UMass Amherst Named a Top Producing Fulbright Institution

AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst is among the top producing research universities in the U.S. for student Fulbright scholarships during 2014-15, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

With 13 students receiving Fulbrights this academic year, UMass Amherst joined the list of “Top Producing Institutions” for the global scholarship program. A 14th student received the prestigious Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellowship. This was the highest number of Fulbright grants the campus has achieved. 

“This honor shows that the university is able to compete at the highest academic levels nationally,” said Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy. “We are incredibly proud of these students’ accomplishments across such a wide range of fields. It’s not just the number, but it’s the nature of their research.” 

Three students are undertaking climate change-related research, including evaluations of water delivery systems in Burkino Faso, irrigation in Israel and glacial melting in Norway. Others are tackling issues such as the migration of women from Mexico, the brain drain in Serbia, democratic reform in Iceland, public health delivery in Kuwait and lion–human relations in Botswana. Five students are teaching English across the education spectrum from primary schools to university classrooms and one, Jacob Carter, earned the university’s first Fulbright-Clinton award, to work in Guatemala within the Ministry of Education. 

John McCarthy, dean of the Graduate School at UMass Amherst, noted that all eight graduate students who applied went on to win the scholarship. “This is a reflection of the high quality of research at the university, making a contribution to the most pressing issues of our time,” he said. “We look forward to the return of these students to the campus to complete their graduate studies and take a leadership role in their fields.” 

The director of the Office of National Scholarship Advisement, Susan Krauss Whitbourne, credits the active participation of the faculty in encouraging students to compete for these most selective awards.  “We have a faculty that is not only globally aware, but supportive of students who push their research in the direction of international issues. It’s a natural for Massachusetts to be a leader at home and abroad.”   

The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The program currently awards approximately 1,900 grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide. Since its inception, more than 300,000 U.S. and foreign scholars have participated in the program, teaching, studying and researching while at the same time engaging in activities aimed at increasing mutual understanding between the U.S. and other nations.

The UMass Amherst Fulbright recipients are listed below:

Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellowship

Jacob Carter, education, Guatemala


Fulbright Student Awardees - Graduate students

Kate de Vane Brown, English teaching assistantship, Germany

Alyssa Maraj Grahame, political science, Iceland

Dana Johnson, anthropology, Serbia

Eric LeFlore, ecology, Botswana

Katherine Lownsberry, engineering, Burkino Faso

Hanni Thoma, English teaching assistantship, Hungary

Gregory de Wet, geology, Norway


Fulbright Student Awardees - Undergraduate students

Katelyn Ferreira, English teaching assistantship, Malaysia

Keith Lema, English teaching assistantship, Spain

Katherine Miller, public health, Kuwait

Miriam Tinberg, English teaching assistantship, Morocco

Lindsay Van Dyke, sociology, Mexico

Clara Wool, environmental studies, Israel