Centre recognized for producing top number of Fulbright student awards

Centre College was recently recognized on The Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of Top Producers of Fulbright U.S. Scholars and Students, 2018-19. Five Centre graduates from 2018 received Fulbright student awards.

Each year, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces the top-producing institutions for the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program.

Centre has been recognized on this list three other times, in 2008, 2011 and 2013.

“We are so excited to be on the list this year,” said Robyn Cutright, Charles T. Hazelrigg Associate Professor of Anthropology. “One of the high points of my role as the Fulbright program advisor is getting to work with students as they go through the process of developing a strong application, refining and articulating their goals, and then having the opportunity to spend a year abroad conducting research or teaching English.”

Of the five Fulbright awards, four alumni received distinctions through the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program, including Paxton Duff ’18, Mexico; Oyinkansola Aderoba ’18, Honduras; Erin Didier ’18, Brazil; and Peter O’Donnell ’18, Kosovo. In addition, Brendan Holly ’18 received an award to conduct research in Indonesia.

“Being on this list is a recognition that our students here at Centre are talented and hardworking, and that they take advantage of opportunities during their time here that make them competitive candidates for such a prestigious award,” Cutright said.

Aspects of the Centre Commitment, like studying abroad, conducting research or having an internship experience, in addition to engaging in volunteer work with English language learners, all provided the Fulbright winners with experience directly relevant to their applications.

“Those activities, and an interest in global issues in general, are so much a part of the culture here at Centre, and I think that gives us an advantage in the Fulbright competition,” Cutright added. “I think students are drawn to applying for a Fulbright because of the international orientation of what we do at Centre—they have studied abroad for a semester or a summer and they want to engage more deeply in communities in other parts of the world.

“Fulbright is about international exchange, and Centre students are often very committed to this ideal and have already had experiences that set them on this path and make them crave a deeper connection,” she concluded.

by Kerry Steinhofer
February 20, 2019