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UB sets new high for Fulbright applicants

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Mon, Oct 28th 2019 01:00 pm

By the University at Buffalo

The University at Buffalo took another step toward its goal of becoming a top producing university for Fulbright Scholars by submitting its largest number ever of applications for student Fulbright awards.

Twenty-nine UB students applied for what is considered one of the most prestigious academic awards in the world. The applicants’ proposals for the 2020-21 come from 18 women and 11 men in 22 different department or programs, ranging from anthropology and legal studies to theater and performance. They hope to study in 21 different countries.

The list also includes nine Honors Scholars.

‘The goal of our office is to increase the impact of these opportunities for students who are seeking international opportunities to teach, study and do research abroad,” said Elizabeth A. Colucci, director of UB’s Office of Fellowships and Scholarships, whose office has taken on the mission of making UB a top producer of these internationally prestigious fellowships, which she said can elevate students’ academic orbits into a national and international scope. “We want to be a top-producing school. And our impact and our reach is increasing.”

Colucci said the record number of applicants was largely due to the efforts of Patrick McDevitt, Fulbright program adviser, associate professor in the department of history, and a 1993 Fulbright grantee to New Zealand; and Megan Stewart, assistant director in the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships.

“For almost three-quarters of a century, the Fulbright Program helped hundreds of thousands of students to live, study, research and teach in foreign countries,” McDevitt said. “Each year, nearly 1,600 U.S. students go abroad as part of the program, and I would guess that the experience is literally life-changing for all of them.

“We’re proud to have built on last year’s record number of applications to set a new benchmark this year. We hope to continue to grow our applicant pool in the coming years by reaching out to students in every school and college in the university.”

McDevitt reiterated the common goal: eventually making UB among the top producers of Fulbright grantees in the nation.

“It’s never too early to start thinking about applying.” McDevitt said. “And I encourage anyone who might be interested in applying in the future to reach out to me at [email protected].”

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.

“The pool is strong and includes more graduate students than before,” Colucci said. “And there is a wide number of departments. We will hear outcomes for finalists in January and selections over the course of the spring.”

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