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UW-Eau Claire is Among Top Producers
of Fulbright Scholars in the United States

RELEASED: Oct. 23, 2006

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has more students receiving Fulbright grants for 2006-07 than most master's level colleges and universities in the United States, the Fulbright Program recently announced.

With Fulbright awards to three of its graduates who applied while enrolled at the university, UW-Eau Claire is ranked 8th in the nation among master's level institutions producing U.S. student Fulbright Scholars in 2006-07, according to a list of top producer schools compiled by the Fulbright Program. No other Wisconsin college or university is included on the list of top master's level institutions. The list is featured in the Oct. 20 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education.

"I'm constantly impressed by the quality of the teaching and learning that takes place at this university," UW-Eau Claire Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich said. "Fulbright awards are extremely competitive, with applications coming from top students at colleges and universities throughout the country. It speaks well of our ambitious students — and the talented faculty who teach them — that so many applicants from UW-Eau Claire receive the awards."

The Fulbright list of top producing institutions considered only award winners who were currently enrolled students at the time of their application, said Cheryl Lochner-Wright, the campus Fulbright adviser. Other UW-Eau Claire alumni also recently received Fulbright awards but did not apply while enrolled at UW-Eau Claire so were not included in the institution-specific count, she said.

Justin Van Ness
Justin Van Ness
Jenna Cushing-Leubner
Jenna Cushing-Leubner
Amanda Hill
Amanda Hill

The 2006-07 Fulbright winners who applied to the Fulbright program while enrolled at UW-Eau Claire are:

  • Justin Van Ness, Oshkosh, who graduated in December 2005 with a double major in political science and Spanish. He was approved to do research and teach in Madrid and the suburb of Alcorcn beginning this fall. Van Ness will be a teaching assistant for middle school classes in Spanish history, music and science.
  • Jenna Cushing-Leubner, Menomonie, a December 2005 graduate with majors in English and German, received a two-part Fulbright Award. She received a research and teaching grant for travel to Vienna, Austria, and a supplemental Fulbright Language Training Initiative grant to study Turkish, which is critical to the research she will conduct in Austria. She also will be a teaching assistant at a high school in Vienna.
  • Amanda Hill, Madison, who graduated in May with majors in biology and French, received a Fulbright Award to travel to Belgium to teach English as a foreign language. She will be a teaching assistant in an English class at the Universit de Mons-Hainaut in southern Belgium. She will conduct classroom-based research on the effect of language learning when students are introduced to many different native speaker accents.

"The Fulbright program is the largest, most robust exchange of international students and scholars, and our university is proud to count among its faculty and academic staff many recipients of Fulbright scholarships," said Karl Markgraf, director of the Center for International Education. "Our campus Fulbright committee provides excellent mentoring and support for students — from their first inquiry about the program, through the process of developing a competitive application. The quality of our student applicants, combined with the quality of support they receive at UW-Eau Claire, are key to helping them attain this significant award."

UW-Eau Claire has had eight Fulbright Scholars since 2000, more than any other UW System institution other than UW-Madison.

Interest in the Fulbright program has grown among students in recent years, with more students from more fields of study applying, said Lochner-Wright.

"It has been exciting to have more students applying outside of traditional fields such as foreign languages, as well as to more non-traditional locations," Lochner-Wright said, adding that she expects even more students to apply as word spreads about the success of UW-Eau Claire applicants.

Under the Fulbright Program, almost 1,300 American students in more than 100 fields of study have been offered grants to study, teach English and conduct research in more than 120 countries throughout the world beginning this fall. Students receiving awards for this academic year applied through 532 different colleges or universities.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program equips future leaders with the skills they need to thrive in a global environment by providing funding for one academic year of study or research aboard, to be conducted after graduation from an accredited university. Fellows undertake self-designed programs in a variety of disciplines.

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Financial support is provided by Congress to the Department of State, with contributions from participating governments and host institutions in the United States and abroad.

The Institution of International Education administers and coordinates the acitivites relevant to the U.S. Student Program, including an annual competition for the scholarship.

The Fulbright Program also awards grants to American teachers and faculty to do research, lecture and teach overseas. In addition, nearly 3,000 foreign Fulbright students and scholars come to the United States annually to study, carry out research and lecture at U.S. universities, colleges and secondary schools.

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JB

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