TCNJ was identified as a top producer of Fulbright scholars, according to data published in The Chronicle of Higher Education this week. This is TCNJ’s first appearance on the list, and the college sits as one of only three New Jersey institutions named (along with Princeton University and Rutgers University).
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest U.S. Exchange Program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide.
Three students from The College of New Jersey won Fulbright awards for 2014-2015: Shea de Brito, Krishna Parekh—both members of the class of 2014—and Erika Schultes, a 2014 graduate of TCNJ’s five-year MA in English track. De Brito is an English teaching assistant in Brazil; Parekh won a research award to Finland; and Schultes is an English teaching assistant in Romania.
In 2013, TCNJ introduced a comprehensive mentoring program to encourage and support students applying for competitive post-graduate fellowships. The program works to raise student awareness of the fellowship opportunities early on their college careers, and strengthens faculty/staff mentoring for candidates.
“We have significantly increased the number of Fulbright applicants, especially those applying for research-based fellowships,” says Marla Jaksch, an associate professor of women’s and gender studies who coordinates the Office of Post-Graduate Fellowships. “This is significant because these applications are more complicated to complete, require more research experience, and are more difficult to win.”
This year, almost all of TCNJ’s Fulbright applications were for research fellowships, a direct link to two hallmarks of a TCNJ education—undergraduate research and global engagement.
“Recognition as a “top producer” of Fulbrights underlines TCNJ’s commitment to global education, leadership development, community engaged learning, and a rigorous intellectual community—all signature features of the college’s educational programs,” says TCNJ President R. Barbara Gitenstein.
The Fulbright competition is administered at TCNJ through the Office of Post-Graduate Fellowships.
—Emily W. Dodd ’03