Baylor University Named a Top Producer of Fulbright U.S. Students
WACO, Texas (Feb. 10, 2023) – The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs today named Baylor University a Fulbright Top Producing Institution for U.S. Students. This recognition is given to the U.S. colleges and universities that received the highest number of applicants selected for the 2022-23 Fulbright U.S. Student Program.
A record 14 students from Baylor were selected for the highly competitive Fulbright awards for academic year 2022-2023. Baylor is among six institutions that appear for the first time on the Fulbright Student Top Producing list. Overall, with 14 Fulbright grants, Baylor is tied for No. 16 nationally among the research universities with the most Fulbright U.S. Student grants. In Texas, Baylor produced the second-most Fulbright grantees, just behind the University of Texas at Austin with 17. Other Texas institutions on the list and their number of Fulbright grants include the University of Houston (10), University of North Texas (8), Texas State University (7), Rice University and Texas Tech University (6) and SMU (5).
In spring 2022, two Baylor students earned the Fulbright Study/Research Award, a traditional award opportunity where they designed a research proposal for a specific country, and 12 students won the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Award, which places them in classrooms overseas to assist local English teachers while also serving as cultural ambassadors for the United States.
“Baylor University provides undergraduate students with a truly transformational education, including incredible opportunities to make a positive impact on our diverse and interconnected world through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program,” President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., said. “We are so proud of our 14 Fulbright recipients, who are studying and teaching in 11 countries – from Azerbaijan to the United Kingdom – while enhancing mutual understanding as cultural ambassadors. I commend our Office of Engaged Learning and our world-class faculty for their dedication to helping our students flourish in such life-changing ways.”
“On behalf of President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken, congratulations to the colleges and universities recognized as 2022-2023 Fulbright Top Producing Institutions, and to all the applicants who were selected for the Fulbright Program this year,” said Lee Satterfield, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. “Thanks to the visionary leadership of these institutions, administrators and advisors, a new generation of Fulbrighters – changemakers, as I like to say – will catalyze lasting impact on their campus, in their communities and around the world.”
High honor for Baylor
Fulbright is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and among largest and most diverse exchange programs in the world. Since its inception in 1946, more than 400,000 participants from all backgrounds and fields – including recent university graduates, teachers, scientists, researchers, artists and others, from the United States and over 160 other countries – have participated in the Fulbright Program.
“To be named a Top Producing Institution for the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program is a high, high honor for Baylor, and we are exceedingly proud of this achievement,” said Andrew P. Hogue, Ph.D., associate dean for engaged learning at Baylor. “At the same time, we are equally proud of what it represents—evidence of a transformational educational experience for our students, one in which they have been formed for worldwide leadership and service of the highest order.”
The Fulbright competition is administered at Baylor through Office of Engaged Learning (OEL), which partners with students, in collaboration with faculty and staff throughout the University, to help them maximize their scholarship beyond the classroom.
Daniel Benyousky, Ph.D., director of major fellowships and awards in the OEL and Baylor’s Fulbright program adviser, supports students as they apply and compete for prestigious scholarships, fellowships, internships and research experiences at the national and international level. These experiences include the Fulbright, Churchill, Truman, Gates Cambridge, Boren and Rhodes, and other notable awards, such as the Goldwater, Pickering, Critical Language Scholarship, Udall and National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU).
The Fulbright application process, as Benyousky describes it, is “truly a campus-wide effort.”
“Every one of our applicants includes a campus interview, a committee evaluation, three letters of recommendation and often a language evaluation by one of our faculty members in Modern Languages and Cultures,” he said. “That’s what makes this such a joyous celebration. There are so many faculty and staff on our campus who have been instrumental to this achievement.”
The University will celebrate the Fulbright Top Producing milestone and the faculty and staff who have contributed to students’ success at a campus-wide reception from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, in the Cox Reception Hall in Armstrong Browning Library. Hosted by the Office of the Provost and the Office of Engaged Learning, the event also launches next year’s Fulbright cycle and provides information about the application process. The reception is open to students, faculty and staff. Remarks will be given at 1:40 p.m.
Investing in students
Baylor’s investment in supporting outstanding students in their pursuits of elite international scholarships has led to the development of leaders across numerous fields around the world. Fulbright alumni have returned to their home countries to make an impact on their communities thanks to their expanded worldview, a deep appreciation for their host country and its people and a larger network of colleagues and friends.
Six past Baylor recipients of prestigious scholarships, including three Fulbright alumni, reflected on their Fulbright experience and where their careers have taken them in the Fall 2022 Baylor Magazine article, Rooted in Scholarship:
- Jade Connor, B.S. ’17, M.D., won her Fulbright Scholarship in 2017 to Maastricht University in The Netherlands. Today, she is completing her internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
- Ross Natividad, B.A. ’10, M.A. ’12, J.D., earned his Fulbright in 2012 and spent a year teaching high school English in West Timor, Indonesia. He now serves as an Assistant Chief Counsel for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
- Ashley Killough, B.A. ’09, M.A. ’11, spent her Fulbright year of intensive study in Armenia. After graduating from Columbia School of Journalism, she began covering politics for CNN and now is a field producer for CNN’s Dallas bureau.
The Fulbright Program was established over 75 years ago to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. While the primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, it benefits from additional support from foreign partner governments, non-governmental organizations, private organizations, corporate partnerships and individual donors. Importantly, U.S. and foreign host institutions provide support as well.
For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit fulbrightprogram.org.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.