IPO News

UMass Amherst Recognized as Top Producing Institution for Fulbright U.S. Students and Scholars Programs

Thursday, February 15, 2024

This article was originally published by University Relations. You can access the article here

The University of Massachusetts Amherst has been recognized by the U.S. Department of State as a Fulbright Top Producing Institution — one of the nation’s universities with the highest number of students, faculty and administrators selected for the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student and Fulbright U.S. Scholar Programs for the 2023-24 academic year.  

Out of the 170 colleges and universities recognized overall, UMass Amherst is one of only 12 institutions recognized for both the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program this year. It is the only institution in Massachusetts—and one of only three in New England—to receive this distinction.

Fulbright Top Producer U.S. Student & Scholar Programs 2023-2024This is the fifth time UMass Amherst, the commonwealth’s flagship campus, has been recognized as a Fulbright Top Producing Institution for U.S. Students since the project began in 2009-2010, and the third time as a Fulbright Top Producing Institution for U.S. Scholars.  As the State Department noted in its announcement, UMass Amherst is recognized as a Doctoral institution in the Carnegie Classifications

Student applicants to Fulbright at UMass Amherst are supported by the Office of National Scholarship Advisement (ONSA) within the Commonwealth Honors College. Madalina Akli, director of ONSA and the International Scholars Program, and Mujtaba Hedayet, ONSA academic and scholarship advisor, work together and lead a faculty committee who support UMass Amherst students applying to the program. Students receive advising and application support that are inclusive of diverse students, honors, non-honors, first-generation students, transfer and students on Pell Grant. 

“Our Fulbright awardees represent the university with professionalism and confidence in the education received at UMass Amherst, which thoroughly prepared them to lead in the world using the research and leadership skills acquired here,” Akli said. “They equally inspire their peers to apply for Fulbrights and show that receiving an international scholarship is possible and realistic. They advance our international reputation as a top public university that thrives on academic and inclusive excellence.” 

Faculty and administrator applicants to the Fulbright Scholar Program at UMass Amherst are supported by theInternational Programs Office with partnership from the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Research and Engagement (VCRE) and the Office of Faculty Development. Kalpen Trivedi, vice provost for global affairs and director of the International Programs Office, and Kimberly Stender, his executive assistant, serve as Fulbright Scholar liaisons for UMass Amherst.  Scholar applicants receive support through resources such as workshops, mentor networks and writing consultations, as well as assistance in making connections with partner and host institutions abroad.

“The Fulbright Fellowship remains one of the most visible markers of global engagement and it is very gratifying to see the University of Massachusetts Amherst recognized as a Top Producer for the Scholar Award for the excellence of our faculty and their internationally reputed research,” Trivedi said. 

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program expands perspectives through academic and professional advancement and cross-cultural dialogue. In partnership with more than 140 countries worldwide, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers opportunities in all academic disciplines to passionate and accomplished graduating college seniors, graduate students, and young professionals from all backgrounds. Program participants pursue graduate study, conduct research, or teach English abroad. UMass Amherst had 13 individuals selected for the 2023-24 program.

Fulbright Scholars — college and university faculty, administrators and researchers, as well as artists and professionals — build their skills and connections, gain valuable international insights and return home to share their experiences with their students and colleagues. Scholars come from and go to all institution types and geographic regions across the United States and around the world. UMass Amherst had seven faculty and administrators selected for the program this year.

UMass Amherst was also recognized as a Fulbright Top Producing Institution in select fields of study. UMass Amherst is among 11 institutions recognized in STEM fields and among eight universities — and the only one in New England — to be recognized in education.  

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international academic exchange program. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided over 400,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals of all backgrounds with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research abroad. Fulbrighters exchange ideas, build people-to-people connections and work to address complex global challenges. 

Fulbright alumni work to make a positive impact on their communities, sectors, and the world and have included 41 heads of state or government, 62 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 80 MacArthur Fellows, and countless leaders and changemakers who build mutual understanding between the people of the United State and the people of other countries.