FULBRIGHT 70TH ANNIVERSARY

By Jana Cunningham, communications specialist, University Marketing and Communications

Jason Chen, English Teaching Assistant in Mexico

PHOTO CREDIT: Fulbright graduate student from Bolivia

Jason Chen, English Teaching Assistant in Mexico

The Fulbright Program at the University of Utah celebrated its recent success as well as the 70th anniversary of the founding of the program on Nov. 17.

“We are proud of our achievements, especially in terms of the number of students and faculty who have received Fulbright awards,” said Howard Lehman, director of the Fulbright program at the U. “Fifty-five students have received Fulbright awards to date, ten of whom received the award in the past two years alone.”

These 10 students were able to travel to Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Switzerland, Romania, Bulgaria, the United Kingdom, Malaysia and South Korea for their Fulbright awards. U faculty have received more than 30 awards in the last 20 years.

Jason Chen, a first year medical school student at the U, spoke at the event about his Fulbright experience teaching English in Tabasco, Mexico.

“I applied for a Fulbright because as a Spanish major, I had the opportunity to study in various Spanish speaking countries, but I had never gone to Mexico,” said Chen. “Given that most of the Spanish speaking population in the United States is of Mexican descent, I knew that an extended cultural experience in Mexico would be invaluable in appreciating the realities and mindset of Mexican cultures.”

Other speakers at the event included Mike Hardman, chief global officer; Dave Kieda, dean of the Graduate School; Suhi Choi, professor of communication who received a Fulbright to Israel this year; and Hugo Condori, a Fulbright graduate student from Bolivia.

Established in 1946, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries through the exchange of people, knowledge and skills. It is the largest U.S. international exchange program, offering opportunities for students, scholars and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide.

Each year, approximately 1,900 grants are awarded to U.S. citizens to conduct research, study and teach abroad and an equal number of grants to foreign students to engage in similar activities in the U.S. The Fulbright program offers opportunities for recently graduated students, postgraduate students and developing professionals and artists to conduct career-launching study and research in more than 140 countries worldwide.

The Core Fulbright Scholar Program for faculty offers more than 500 teaching, research or combination teaching and research awards in more than 125 countries. Opportunities are available for college and university faculty and administrators as well as for professionals, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, independent scholars and many others. In addition to several new program models designed to meet the changing needs of U.S. academics and professionals, Fulbright is offering more opportunities for flexible, multi-country grants.