June 20, 2019 | 75° F

U. breaks record with Fulbrights

Rutgers students and alumni received 26 Fulbright Grants this year, a record number for the University.

The grants offer U.S. students, foreign students and alumni opportunities to pursue graduate study, advanced research, university teaching and primary and secondary school teaching in more than 140 countries worldwide.

Carl Blesch, a senior public relations specialist for Rutgers, said in a press release that the University is tied for third place among research universities nationwide for the number of students and alumni receiving grants.

“Rutgers is joined in the top 10 by two other Big Ten universities — Michigan and Northwestern — along with other prestigious schools such as Columbia, Harvard, Princeton and Yale,” according to the statement.

University President Robert L. Barchi said the grants reflect on the quality of the students, as well as the quality of the programs offered at Rutgers.

This is the first year Rutgers has been among the top 10 recipients of the Fulbright Grants, he said, and the third year Rutgers has made significant gains in the numbers of students and alumni who have earned them.

While most of the people applying for grants are seniors, alumni and graduate students are eligible as well, according to the press release.

Arthur Casciato, director of Rutgers’ Office of Distinguished Fellowships, said the University has been encouraging more students to apply for the program. Last year 129 students applied, the most ever in the history of the University.

According to the statement, recipients who pursued the program’s independent research and study grants are involved in fields as diverse as art history, geography and public policy. Some are studying in places like Bangladesh, India and Italy.

“Those who pursued the program’s English teaching assistantships are teaching in Brazil, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia and other countries,” according to the statement.

The Fulbright Program is the leading international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries.

According to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs website, the Fulbright Program was established by the Congress in 1946 under legislation introduced by then-Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas.

“The Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 grants annually,” the website stated. “Roughly 1,600 U.S. students, 4,000 foreign students, 1,200 U.S. scholars and 900 visiting scholars receive awards, in addition to several hundred teachers and professionals.”

According to the website, approximately 310,000 “Fulbrighters” have participated in the program since its inception in 1946.

By Shawn Smith

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