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PLU Recognized as a Nationwide Top Producer of Fulbright Students for 2014-15

Posted by: / February 12, 2015
2014 graduates, from left, Tommy Flanagan, Brianna Walling and Lillian Ferraz are three of PLU’s five 2014-15 Fulbright Scholars. (Photo: John Froschauer/PLU)

Image: 2014 graduates, from left, Tommy Flanagan, Brianna Walling and Lillian Ferraz are three of PLU’s five 2014-15 Fulbright Scholars. (Photo: John Froschauer/PLU)

UPDATE (6.24.15): Secretary of State Applauds PLU for being Fulbright Top Producer

Read U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's congratulatory letter to PLU President Thomas W. Krise.
By Sandy Deneau Dunham
PLU Marketing & Communications

TACOMA, WASH. (Feb. 12, 2015)—The Chronicle of Higher Education has highlighted Pacific Lutheran University as one of the nation’s top producers of U.S. Fulbright students for 2014-15.

PLU ranked fourth on The Chronicle’s list of master’s institutions. Of PLU’s 11 2014-15 applicants, five Lutes were accepted into the Fulbright program—2014 graduates Brianna Walling, Lillian Ferraz and Thomas Flanagan and alumni Natalie Burton ’13 and Ted Charles ’12—bringing PLU’s total number of Fulbrights since 1975 to 100.

Fulbright_StudentProd14_500x500Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright program was established in 1946 by the U.S. Congress to “enable the government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and the people of other countries.”

PLU’s 2014-15 Fulbright students certainly are experiencing a variety of countries and cultures:
•    Walling is teaching English in Argentina and next plans to attend graduate school or law school, specializing in immigration policy or law;
•    Ferraz, who graduated in May with a degree in English Literature and a minor in Music, is teaching for 10 months in Taiwan, where she also will study local and American songs;
•    Flanagan is teaching English in Germany and likely will enroll in a master’s program once his Fulbright tour is over;
•    Burton is studying piano education and culture in China, a continuation of her senior research project at PLU; and
•    Charles is studying in Turkey during his one-year scholarship.

Neal Sobania, Professor of History and PLU’s Post Graduate Fellowship Director, said one reason PLU consistently shows up among the country’s top Fulbright producers is that applicants receive intense tutoring, editing and encouragement from PLU faculty and staff.

“I think one of the real strengths of our whole program is the astonishing help and support they get from faculty members,” said Sobania. “This is real significant to their success. … We’ve got students who are seriously committed to being global citizens, and they are being recognized as such.”

As the U.S. government’s flagship international-educational exchange program, the Fulbrights have provided more than 360,000 participants—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential—with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. More than 1,800 U.S. students, artists and young professionals in more than 100 fields of study are offered Fulbright Program grants to study, teach English and conduct research annually in more than 140 countries throughout the world.

For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit http://eca.state.gov/fulbright.