Published April 26, 2019
Six UB students and one alumna have won Fulbright awards, the prestigious national scholarship competition for grants to study, research and teach abroad in 2019-20.
Five of UB’s winners received English Teaching Assistantships, placing them in educational institutions in their host nations to serve as teachers’ assistants. The other two won research grants, the traditional award opportunity where recipients design their own projects and work with advisers at foreign universities or other institutions of higher education.
The seven Fulbright winners are joined by two alternates. The success UB students had in this year’s Fulbright class was an important step in UB’s aspirations of becoming one of the country’s top-producing universities of Fulbright winners, according to UB administrators and professors overseeing the program.
“I’m thrilled that UB had such a successful year,” says Patrick McDevitt, Fulbright program adviser, associate professor in the Department of History and a 1993 Fulbright grantee to New Zealand. “The Fulbright is a life-changing program for the grantees.”
Eleven students applied for the English Teaching Award to nine different countries: Colombia, Germany, India, Jordan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Romania, Rwanda and Senegal, according to McDevitt. A dozen students applied to study and research abroad in eight different countries: Canada, Germany, Greece, India, Mexico, Malaysia, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Topics to be studied include archeology, textile conservation, education, bio-engineering, environmental studies, history, installation art and performance art, McDevitt says.
“This was a record number of applicants for UB and resulted in a record number of awards.”
“Megan Stewart in the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships and I are currently recruiting potential applicants for the next cycle of Fulbright,” McDevitt says. “We hope to broaden our pool of applicants to include students from every school at UB and to grow the program.
“Our goal is nothing less than to eventually become one of the top producers of Fulbright grants in the country,” he says. “Our student body is a font of amazing individuals who could win many, many Fulbrights if we could just connect with them.”
Sponsored by the U.S. State Department, Fulbright Scholarships are awarded to nearly 8,000 students and scholars each year. The scholarship covers airfare to the country one is studying in and a stipend to cover housing expenses. It was proposed by Sen. J. William Fulbright in 1945 as a way to promote peace and friendship among all the nations of the world.
“When we created the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships in 2016, our goal was to increase the number of UB students applying for nationally and internationally competitive fellowships and scholarships,” says Elizabeth A. Colucci, director of UB’s Office of Fellowships and Scholarships.
“The partnership among our office, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Office of International Education has been instrumental in our ability to reach students. Fellowships and scholarships is a collaborative effort, and it is working!” Colucci says. “Megan Stewart, assistant director, has been doing a wonderful job on the awards that send students abroad, including Fulbright, Critical Language and Boren. Pat McDevitt and Megan are a wonderful team, and I couldn’t be happier.”
The students winning English Teaching Awards are:
The two students receiving research grants are:
Additionally, two students were named alternates: Mariangela Perrella is an alternate for a research grant to the United Kingdom and Madeline Elminowski is an alternate for an English Teaching Assistantship to Colombia.