Centre College named top producer of Fulbright students

by Matt Overing

Centre College News
Centre College named top producer of Fulbright students

Centre College has been named as a Fulbright Top Producing institution, recognizing the College’s commitment to a global education and the high number of students selected for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

Awarded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Fulbright Top Producing institutions like Centre value global connection and support members of the campus community in their pursuit of international opportunities.

“We truly believe in a global approach to learning at Centre, and this recognition reflects that,” said College President Milton C. Moreland. “Our exceptional students consistently earn Fulbright recognition thanks to the outstanding staff and faculty support they receive in their time here.”

Four students from Centre were selected for Fulbright awards for the 2023-24 academic year — a number that Director of Fellowships Robert Schalkoff said was impressive in number and percentage for the College.

“Centre's interdisciplinary approach to the liberal arts and sciences, along with our nationally recognized study abroad program provide our students with a unique combination of academic and co-curricular experiences that prepare them to be Fulbrighters,” Schalkoff said. “Certainly, our four recipients took full advantage of the opportunities they had at Centre and they went into the competition and then into their positions as ETAs ready for the roles they are currently playing.”

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international academic exchange program. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 400,000 talented and accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals of all backgrounds with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research abroad. Fulbrighters exchange ideas, build people-to-people connections and work to address complex global challenges. 

“Centre students inspire me every day when they show up in my classrooms ready to challenge their assumptions and expand their critical inquiry,” said 2022-23 Fulbright adviser and Visiting Assistant Professor Chelsea Cutright. “The students that I worked with on their Fulbright applications took these things to another level.

“I learned so much from them about the regions of the world they were interested in and how their unique life experiences impacted their current values and future goals. They were incredibly open with me, which is important because Fulbright really wants to know who they are and how their lives have led them to ‘being a Fulbrighter.’”

Schalkoff said the support system at Centre played a key role in students' Fulbright success. 

"I find myself very lucky to have worked with Assistant Professor Katrin Bahr and Cutright," he said. "Their dedication, effort and energy helped our stars shine." 

Centre prepares its students for lives of learning, leadership and service — highly sought traits for the Fulbright Program and other prestigious national and global awards. The College’s national study abroad ranking — the second-highest study abroad participation rate in the U.S. — gives students the opportunity to study abroad in a variety of capacities.

Along with a robust study abroad program, Centre has made it a priority to expand opportunity and scholarship aid to first-generation students

“Fulbright’s Top Producing Institutions represent the diversity of America’s higher education community. Dedicated administrators support students and scholars at these institutions to fulfill their potential and rise to address tomorrow’s global challenges. We congratulate them, and all the Fulbrighters who are making an impact the world over,” said Lee Satterfield, assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs.  

Fulbright is a program of the U.S. Department of State, with funding provided by the U.S. Government. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program. 

Fulbright alumni work to make a positive impact on their communities, sectors and the world and have included 41 heads of state or government, 62 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 80 MacArthur Fellows, and countless leaders and changemakers who build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and of other countries. 

Learn more about the Fulbright Program, here

Students interested in exploring the world of fellowships are encouraged to contact Robert Schalkoff at fellowships@centre.edu to start a conversation about their goals and passions. The office also shares information via email about opportunities that are specific to class cohorts from first-year students to seniors.