Dartmouth is recognized as a top producer of Fulbright scholars

by Eileen Brady | 3/5/19 3:05am

The U.S. State Department has named Dartmouth a top producer of Fulbright students for the 2018-19 year, along with all the other Ivy League schools save for Cornell University. 

On Feb. 11, the Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs published its annual announcement of the U.S. colleges and universities that produce the most participants in the program, which provides research, study and teaching opportunities in over 140 countries.

For the 2018-19 year, 13 Dartmouth students and alumni received Fulbright grants, according to the State Department’s website. This is the second consecutive year that the College has been named a top producer of Fulbright students, according to the College’s Fulbright program advisor Holly Taylor. Dartmouth also had 15 Fulbright students the previous year.

Taylor said she believes the College’s high numbers of Fulbright students reflect the efforts of the Fellowship Advising Office, which she said has focused on raising awareness of the fellowship in the Dartmouth community and giving feedback to applicants.

“While it obviously takes a lot of effort on our part, and ... we hire writing advisors to help out as well, I think being a top producer reflects the effort that we put into helping the Dartmouth applicants,” Taylor said. 

Charlotte Blatt ’18, a current Fulbright student, echoed this sentiment and added that she would not have considered applying to the program without encouragement and support from the Dartmouth alumni community and the Fellowship Advising Office.

“[Taylor] is incredibly good at her job,” Blatt said. “I encourage anyone who is at all interested in pursuing some form of international education or research after College to speak with her, because there are so many opportunities through Fulbright. Dartmouth is very good at connecting people with those opportunities.”

Dartmouth’s 2018-19 study and research grant recipients will be working in subjects ranging from global health in Ecuador to linguistics in China, according to the Fellowship Advising Office. Blatt, for example, is six months into her nine-month study of international relations in Canada.

While Fulbright students can be awarded grants for study and research or for English teaching, only those in the study and research category contribute to the total number used to rank top producers of Fulbright students, Taylor said. She added that the Fellowship Advising Office has the names of only 11 study and research grant recipients, meaning that the other four likely applied to the Fulbright program “at-large,” rather than directly through Dartmouth.

“You can apply either through your institution or apply at-large,” Taylor said. “Graduating seniors have to apply through Dartmouth but alumni have the choice of doing either.”

She added that because the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has not yet published the directory of Fulbright students sorted by institution, there is currently no way to know who Dartmouth’s additional Fulbright recipients may be.

Assistant dean of faculty for scholarship advising Jessica Smolin said that she believes part of what draws Dartmouth students to programs like Fulbright may be the College’s focus on study abroad opportunities.

“We have a very strong collection of study abroad programs, so a lot of Dartmouth students already have some experience abroad,” Smolin said. “Sometimes that can be an inspiration for wanting to return abroad, either where they studied on a [language study abroad] or [foreign study abroad] or to go branch out and go somewhere different.”

Like Blatt, Smolin encouraged all Dartmouth students to consider participating in a program like Fulbright.

“[Dartmouth students] should be aware of the opportunity and really think seriously about how it might apply to them, their plans and their ideas about the future,” she said. “Fulbright offers so many great opportunities and we have a student body that’s just got so many great ideas, experiences, ideas for research and talents to bring to the Fulbright program.”