ANN ARBOR—More Fulbright grants were awarded to students from the University of Michigan than from any other U.S. institution for the 2012-13 academic year—the sixth time in the past eight years U-M has held the honor, officials said Monday.
“We are extremely proud of the results of this year's competition, which reflect the tremendous effort of our students”
A U-M record 40 students received the grants, allowing them to participate in one of the most competitive and prestigious programs in the world. They will travel to 24 countries to do research, study or teach English for six to 12 months as part of the U.S. government's flagship international education exchange program.
Their interests range from health care in Togo and political economy in Ukraine to urban transit in Germany and sculpture in China.
Along with helping the students achieve their academic goals, the Fulbright program seeks to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and other countries.
"The accomplishments of our latest Fulbright students speak to the global interests and impact of the University of Michigan," U-M President Mary Sue Coleman said. "The grants provide unique opportunities that will complement our students' impressive work on campus."
U-M also topped the nation in Fulbrights in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011.
This year, Harvard University ranked second behind U-M with 31 grantees and Brown University placed third with 29.
Ken Kollman, director of the U-M International Institute, said the continued success with the Fulbrights highlights the university's dedication to providing a global education.
"We are extremely proud of the results of this year's competition, which reflect the tremendous effort of our students who plan compelling projects, the U-M faculty who readily lend their expertise and the advisers at the International Institute who consult with applicants," Kollman said.
Nearly 1,700 American students, artists and young professionals in more than 100 different fields of study were offered Fulbright grants for projects in more than 140 countries worldwide beginning this fall. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the program provides the grants on the basis of academic or professional achievement as well as demonstrated leadership potential.
In the past 66 years, more than 44,000 students from the U.S. have benefited from the Fulbright experience.
Emefah Loccoh, one of U-M's grantees for 2012-13, is researching the health care system in Togo. She graduated this year with degrees in biochemistry and political science, and she plans to attend medical school.
"This scholarship gives me the opportunity to further explore the field of global health, better understand surrounding issues and observe different aspects of the field in order to further understand my future role within global health," she said.
Another new U-M grantee is Andrea Urbiel Goldner, who teaches in the School of Natural Resources and Environment. She is in Morocco studying landscape architecture.
"Anyone involved in design and construction in the current economic context of southeast Michigan has good reasons to become cynical and short-sighted," she said. "The Fulbright grant has enabled me to breathe in and out again. It has given me space and context to remember why I love cities and their neighborhoods and the practice of landscape architecture."
Fulbright program advisers at the International Institute provide individual advising to applicants throughout the application process.
- For more information, visit the University of Michigan International Institute: http://www.ii.umich.edu.
- Complete list of 2012-13 U-M Fulbright U.S. student grantees: http://www.ii.umich.edu/ii/ci.umagainleadsnationinfulbrightusstudentgrantsmon29oct2012_ci.detail