UW-Eau Claire ranks 14th in nation for winners of Fulbright Award

Four UW-Eau Claire students received prestigious Fulbright Award

More stories from Faith Hultman


Photo by Kendall Ruchti

The Fulbright grant enables students to explore global opportunities

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has released a list ranking UW-Eau Claire 14th in the nation among both private and public colleges for number of Fulbright Scholars.

The Fulbright Program is an international grant program offering research and education-based grants, depending on the country and goals of the student. The U.S. government sponsors this prestigious grant, awarding it to 700-800 people per year, campus Fulbright adviser Cheryl Lochner-Wright said.

“Fulbright is obviously a very competitive scholarship,” Lochner-Wright said. “Having such success for our students speaks very well of our student body and the talent pool that is there.”

Receiving a Fulbright grant can open students’ eyes to a lot of global opportunities, as well as help them get a job or get into graduate school, Lochner-Wright said.

Because of the nature of the program, students have the ability to pursue something of specific interest to them, whether that is teaching English or creating a research project of their own, Lochner-Wright said.

“With the Fulbright application, students put forward a project that they are going to accomplish,” Lochner-Wright said, “and they put forward future plans based on what they are doing in that year.”

The ranking of colleges based on number of Fulbright students produced includes the nation’s top colleges such as Harvard and Northwestern, Fulbright semi-finalist Joel Newman said.
“UW-Eau Claire has done really really well recently,” Newman said. “Eau Claire is right there competing too, which is cool.”

Newman is one of the four Fulbright semi-finalists at Eau Claire. Each student applied for a different research or education-based grant. Newman, a spanish education student, said he hopes to be placed in Uruguay to teach English.

Newman was inspired to apply for the Fulbright Program last summer when he studied abroad in Costa Rica. The experience was “unbelievable” and he said he hopes to travel to other places in the world through the Fulbright Program.

“This grant would give me the chance to see a new part of the world and meet new people, and also to have an impact on their lives,” Newman said. “Not only being there as a tourist and traveller but also as a teacher, making an impact on students and teachers down there.”
Anyone who is interested in a year abroad and has excelled in and out of the classroom should consider applying, Lochner-Wright said. There is no specific GPA requirement, she said.

“If anyone is at all interested in applying, they should get in touch with Cheryl Lochner-Wright,” Newman said. “She, among other professors, was extremely helpful to me in the application process.”

The 2017-18 application opens on March 31.