A Full Year of Fulbrights

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - 16:45

*Since this story was originally written, an additional two Mount Holyoke graduates (see the list) received Fulbrights. The total of ten makes this the single best year in the College's history for the prestigious awards.

With Fulbrights awarded to eight Mount Holyoke students, this has been a banner year for the College when it comes to the prestigious international scholarship program.

“This is our second highest year for MHC Fulbright wins, outside of the nine we won in 2006-2007,” said National Fellowships and Graduate School Advisor Elizabeth Mandeville. “Our candidates this year were a wonderful group of students, diverse in their fields of study, passions, ambitions and backgrounds.”

The eight MHC seniors will study subjects including public health and design in countries as diverse as Jordan and Japan. They include:

  • Elisa Frankel, who will study medical sciences in Israel
  • Lauren Wooten Smith, who will study public health in Bangladesh
  • Nellie Davis, who will study design in Japan
  • Sarah McKnight, who will study geology in Jordan
  • Emilie Coakley, Rebecca Wener, and Violet Kupersmith, who will serve as English teaching assistants in Indonesia, Spain, and Vietnam, respectively
  • Rebecca Adikes, who will study in Spain

“This year's winners exemplify what makes a strong Fulbright candidate,” Mandeville said. “Their proposals displayed spirit and preparation. They were creative and confident as they approached their Fulbright ideas, and they started early and sought feedback at each stage of the application process. Their final applications were beautiful, personal, and fascinating.”

“Often, the key to a great Fulbright application is starting early,” Mandeville continued. “Last year, for the first time, we required that candidates commit to the process in the spring, which I think significantly strengthened students' applications, allowing them more time for reflection, planning, writing, feedback, and revision.”

The Fulbright Scholar Program, which was created in 1946 under legislation proposed by U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, is designed to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” The program is administered by the U.S. Department of State.

This year’s results may just be coming in, but Mandeville and her staff are already busy working with the College’s next crop of Fulbright applicants. She said students are preparing proposals to study public health in China and avant-garde film in India, research education in Indonesia, and teach English in Colombia, Korea and Spain—and she’s expecting a strong showing.

“It's going to be another exciting Fulbright year,” Mandeville said.