Fulbright, Gilman & Other Prestigious Scholarships

By Philip Benesch

To have three student Fulbright successes in a two-year period may seem remarkable.  However, the classes we graduate each year include many highly intelligent and capable students.  We should encourage more of our students to consider Fulbright.

The new application for U.S. Student Fulbright grants opens today, Monday April 3rd (http://us.fulbrightonline.org/component/school/6505?view=school).  This Fulbright application cycle will support study and teaching opportunities in the 2018-19 academic year.  Students must be U.S. citizens at the time of application and must have completed a bachelor’s degree before the start of the grant period.

Please encourage your students to attend the Fulbright Information Meeting on Friday April 7th, from 12:15 (lunch included) in NG.203 (perhaps you might accompany them?).  And please ask your most promising students to contact me (benesch@lvc.edu) now, before the end of this semester, so that I may work with them over the summer to prepare an effective application.

The April 7th information session will be conducted by Jennifer Connor from the Institute of International Education (IIE), the agency that administers the U.S. student Fulbright program on behalf of the United States Department of State.  The IIE also administers several other federal scholarship programs for international study, such as the Gilman and Boren awards.  I have asked Jennifer to share with us information on the Gilman award, which provide financial support to Pell-grant eligible students so they may participate in undergraduate study abroad.  If you know of Pell-grant eligible students interested in our study abroad options then the April 7th meeting may offer important Gilman Scholarship information to them (http://www.iie.org/Programs/Gilman-Scholarship-Program#.WN51Xvnys2w).

LVC students have been successful in competition for the Fulbright award.  Last year Hannah Pell (Physics and Music, currently studying systematic musicology in Austria https://hannahfulbright.wordpress.com/), this year both Jasmine Olvany (Biochemistry and Art, soon to embark upon a yearlong research project in Hungary) and Megan Lough (English and Secondary Education, preparing for an English Teaching Assistantship in Bulgaria).  These three are but our latest Fulbright successes.  We also had successful Fulbright applicants in 2000, 2005, and 2009.  From the mid-seventies through to 1990, 9 LVC students earned prestigious scholarships administered, as the Fulbright is, by the Institute of International Education.  These include Douglas Ebersole, who we will honor with a Doctor of Law degree this commencement.  Ebersole completed a Fulbright year (1978-79) in Australia before entering Stanford Law school for his JD.  Ebersole and Mike Gross (1982) were remarkable in another way.  They were two of only 240 American students to receive the ITT Fellowship – which selected the very best Fulbright applicants and upgraded their award.

Let’s encourage more LVC students to follow in their steps.  Please ask your students to attend the Fulbright Information Meeting on Friday April 7th, from 12:15 (lunch included) in NG.203.