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

| Gary Johnson

Photo caption: Noah Turecek, left, is in Taiwan for a teaching assistantship through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. He is pictured here with Dr. Kaishan Kong, his Chinese professor and one of his Fulbright references.

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

UW-Eau Claire is on the 2020-21 Fulbright top producer list for the fourth consecutive year, tying for sixth among all public and private universities that offer master’s degrees. This year, five Blugolds were awarded the prestigious grants.

“I’m proud that once again an impressive number of UW-Eau Claire students and graduates were selected to be part of this prestigious program,” says Chancellor James Schmidt. “The Fulbright program is another opportunity for Blugolds to model what it means to be engaged global citizens as they build connections and understanding between people in the U.S. and those in other parts of the world.”

UW-Eau Claire has had 29 students receive Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards in the past 10 years — more than double the number of any other master’s-level public university in Wisconsin or Minnesota.

Fifteen Blugolds have received Fulbright grants over the past three years.

Cheryl Lochner-Wright, senior study abroad coordinator for UW-Eau Claire’s Center for International Education and campus Fulbright program advisor, says it’s always a thrill to see Blugolds on the Fulbright list. Lochner-Wright says it’s an opportunity to celebrate all the applicants and award recipients, and the campus Fulbright committee members, faculty and staff who support the applicants with letters of recommendation. 

“This year is a little bittersweet, since some of our 2020-21 grantees’ awards were shortened due to the pandemic and others have been deferred to next year,” Lochner-Wright says. “But that doesn’t detract from their achievement in being offered the award.”

 The Fulbright Program’s top-producing universities were announced Feb. 15 and published in The Chronicle of Higher Education.