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Tuesday, December 13, 2005
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Ohio University generates record number of Fulbright awardees and applicants

ATHENS, Ohio (Dec. 13, 2005) -- In the past five years, Ohio University students have been increasingly successful at obtaining U.S. Fulbright Student Program grants. This year, they continue to perform. Ohio University was among the top 25 producers of Fulbright awards for the 2005-06 academic year, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. With 22 applicants and nine winners, Ohio University claimed the highest number of Fulbright awards in the state of Ohio for the third straight year. It tied last year's university record for the most winners ever.

"Ohio University's peers on the list of Fulbright producers are internationally known research institutions such as Harvard and the University of Michigan," said Josep Rota, director of the Center for International Studies and associate provost for International Programs. "Ohio University is second in the proportion of applicants who were awarded the fellowship, with a yield of 41 percent. Only Boston College had a higher yield."

A record 29 Ohio University students have applied for the 2006-07 Fulbright awards. The students represent seven colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business, Communication, Education, Fine Arts, Health and Human Services, and the Honors Tutorial College and the Center for International Studies.

More than 130 faculty and staff members participated in this fall's application process, which includes writing a project proposal and intellectual autobiography, participating in interviews and, depending on the desired destination, a language test. Faculty and staff -- who contribute by advising students, reading versions of their applications, writing letters of recommendation, participating in campus interviews and administering foreign language tests -- provide crucial support for applicants' success, Rota said.

"It means real work," Rota said. "The faculty involvement means the schools and the departments support this program. It means that the president and the provost support this program. That is critical."

Elizabeth Clodfelter, assistant director of the Center for International Studies, is another crucial player in Ohio University students' Fulbright success. She works with the applicants by helping them through each step of the application process.

"The high rate of Fulbright applicants and recipients reflects very positively upon Ohio University as an institution, especially because the applicants are from disciplines across campus," Clodfelter said. "It highlights the academic excellence of Ohio University."

Students have applied to conduct research, to complete projects in the fine and performing arts, and to teach English as a foreign language in one of 24 countries located in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America, the Caribbean and the nation of New Zealand.

The Fulbright award is one of the oldest and most prestigious awards in the nation. Its purpose is to contribute to international knowledge of this country and to build bridges of understanding through academic studies between citizens of the United States and citizens of international countries.

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Media Contact: Center for International Studies Assistant Director for Communication and Graduate Programming Jennifer Cochran, (740)-593-1842 or cochraj1@ohio.edu, or Media Relations Coordinator Jessica Stark, starkj@ohio.edu or (740)-597-2938

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