UNC Charlotte ranked among top Fulbright-producing institutions

Nationally, UNC Charlotte is one of the top producers of Fulbright Scholars, according to a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

This is a significant achievement, ranking UNC Charlotte alongside other major research institutions, such as the University of California Berkeley, University of Georgia and University of Michigan. But it’s not a surprise either, said Joël Gallegos, assistant provost for international programs.

“This recognition showcases the University’s focus on the world’s interconnectedness and how competitive our faculty members are on a national and international level,” Gallegos stated. “The Fulbright is a prestigious honor, and every level of the University’s leadership – from the chancellor to the provost to the deans to the department chairs – recognizes and values the importance of international engagement.”

gallegosThe Office of International Programs, under Gallegos’ direction, spearheads efforts to prepare UNC Charlotte faculty to apply for the Fulbright Scholars Program. The office sponsors workshops and information sessions each semester to educate faculty about the process; often, these sessions include presentations from former UNC Charlotte Fulbright recipients.

“We have a very good track record with the Fulbrights, and my door is always open to those interested in the program,” said Gallegos. “At any given time, we have a number of Fulbright returnees who can serve as mentors to those interested in submitting applications. They can provide insight and helpful application strategies to our faculty.”

Extending the University’s global reach is an important aspect for UNC Charlotte’s mission as the state’s urban research institution, and having a robust number of Fulbright Scholars on campus is a plus, Gallegos noted.

“Often returning Fulbright participants remark on how valuable the experience is. It strengthens their life as a scholar, teacher and researcher,” said Gallegos. “They teach students with a different perspective and collaborate with new colleagues, which can lead to new research cooperation and exchanges with other institutions.”

Not only does this benefit UNC Charlotte students, but the greater community, as well. Gallegos explained these Fulbright faculty members return with the ability to share their cultural experiences, exposing many North Carolinians to parts of the world they may not have visited. Also, in representing UNC Charlotte, Fulbright participants are ambassadors for the institution, Charlotte and North Carolina.

The Fulbright Scholar Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars. Click here for a CIES article about the Chronicle of Higher Education story.

During the 2012-13 academic year, Maja Godlewska, assistant professor of art and art history, and Alan Freitag, professor of communication studies, served as Fulbright Scholars in Poland. James Douglas, associate professor of political science and public administration, spent the summer in Estonia, and Vivian Lord, professor of criminal justice and criminology, completed a term in India. Spencer Salas, assistant professor in the College of Education, was in South Africa.

For the 2013-14 academic year, Christine Haynes, associate professor of history, is serving as a Fulbright Scholar in France, and Suzanne Lamorey, associate professor of special education and child development, is in India. Tanure Ojaide, professor of Africana studies, is in Nigeria, and Jordan Poler, associate professor of chemistry, is in Russia.

In addition to UNC Charlotte faculty members serving as Fulbright Scholars abroad, the University has become a destination for international students awarded a Fulbright scholarship. Yudo Anggoro, a doctoral student in public policy from Indonesia, is on campus for the 2013-14 academic year, along with fellow Ph.D. in public policy students Mauricio Dominguez and Nahida Khudadad from Colombia and Pakistan, respectively. Hanne Duindam, who is working toward a master’s in clinical psychology, is from the Netherlands.