Georgetown received the title of “Top Producing Fulbright Institution” for the 10th consecutive year, with 18 students awarded the fellowship in 2014, marking an increase from 13 in 2013.
Georgetown University students and alumni have earned a total of 236 Fulbright Fellowships since the program’s conception.
The Fulbright Fellowship was created in 1946 and provides students with grants and opportunities to travel to different countries for graduate studies, research projects and teaching from the primary to university level in order to increase understanding between the United States and the rest of the world.
“This program especially fits the typical ‘Georgetown student — globally minded, social justice oriented, academically ambitious,” Georgetown Fulbright Program Advisor and Associate Director of the Office of Fellowships, Awards and Resources Lauren Tuckley said.
The Fulbright award is of particular interest to Georgetown students interested in foreign cultures, languages and teaching English.
“The Fulbright is open to all fields — really for anyone that desires a year abroad researching or teaching English as a second language in one of 140 countries that currently participate in this binational cultural exchange program,” Tuckley said.
Kaley Beins (COL ’14), who received a grant to study plant communities in Panama for 10 months, said that she appreciates the Fulbright for the benefits that it provides beyond financial support.
“The Fulbright Fellowship itself is wonderful, not only because it gives you a stipend to fund your research and living expenses, but because it gives you a lot of connections, both professionally and socially,” Beins said.
Beins said that she hopes to do more than just research during her time in Panama.
“I obviously hope to complete solid research with workable data, but I also want to make sure that I immerse myself fully in Panamanian culture and take the risks that our Jesuit education has taught us to take: asking questions, getting to know people deeply and fully and approaching each new opportunity with gratefulness,” Beins said.
Beins credited Tuckley and the Office of Fellowships for their guidance throughout the application process.
“She led information sessions, scheduled one-on-one meetings and even volunteered to read draft personal statements and statements of proposed study. She hosted a recipients’ lunch in the spring to talk to us about the process and get feedback for the next group of applicants,” Beins said.“She really roots for each of the applicants every step of the way, which means a lot, especially with an application process as intimidating as this one.”
Caroline Cotto (NHS ’14), the Class of 2014 School of Nursing and Health Studies valedictorian, received a grant to teach English in Taiwan. Cotto, who studied abroad in Shanghai during her junior year, said in an interview with The Hoya last spring that she hopes to improve her Mandarin during her fellowship.
Cotto also said that she hopes to use her year in Taiwan to figure out her future career path.
“I’m very much a type-A planner,” Cotto said. “But when it comes to my life, I haven’t really planned beyond this year. I’m trying to … just sort of see where it takes me.”
According to Tuckley, the program has grown at Georgetown in recent years and will continue to expand.
“I see growth. This year, we’ve had a record number of Georgetown applicants seeking internal endorsement, due in part to our efforts to improve our outreach strategy.” Tuckley said. “We are actively working on getting the word out to a greater number of students that would be competitive for this opportunity.”