Thursday, October 22, 2009

Whitworth named a top producer of Fulbright students for 2009-10

The Fulbright Program recently announced that Whitworth was a top producer of students who received Fulbright awards in 2009-10. Whitworth was the only private institution in Washington state to be recognized. The success of the top-producing institutions was highlighted in the Oct. 19 print edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education and in its online edition. Whitworth, which submitted seven applications and had two Fulbright scholars selected, is listed in the master's institutions category, along with 28 other institutions including University of Redlands, Drake University, and Ithaca College. Visit http://chronicle.com/section/Home/5 to view the top-producers list (the list appears below the article).

Whitworth alumnae Kendra Hamilton and Amy Whisenand, both '09, were selected last April to receive Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grants to teach English as a foreign language in Malaysia and Germany, respectively. This was the second time two Whitworth students had received Fulbright awards in the same year. Since 2000, 10 Whitworth students and four faculty members have been selected as Fulbright scholars, according to John Yoder, Whitworth professor of political science and the university's Fulbright advisor.

"The fact that Whitworth students are consistently winning Fulbrights, among the most prestigious academic awards in the U.S., is evidence of the high caliber of our undergraduate programs," Yoder says. "More important, winning a Fulbright opens doors to great academic and professional opportunities for students in the future."

The achievement of having two students receive Fulbright awards in 2009-10 is notable in light of the fact that of the 29 schools in Whitworth's category, only three are smaller than Whitworth, while others, such as Villanova, City College of New York, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Hunter College, have between 10,000 and 20,000 students. Another category of schools receiving multiple Fulbright grants includes top-name research institutions that submitted applications at every level, including numerous proposals for master's or Ph.D. research. For example, the University of Chicago had 128 applications at all levels while Whitworth submitted seven at the bachelor's level. Many of the schools that won more than one award are Ivy League schools and prestigious institutions such as Bryn Mawr and Macalester, according to Yoder.

In October, Whitworth submitted six undergraduate applications for the 2010-11 Fulbright awards: three for English teaching awards in Argentina, Belgium and Malaysia, and three for research awards in Bahrain, El Salvador and Ethiopia. Applicants who make the first cut will be announced in early February; Fulbright recipients will be named in late spring.

Under the Fulbright Program, more than 1,500 American students in more than 100 different fields of study were offered 2009-10 grants to study, teach English, and conduct research in more than 125 countries throughout the world beginning this fall.

Of the roughly 1,500 Fulbrighters, 65 percent are at bachelor’s-degree level, 17 percent are at master's-degree level, and 19 percent are at Ph.D. level. Students receiving awards for this academic year applied through 570 colleges or universities. Lists of Fulbright recipients are available at www.fulbrightonline.org/us.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program equips future American leaders with the skills they need to thrive in an increasingly global environment by providing funding for one academic year of study, research or assistant teaching abroad. Fellows undertake self-designed programs in disciplines ranging from the social sciences, business, communication and performing arts to physical sciences, engineering and education.

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided approximately 290,000 participants worldwide with the opportunity to observe each others’ political, economic and cultural institutions, exchange ideas and embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world’s inhabitants. In the past 61 years, almost 42,000 students from the United States have benefited from the Fulbright experience.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Contacts:

John Yoder, professor of political science and Fulbright advisor, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4432 or johnyoder@whitworth.edu.

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or eproffitt@whitworth.edu.