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UMD Named Top Producer of Fulbright Students, Scholars

20 Terps Awarded Scholarships, Fellowships for Study, Research Abroad in 2023-24

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COLLEGE PARK, Md - The University of Maryland is one of the top-producing institutions for both the U.S. Fulbright Student and Scholar programs, the U.S. Department of State announced Tuesday, a recognition of the university’s commitment to global engagement.

Thirteen recent graduates, graduate students and alums and seven faculty members are studying, researching and teaching around the world in 2023-24 through the two programs, making UMD one of only 12 universities to earn the double distinction, according to rankings published by The Chronicle of Higher Education. The university also hosts students and faculty from other institutions.

“Our current Fulbright awardees are representing the best of America and of our university all over the world," said history Professor Marsha Rozenblit, UMD’s Fulbright faculty adviser. “UMD students and alumni received Fulbright awards to support research dealing with extremely important issues around the world, as well as to pursue master’s degrees and opportunities to impact youth in many countries as English teachers.”

More than 500 UMD students, alums, staff and faculty have earned Fulbright awards since the program was launched in 1946 to foster mutual understanding and support peaceful relations between the people of the United States and other nations; the U.S. government now oversees fellowships and scholarships in partnership with more than 160 countries. UMD has been recognized as a top-producing institution for students 10 times, and six times for scholars.

“Not only does this remarkable program foster and deepen educational collaboration and scientific research among the world's finest scholars, it also fuels partnerships between academic institutions in pursuit of new knowledge and finding solutions to the world's grand challenges,” said Ross D. Lewin, associate vice president for international affairs.

Gillian Boyce, a Ph.D. student in UMD’s materials science and engineering program, is researching how to protect statues in a lab in Venice, Italy. As she tests protective coatings on stone, she said she has access to tools and experts available nowhere else in the word.

“It’s so nice to collaborate with so many different people in (this field),” Boyce said. “While I'm working with Istrian stone, there are people who are working with polymers and other materials.”

Stephanie Bent, a Ph.D. student in UMD’s higher education, student affairs and international education policy program, said being in the place that you’re studying is critical. As she attends cultural events in Barbados, impromptu discussions have been particularly helpful in Bent’s research on how to better teach young people about decolonization and reparations.

“I understand better the implications of the things that I'm reading and I connect with it in a more meaningful way,” she said. “I'm getting a completely different perspective.”

The National Scholarships Office, which oversees the Student program, and Office of International Affairs, which leads the Scholars program, work together to help students, alums, staff and faculty pursue Fulbright opportunities, said William A. Cohen, associate provost and dean for undergraduate studies.

“We are committed to empowering students and faculty—as scientists, artists, educators and researchers—to develop creative solutions to global issues,” he said. “Through Fulbright grants, Terps have addressed an extraordinary range of complex challenges.”

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