BY GLENN GRIGSBY
The University of Mary Washington was recently named one of the top producers of U.S. Fulbright scholars, according to a list published in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
“We would not have gotten this distinction had three of our 2012 graduates, Aubrey Elliott, Peter Hawes and Michaela Sands, not received their Fulbright Scholarships,” said associate professor of history Nabil Al-Tikriti.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest U.S. exchange program for students to study and receive professional experience abroad. The program allows students to “undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide,” according to University Relations.
“We would not have gotten this distinction had three of our 2012 graduates, Aubrey Elliott, Peter Hawes and Michaela Sands, not received their Fulbright Scholarships,” said Nabil Al-Tikriti, associate professor of history.
The university produced 13 scholars overall, with 11 of those being in the past six years.
The University’s significant increase in the production of Fulbright scholars is due in part to it’s revamped Fulbright advising program.
Al-Tikriti became the Fulbright program advisor in January 2006 and continues to fill the position. He, along with Associate Professor of Biology Dianne Baker, Associate Professor of Studio Art Rosemary Jesionowski, Associate Professor of Geography Melina Patterson and Assistant Professor Patricia Reynolds in the School of Education, make up the UMW Fulbright Committee and actively help students who wish to apply for the scholarships.
“I’ve been on the committee ever since she began teaching here five years ago. I was looking to be more active on campus, and I volunteered because the Fulbright is an interesting program and worth getting into,” said professor Jesionowski.
Due to the Fulbright committee’s commitment to advising applicants, the number of applicants since 2006 is steadily growing. As of 2013, there are a total of 69 applicants.
According to Al-Tikriti, if a student hopes to be awarded a scholarship, the formula for winning is contingent on a competitive GPA and experience with teaching English.