University of Michigan No. 1 public university for Fulbrights

By Meredith Bruckner - Community News Producer

University of Michigan student and Fulbright scholar Ryan Etzcorn in China (Credit: Ryan Etzcorn)

ANN ARBOR - For the 14th year in a row, the University of Michigan has received the most Fulbright grants of any public university in the nation.

Students at U-M received 26 Fulbrights for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Considered one of the most prestigious awards given by the U.S. government, the grants fund overseas research or teaching for six months to a year.

This year, recipients' interests include researching economic and social transformation in China and the lives of reproductive health care professionals in Burkina Faso. 

"U-M’s commitment to international education helps students and scholars gain new perspectives and higher levels of understanding that make our world a better and safer place," U-M President Mark Schlissel said in a statement. "I commend our newest Fulbright awardees for their dedication to making lasting positive impacts around the globe."

U-M faculty scholars on the Ann Arbor and Flint campuses were also awarded five Fulbrights.

"We have a seasoned team consisting of Fulbright Program advisers and faculty that is very invested in our applicants’ success," Heather Johnson, fellowships adviser at the U-M International Institute, said in a statement. "It also helps that U-M students are perennially impressive in their own right."

The Fulbright program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, seeks to help its scholars achieve their academic objectives while promoting mutual understanding between the U.S. and countries around the world.

Each year, nearly 1,100 American students, young professionals and artists hailing from 100 disciplines are offered Fulbrights.

Recipients are selected based on their academic excellence and demonstrated leadership.

Former grantees include U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, actor John Lithgow and opera singer Renee Fleming.

Ryan Etzcorn is one of U-M's student grantees this year. He is in China researching changes in the social and economic spheres.

He said the grant is helping him "become a leader in sustaining and expanding direct interactions between Chinese and American citizens, beyond the narratives provided by their governments and media."

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