U.S. Department of State names North Central College among top producers of Fulbright students

Feb 12, 2015

North Central College is among the U.S. colleges and universities that produced the highest number of Fulbright students for 2014-2015 international exchanges. This represents the first-ever such honor for the College, and top-producing institutions are highlighted annually in The Chronicle of Higher Education. North Central is the only College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin institution listed and appears in the master’s institutions category.

Last year, three North Central applicants received Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships:  Ian Wright ’14, Britney Kravish ’14 and Mark Zajac ’12. The award provides a fully funded one-year appointment abroad as a cultural ambassador and English teacher. Wright and Zajac, who both studied German, are currently in Germany, while Kravish, a Spanish major, was assigned to Mexico.

“This was the first time in College history that our students have earned three Fulbrights in a single year,” says Perry Hamalis, Cecelia Schneller Mueller Professor of Religion, associate professor of religion and director of College Honors Programs. “It is an accomplishment made possible by the quality of students we recruit, mentoring by our faculty and staff, and our strong study abroad, foreign language, and undergraduate research offerings— including summer research and Richter Grants. The provision of all these opportunities makes it possible for our students to compete for these awards.” 

Out of four North Central applicants last year, three received Fulbrights and a fourth applicant reached the final round. “This is testimonial to how strong our applicants were,” says Hamalis.

“We are delighted at the news, especially since we consider Fulbright awards as a kind of confirmation of the ongoing internationalization of our campus,” added Jack Shindler, professor of English and director of international programs.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. More than 1,800 U.S. students, artists and young professionals in more than 100 different fields of study are offered Fulbright Program grants annually to study, teach English and conduct research. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program operates in more than 140 countries throughout the world.