Truman State was recognized as a top producer of Fulbright Scholars for the 2014-2015 academic year, acknowledging student potential for international service, teaching and research.
The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s top funded international exchange program, according to the State Department and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Fulbright Program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries. The program provides the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
Truman was recognized for excellence in the U.S. Student Program branch. This branch gives fellowships for American graduating college seniors, graduate students and young professionals to study abroad for one academic year.
Truman students can apply for either the English Teaching Assistant or Research fellowships by the fall semester of their senior year to be eligible for the program after graduation.
Maria Di Stefano, Associate Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies, is the adviser and campus coordinator for the Fulbright Program. Di Stefano says applying to the program is free and open to students of all academic backgrounds. She says students who previously have studied abroad are able to apply for the fellowship. She says students must apply through the University, not independently. Di Stefano says applications open March 31 and close Sept. 15.
“The program is widely recognized for its selectivity and well-recognized across the world,” Di Stefano says. “I believe our students are incredibly capable and we help them see that there are opportunities like this one that is accessible to them is extremely valuable.”
Italian professor H. Marie Orton was a former Fulbright recipient and served on the national Fulbright selection board before teaching at Truman. Orton currently advises Fulbright candidates through the application process. She says after being a Fulbright participant and serving on the board, she knows what the program requires of candidates.
Orton says Truman has been recognized every year as a top producer since joining the program. She says she thinks Truman in particular has been successful because of students’ service-minded nature and experience in teaching and research.
“Schools often get recognized by the committee for being good schools,” Orton says. “Truman has a very solid reputation for sending very solid candidates … I feel like we really help our students. Luckily, we have a really great track record of people getting the award.”