Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

For Second Straight Year, Georgetown Tops Fulbright Scholars Rankings

For the second consecutive year, Georgetown University produced the most Fulbright Scholars of any U.S. university, according to a Feb. 13 university press release.

Forty Georgetown students and graduates won Fulbright U.S. Student awards, which fund American students to research or teach English abroad, to travel to 22 countries for the 2023-24 academic year. Georgetown has ranked as the top-producing university for Fulbright Scholars for four of the past six years, with over 500 graduates winning Fulbrights since the scholarships first started in 1946. 

Grace Rector (SFS ’21), a current Fulbright Scholar teaching English as a second language in Settat, Morocco, said Georgetown’s Jesuit values prepared her for life abroad.

“A lot of the Jesuit values of being for others and serving others is definitely part of Fulbright, in that you’re teaching people in other countries,” Rector told The Hoya. “Coming and living in a country with a different language, and a different religion, different culture, I think, even though it’s challenging, I think Georgetown prepared me for that.”

Fulbright U.S. scholars can either serve as English teaching assistants, like Rector, or pursue research projects, like Anya Howko-Johnson (SFS ’22), who is currently studying climate policy at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece, and Anya Wahal (SFS ’23), who researches water quality in Delhi.

Georgetown President John J. DeGioia (CAS ’79, GRD ’95) said the university’s Fulbright awards reflect the recipients’ consistent academic excellence and community service.

“This is a wonderful honor for each of them and for our University, as we seek to deepen our engagement around the world and our role as a global institution,” DeGioia said in a university press release.

Georgetown University / Forty Georgetown students and graduates won Fulbright U.S. Student awards, marking the second consecutive year that Georgetown University produced the most Fulbright Scholars of any U.S. university.

Howko-Johnson said her experience in Greece has supplemented her education at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service (SFS), where she majored in international politics. 

“If Georgetown gave me the theory, Fulbright has given me the practice of international affairs,” Howko-Johnson wrote to The Hoya. “In Greece, I have been challenged to examine international politics from a non-American policy perspective, I have developed my compassion for foreign experiences, and I have had a delightful time trying to shop in grocery stores where I don’t speak the language.”

Wahal said her multidisciplinary SFS education and its focus on understanding different cultures prepared her to live abroad during her Fulbright.

“Georgetown’s interdisciplinary education and focus on politics and international affairs encouraged me to pursue my project, which is also inherently interdisciplinary,” Wahal wrote to The Hoya. “It encouraged me to value cultural dialogue and exchange — something I spend a lot of time investing in in India.”

Nima Majidi (MSB, SFS ’23), a Fulbright awardee teaching English, history and international affairs in Bukhara, Uzbekistan, said his work focuses on conveying information and ensuring students understand concepts — much as it did at Georgetown. 

“A lot of the concepts that I teach here are cultural communication,” Majidi told The Hoya. “I spent, I think, a lot of time trying to do that at Georgetown, in different classes and things like that. Trying to find different ways to phrase things that students understand better is not crazy different than trying to phrase things a little bit differently so that people in your class understand that a bit better.”

Many Fulbright Scholars also receive Critical Language Enhancement Awards, which provide funding for scholars to intensively study languages in their home countries. 

Rylee McGonigle (CAS ’23), who is teaching English in Kinmen, Taiwan, said Georgetown’s emphasis on language education prepared her to become more comfortable with Mandarin and Taiwanese culture. 

“The entire Chinese department at Georgetown has been instrumental in preparing me for my experience,” McGonigle wrote to The Hoya. “Not only with teaching me Mandarin, but they also always made an effort to teach us about traditional holidays and other aspects of Chinese and Taiwanese culture that have been very helpful while living here.”

Rector said reflection on her experience abroad and its meaning to her has been important as she adapts to Morocco. Rector said the experience has helped her become more resilient and understanding of her students.

“I’ve had a lot of time to think about what this experience means to me, how to be a good teacher and what to gain from the experience as well as what I can contribute to the community that I’m living in,” Rector said.

Wahal said her Fulbright has been a rewarding experience she would encourage other Georgetown students to apply for. 

“It sounds cheesy, but this Fulbright has been a once in a lifetime experience that I will never take for granted,” Wahal wrote. “I was so unconfident going in, but it has been incredibly gratifying both academically and personally.”

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About the Contributor
Evie Steele
Evie Steele, Executive Editor
Evie Steele is a sophomore in the SFS from New York, N.Y., studying international politics with minors in international development and Chinese. She has been on TV twice and has been quoted in Deadline once. [email protected]

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