Amherst College has once again earned a nod for being a top producer of Fulbright scholars.
Thirteen Amherst students and recent graduates were awarded Fulbrights for the 2016–17 academic year, continuing a trend that has lasted more than a decade, and that has consistently placed the College high on the list of programs the Chronicle of Higher Education deems to be “top producers” of Fulbright scholars. This is the 11th year in a row that Amherst has landed on this list.
In the past 20 years, Amherst seniors and alums have applied to the Fulbright program in steadily increasing numbers. This year saw a 25 percent leap in the number of applicants.
Amherst officials cite an increase in the number of countries participating and greater diversity in types of programs offered (science and math research programs are a big draw) as having contributed to this steep rise. Research interests of this year’s awardees span the disciplines, including music, geology, psychology, biology, English and philosophy.
The increased number of alumni who received Fulbrights has resulted in a positive feedback loop of applicants.
“We frequently receive pictures and anecdotes from Fulbright English Teaching Assistants across the world, which we post on our Facebook page,” said Director of Fellowships Christine Overstreet. “These alums are always eager to share their knowledge from the field with current applicants. They want their peers to experience the joys and challenges of cultural exchange.”
She says the numbers have been rising for Amherst students applying for other national fellowships as well, including Rhodes and Marshall scholarships to the United Kingdom and Schwarzman Scholarships to China, among others.
“Faculty support of these students has been tremendous,” Overstreet said. “While our office supports candidates in numerous ways, the faculty advising students and writing recommendation letters for them are key to our Fulbright success. With 27 semi-finalists this year, we expect that many of them will.”
The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. The program awards grants to students, artists and young professionals in 100 different fields to study, teach and conduct research abroad.
Read more about Amherst’s Fulbright program.