BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University has been named a top producing institution for Fulbright students among master’s institutions for the 2019–20 grant year. This is the first time Appalachian has made the list for the number of students and/or alumni selected for the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program in a given year.
A record-setting four individuals from Appalachian were named Fulbright U.S. Student finalists — with three ultimately accepting the award — for 2019–20, placing Appalachian among 20 institutions in the U.S. to be named a top producer for both the Fulbright student and Fulbright scholar programs. Appalachian ranked No. 1 in the nation among master’s institutions for Fulbright scholars.
In addition, 10 Appalachian applicants have been named Fulbright Student Semi-Finalists for the 2020–21 grant year, also a record number for the university.
Each year the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education (IIE) announce the top producing institutions for the Fulbright Program. See the list
Appalachian’s student and alumni finalists were among 10,000 applicants vying for about 2,100 grants. Those accepting the 2019–20 Fulbright Student Program:
- John Kennedy ’16, of High Point, who received a Fulbright ETA Award to Mongolia. He earned a B.A. in sustainable development.
- Emma Labovitz ’18, of Salisbury, who received a Fulbright Study/Research Award to the Netherlands. She earned a B.A. in political science and a B.A. in global studies.
- Caroline Webb ’19, of Raleigh, who received a Fulbright ETA Award to Timor-Leste. After receiving her Fulbright, she completed her B.S. in psychology with a minor in communication sciences and disorders.
Joanie Andruss, assistant director of NCS, said she attributes this year’s success as a top producer to “our exceptional students, the faculty and staff who have supported them, and the increasing momentum of developing a Fulbright culture on our campus where students identify Fulbright as possible and attainable.”
She added, “Prior to the 2019–20 Fulbright year, only five Appalachian students had received a Fulbright award since the program’s beginning in 1946. As an institution with so few previous Fulbright student recipients, and therefore limited examples of successful peers, it was important to help students redefine what they thought Fulbright was and who it was for.”
For the upcoming grant cycle, Appalachian’s 10 semi-finalists were chosen from 15 applicants. The awards they seek:
- Spain English Teaching Assistant Award (ETA).
- Israel Study/Research Award (Fulbright MA Degree Award).
- Bulgaria Study/Research (Fulbright Study/Research Award in Archeology/History).
- Japan Study/Research (Open Study/Research Award for Graduating Seniors).
- Ireland Study/Research (University College Dublin Taught Master’s Program Award).
- Mexico ETA.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina ETA.
- Cyprus ETA.
- Ireland Study/Research (Open Study Research Award).
- United Kingdom Study/Research (Bangor University Award).
In the Fulbright process, applicants who meet Appalachian’s on-campus deadline go through an on-campus review process with a panel of faculty and staff. They receive feedback on their applications and an institutional endorsement is crafted for each applicant. The endorsement joins their application materials before moving to review at the National Screening Committee Level, where applications are reviewed by experts in the field/geographic region from institutions across the U.S. Being named a semi-finalist means that this committee found an applicant to exceed Fulbright review criteria and be a strong enough candidate be moved on to the in-country commission review for final review.
About the Fulbright Program
The Fulbright Program was created to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Over 2,200 U.S. students and 900 U.S. college and university faculty and administrators are awarded Fulbright grants annually. In addition, some 4,000 Fulbright Foreign Students and Visiting Scholars come to the United States annually to study, lecture, conduct research or teach their native language.
Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has given over 390,000 passionate and accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to important international problems. The global network of Fulbrighters fosters mutual understanding between the United States and partner nations, advances knowledge across communities and improves lives around the globe.
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About Nationally Competitive Scholarships
Nationally Competitive Scholarships (NCS) works with the Appalachian community to recruit and support students for nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships, including those that support research, teaching and critical language learning. This is achieved with outreach, mentorship and advising throughout the entire application and selection process. NCS is committed to helping undergraduate and graduate students find ways to connect their Appalachian education to their future endeavors through scholarship opportunities. Learn more at https://ncs.appstate.edu.
About University College
Formed in 2007, University College consists of the university’s general education program, faculty and student support, and co-curricular programming and support – all designed to support the work of students both inside and outside the classroom. All students at Appalachian begin their education in University College and benefit from its programs until they graduate. Learn more at https://universitycollege.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls nearly 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.