and Heather Johnson, adviser of International Institute fellowships and grants, work with students and faculty members to apply for Fulbright scholarships.
Faculty members can apply for a separate Fulbright grant called Fulbright Scholars. This year, five University faculty received the Fulbright Scholar recognition. They include Yolain Civil, instructor of pediatrics; Seyed Mehdian, professor of finance at U-M Flint; Zora Longworth, research professor of family medicine; Jeffery Wilson, associate professor of paleontology; and Suleyman Uludag, interim associate professor of computer science at U-M Flint.
The University’s International Institute aides in advising Fulbright applicants and provides them with the resources to put forward a strong, competitive application. In an interview with the University Record, Johnson explained the University’s successes regarding the Fulbright grant.
“We have a seasoned team consisting of Fulbright Program advisers and faculty that is very invested in our applicants’ success,” Johnson said. “It also helps that U-M students are perennially impressive in their own right.”
Although the University’s Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships is not involved with the Fulbright grant, ONSF Director Henry Dyson highlighted the efforts put forth by Johnson and Dutridge-Corp in the Fulbright application process.
“Beth and Heather are really fantastic at helping students find the best fit and articulate that through their applications, and it’s why I think it’s a huge advantage for us that we have these specialized advisers in the International Institute who dedicate so much of their year to Fulbright advising,” Dyson said.
According to a video by Fulbright, scholars are considered to be current and future leaders who are committed to national engagement and open to new ideas.
“Above all, Fulbrighters exemplify the power of international academic exchange to transform lives, bridge geographic and cultural boundaries, and promote a more peaceful and prosperous world,” the video said.