Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Whitworth named a top producer of Fulbright students for 2011-12

Whitworth ranks among nation's leading schools for second time in three years

For the second time in three years, the Fulbright Program has listed Whitworth as a top producer of students who received Fulbright awards in 2011-12. The only school, public or private, in Washington state that had more Fulbright recipients than Whitworth was the University of Washington. The success of the top-producing institutions was highlighted in the Oct. 24 online edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Whitworth, which submitted five applications and had four Fulbright scholars selected, is listed in the master's institutions category, along with 13 other institutions, including the University of Texas at San Antonio and Villanova University. Please visit http://chronicle.com/article/Top-Producers-of-US/129452/ to view the top-producers list.

A record four Whitworth seniors were awarded Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grants for the 2011-12 academic year. Corey Dugan is teaching in Spain, Angie Hartley in Argentina, James Mitsuyasu in Germany and Katie Williams in Colombia. Since 2000, 15 Whitworth students and three faculty members have been selected as Fulbright scholars. In addition, Whitworth alum Matt Kaemingk, '03, recently was awarded a Fulbright research grant to pursue doctoral studies in the Netherlands through Fuller Theological Seminary.

"The remarkable success of Whitworth students in the Fulbright competition can be attributed to the high-quality students we attract and to the work they do while at Whitworth to prepare themselves for teaching and studying abroad, such as by participating in teaching assistantships and in Whitworth's study-abroad programs," says John Yoder, a professor of political science at Whitworth and the university's Fulbright advisor. "In addition, Whitworth professors know their students well and can write strong letters of support that carefully explain why a student has the skills and personal qualities essential for success in the Fulbright program."

Whitworth was one of only five private institutions in Washington state to be recognized as top Fulbright producers. The achievement of having four students receive Fulbright awards in 2011-12 is also notable in light of the fact that of all the universities and colleges on the list, none had a higher success rate than Whitworth, Yoder says. Most schools had an average success rate of below 30 percent, while Whitworth's success rate was 80 percent. 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, Yoder says. For instance, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor had 148 applications at all levels while Whitworth submitted five at the bachelor's level. Other schools with the same number of Fulbright recipients as Whitworth were Bernard College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Davidson College, DePauw University, Macalester College, Villanova, Wellesley College, and Wheaton College (Mass.).

Under the Fulbright Program, nearly 1,700 American students in more than 100 different fields of study were offered 2011-12 grants to study, teach English, and conduct research in more than 140 countries throughout the world beginning this fall.

Of the roughly 1,700 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 600 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 310,000 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 65 years, almost 44,000 students from the United States have benefited from the Fulbright experience. The Fulbright is named after J. William Fulbright, of Arkansas, who served in the U.S. Senate from 1945-75.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 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.