Ithaca College is among the top schools in the nation in producing Fulbright award winners, according to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program.
The success of the top-producing institutions for 2016-17 was highlighted in the “Chronicle of Higher Education.” Ithaca College was one of only 16 schools in the ranking with the highest number of both students and faculty receiving Fulbright awards. The college was ranked third among Master’s-level institutions for faculty awards and 17th for student awards.
Professor of English Hugh Egan serves as the faculty liaison for students seeking external grants and awards.
“This shows that we have a student body and a faculty that is directed outward, interested in environments well outside their own experience, and willing to take intellectual risks,” said Egan.
Three Ithaca College seniors won Fulbright awards in 2016 to spend a post-graduate year abroad. Taylor Graham is making a documentary about water issues in India. Jamie Lisack is studying polar bodies — three tiny cells that are the byproduct of uneven division during the creation of an egg cell — at the University of Würzburg in Germany. Erika Bucior is studying competition between invasive plant species in Trinidad and Tobago.
Egan says that faculty play a crucial role in mentoring students and helping them on their way to receiving awards.
“Often students develop their projects because of something they’ve done in class or something they’ve studied in class,” said Egan. “[Faculty] often help with the project statement and give advice.”
Three members of the Ithaca College faculty received Fulbright awards in 2016.
Associate Professor Donathan Brown is currently teaching about race and public policy at the University of Maribor in Slovenia. Assistant Professor Narges Kasiri is collaborating with researchers at the University of Cologne in Germany and University of Parma in Italy to study RFID adoption patterns by retailers in the U.S. and Europe. Professor Scott Erickson is studying climate change knowledge in Iceland.
Most recently, Assistant Professor Lindsay Gilmour was awarded a Fulbright grant to study Tibetan ritual dance in nunneries in northern India. Her term will begin in the spring of 2018.
Ithaca College has had longstanding success with the Fulbright. Thirty students have won awards since 1995, while at least 23 faculty members have received awards since 1998. This year, 20 Ithaca College students applied for Fulbright awards, and nine have made the semifinalist stage.
Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 360,000 participants — chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
For more information, visit www.fulbrightonline.org/us.