Pitt Among Top Fulbright Grant Producers

Marjorie Tolsdorf with a group of sled dogs in RussiaThe University of Pittsburgh is one of the nation’s top producers of Fulbright students and scholars for the 2017-18 academic year, according to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Pitt is among only 16 institutions in the country to be named a top producer in both the Fulbright U.S. Student and Scholar programs. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Its U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study and research projects for English Teaching Assistant Programs. The U.S. Scholar Program offers awards for teaching, research or both in over 125 countries to college and university faculty as well as other professionals. Pitt affiliates earned 10 student and six scholar awards this year.

The Chronicle of Higher Education highlighted the achievement on Sunday.

“This designation, which just 15 other institutions across the nation received, speaks to the University of Pittsburgh’s extraordinary capacity to attract student scholars,” says Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “We are proud of their success and grateful that they are helping to advance Pitt’s mission of leveraging knowledge for society’s gain.”

This is the seventh time in eight years Pitt has earned this distinction for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

“We are extremely proud of our students’ success with Fulbright scholarships,” says Brian Primack, dean of the University Honors College. “The fact that we consistently maintain our status as a Top Producing Institution demonstrates Pitt’s commitment not only to high quality instruction and research but also extending our global reach.”

Eight Pitt alumni are currently on Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grants in host countries around the world: Tiffani Anne Humble and Amber Montgomery in Jordan, Melissa Kukowski in South Korea and Marjorie Tolsdorf in Russia, while John McGovern, Daniel Snyder, Sophia Winston and Benjamin Zhu are teaching in Brazil.

Two Pitt graduate students — Emilie Rose Coakley and Trevor Thomas Wilson — are on Fulbright research grants in Indonesia and Russia.

Pitt also was the only Pennsylvania institution on the list of top producing Fulbright U.S. Scholars. They are:

  • Caitlin Bruce of the Department of Communication within the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences is researching a project called Citizens Voices in Aerosol: Leon’s Graffiti Worlds at the Ibero-American University in Mexico.
  • Lauren Jonkman of the School of Pharmacy will support teaching and research at a primary clinical pharmacy practice at the University of Namibia School of Pharmacy.
  • Lisa Maillart of the Swanson School of Engineering last fall lectured and conducted research on Markov decision models for health care maintenance optimization at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands.
  • Mary Rauktis of the School of Social Work last fall lectured and conducted research on measuring the restrictiveness of living environments at out-of-home care for children and youth at the University of Porto in Portugal.
  • Vanessa Sterling of Pitt Study Abroad and the University Center for International Studies will attend the Fulbright’s U.S.-Taiwan International Education Administrators Program in Taipei, Taiwan, this spring.
  • Amy Williams of the Department of Music within the Dietrich School is lecturing and researching a project called Two Music Courses and an Original Song Cycle in Irish at University College Cork in Ireland.