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Notre Dame among top producers of Fulbright students for fourth straight year

Author: Erin Blasko

Fulbright 2017 Feature

Twenty-nine University of Notre Dame students and alumni were awarded Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants during the 2017-18 academic year, placing Notre Dame second among all research institutions in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Fulbright students

Of the 29 students to receive Fulbrights last year, 22 were Arts and Letters students — which would place the College eighth in the nation among all doctoral institutions. Arts and Letters alone produced more Fulbright winners than the University of California at Berkeley, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, Cornell University, and Johns Hopkins.

Established in 1964, The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, providing more than 380,000 students with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to solutions to shared international concerns based on academic merit and leadership potential.

Winners, including artists and young professionals from more than 100 different academic disciplines, study, teach English, or conduct research abroad in as many as 140 countries each year.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Notre Dame has been recognized as a top Fulbright producer, as reported annually in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The University counted 27 Fulbright students last year, tied for second among all research institutions in the U.S. and better than Harvard University, the University of Chicago, Princeton University and Stanford University, among others.

“Notre Dame’s continued success with the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is reflective of the University’s emphasis on providing meaningful international encounters to its students,” said Jeffrey Thibert, Paul and Maureen Stefanick Director of the Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE), a resource for Notre Dame undergraduates interested in research, creative endeavors, or fellowships.

“Whether students are conducting international research with the support of the Keough School of Global Affairs, the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, or CUSE,  undertaking international service with the Center for Social Concerns, enhancing foreign language proficiency with the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures, or studying abroad with Notre Dame International, our graduates are well-prepared for the academic and cultural exchange that is central to the Fulbright mission,” Thibert said.

“My colleagues and I in CUSE hope that Notre Dame’s presence near the top of the top producing list for the second consecutive year inspires current and future undergraduates and alumni to think about what they, too, might achieve with a Fulbright award or other national fellowship.”

Outcomes Sara Abdel Rahim 600Political science and Arabic major Sara Abdel-Rahim '17 received a Fulbright grant to conduct research in Greece. She was one of 22 Arts and Letters students to win Fulbright funding in 2017-18.

Samantha Lee, program director in the Graduate School’s Office of Grants and Fellowships, said, “We are so proud to see our Notre Dame graduate students win Fulbright awards as they continue to work on innovative projects globally. This would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the tremendous support from faculty, campus partners, the grants and fellowship team, and the Graduate School.”

Named for former U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright, longest-serving chair in the history of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Fulbright Program is financed by an annual appropriation from Congress to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and supported in its implementation by the Institute of International Education.

Forty-two Notre Dame students — 30 undergraduates or undergraduate alumni and 12 graduates or graduate alumni — have been named semifinalists for the 2018-19 Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Winners will be announced beginning in March.

Undergraduate Students interested in learning more about the Fulbright Program can visit Graduate students can visit

In addition, CUSE will host a “Fulbright Week” this year (March 19-23) with information sessions, advice panels, and a presentation from a Fulbright representative.

Originally published at