EVANSTON, Ill. --- Fifteen Northwestern University students received Fulbright awards for 2006-07, placing ninth for the most Fulbrights accumulated by research institutions in the nation as tallied by the Institute of International Education (IIE).
Northwestern shared the ninth spot with Cornell University.
“This is a really exceptional performance for a school whose student population is the size of Northwestern's,” said Christopher Hager, associate director of the Office of Fellowships.
Northwestern actually received 21 total Fulbright awards. In addition to the 15 in the official IIE tally, three recipients declined in order to receive other grants -- the Luce scholarship, Fulbright-Hays fellowship and Samuel H. Kress Foundation fellowship. Three other recipients applied at-large.
“This year's total of 21 recipients is the largest group ever at Northwestern by a long way,” said Sara Anson Vaux, director of the Office of Fellowships.
Under the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, almost 1,300 American students in over 100 different fields of study have been offered grants to study, teach English and conduct research in over 120 countries throughout the world beginning this fall. Fellows undertake self-designed programs in various disciplines.
According to Hager and Vaux, Northwestern has found success in receiving Fulbright awards because the student body is “globally savvy,” with an increasing number of students who study or do research abroad every year.
“The kinds of training that Northwestern students get as undergraduates really equips them to work autonomously,” Hager said. “And that's something that does well in the Fulbright program.”
One student, Chandler Robinson, received a Fulbright for the United Kingdom, which is historically the most competitive destination. He is only the second recipient ever from Northwestern.
“The fellowship to the U.K. typically gets 500-600 applicants, and this year there were only nine spots available,” said Hager. “It's a success rate of under 2 percent.”
Northwestern has already sent out 80 applications for next year's Fulbright awards.
“Just as before, they are fabulous applications,” Hager said. “We have a lot of students who are trying to build on the really remarkable things they've done as undergraduates in summer research experiences and study abroad.”
The Fulbright recipients for 2006-07 were Panah Bhalla, Elizabeth Casteen, Tiffany Grobelski, Alysa Handelsman, David Kim, Dorothy Kronick, Alexander Lauder, Nicole Matuska, Meghann Pytka, Robinson, Alexander Rothe, Veena Sriram, Alexander Thurston and Rachel Weiss.