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UW-Eau Claire remains among top U.S. producers of Fulbright students

| Julie Poquette

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is again among the top five U.S. master’s universities for its number of students who receive Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants through the U.S. Department of State’s prestigious international educational exchange program.

In the 2019-20 Fulbright top-producer list, UW-Eau Claire is tied for fourth among all public and private U.S. universities that offer master’s degrees. This is the second consecutive year UW-Eau Claire has been among the top five in its category.

The Fulbright Program’s top-producing universities were announced Feb. 10 and published in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“It is with great pride that we see UW-Eau Claire alumni participate in such great numbers in this program to increase understanding between people of the United States and citizens of other countries,” said UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt. “With our strong focus on providing students with multicultural immersion and study abroad experiences during their time here, our graduates leave UW-Eau Claire ready to engage as global citizens.”

Over the past 10 years, UW-Eau Claire has had 25 Fulbright students — more than double the number from any other master's-level public university in Wisconsin or Minnesota. Six of those Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards were received in 2019-20 alone. (See a story from May 2019 about UW-Eau Claire's most recent Fulbright grant recipients.)

“I am always impressed by the Fulbright applicants I work with, but this was an unprecedented year for UW-Eau Claire,” said Cheryl Lochner-Wright, a study abroad coordinator in UW-Eau Claire’s Center for International Education and the campus advisor for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. “Nine students applied. All of them were semifinalists, seven were offered awards (one declined), and an eighth was named an alternate. This is an incredible showing and is a testament to the active, engaged students we have on campus.”

When discussing UW-Eau Claire students’ success in the Fulbright process, Lochner-Wright credits both the students and her colleagues on the campus Fulbright committee: Dr. Josh Brown, associate professor of German; Dr. Maria DaCosta, professor of economics; and Dr. David Lonzarich, professor of biology.

“Working on the Fulbright committee has been one of my most rewarding professional experiences at UW-Eau Claire,” DaCosta said. “The depth and breadth of our student applicants’ experiences continue to amaze me year after year and are a great testimony to the quality of UW-Eau Claire’s academic programs and commitment to civic and global engagement.”

A complete list of Fulbright recipients is available on the U.S. Fulbright Student Program website.

Photo caption: Allyson Breyer, a 2018 UW-Eau Claire special education graduate, is pictured at the Trevi Fountain in Rome during her study-abroad experience as an undergraduate. Breyer is one of six UW-Eau Claire graduates who received 2019-20 Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards for teaching assistantships abroad.