UAlbany Named One of Top 10 Fulbright Producing Institutions

Composite image of seven UAlbany faculty and staff who won Fulbright awards (clockwise from top left: Peter Brandon, Bruce Svare, Joanna Dreby, Christopher Pastore, April Roggio, Ryan Irwin and Carol Rodgers)
Eight UAlbany faculty and staff members won Fulbright Scholar awards for the 2023-24 academic year. Clockwise from top left: Peter Brandon, Bruce Svare, Joanna Dreby, Christopher Pastore, April Roggio, Ryan Irwin and Carol Rodgers.

By Bethany Bump

ALBANY, N.Y. (Feb. 13, 2024) — Today, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs recognized the University at Albany for being one of the colleges and universities with the highest number of faculty and administrators selected for the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in the doctoral institution category.

Eight faculty members from UAlbany were selected for Fulbright awards for academic year 2023-24, placing UAlbany among the top 10 doctoral institutions for U.S. scholars this year.

Blue, grey and white digital badge reads "Fulbright Top Producer U.S. Scholar Program 2023-2024"

This is the University’s first time receiving this recognition, which is announced each year and based on the total number of students or scholars selected to participate in the U.S. government's flagship international academic exchange program.  

“UAlbany is one of few Research 1 institutions with internationalization in its strategic plan and I think this recognition is evidence that it’s become part of the culture,” said Gilbert Valverde, vice provost and dean of the Center for International Education and Global Strategy (CIEGS) at UAlbany. “Faculty and students embrace the idea of internationalization and do things like look for opportunities through Fulbright, through Peace Corps, Critical Language Scholarships and Boren Awards. I think this shows the growth and the strengthening of internationalization as part of the institutional culture at the University at Albany.”

Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided over 400,000 talented and accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals of all backgrounds with funded opportunities to study, teach and conduct research abroad. Fulbrighters exchange ideas, build people-to-people connections and work to address complex global challenges.

This year, eight UAlbany faculty members are pursuing international research opportunities in Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, Ireland, Peru, Spain, South Korea and Vietnam through the Fulbright program. In addition, one student was selected this year to serve as an English teaching assistant in South Korea.

Global exposure

Students and faculty who have been through the program say it’s benefited them both personally and professionally.

Martha Brown was a graduate student in UAlbany’s International Education Management and Leadership master’s program when she was awarded a Fulbright grant in 2022. As a Fulbright teaching assistant, she taught English language and American Studies at the University of Oradea in Romania and volunteered at elementary schools in the city teaching English to young children.

She now works as an international insurance coordinator in UAlbany’s CIEGS office, helping others to pursue opportunities abroad.

“Fulbright helped me professionally by providing opportunities for me in international education,” Brown said. “By living and working abroad, I gained experience and improved my skills in networking and intercultural communication. Of course, the friends I made in Romania and learning about Romanian culture really made my Fulbright year invaluable.”

Matthew Ingram, an associate professor of political science at UAlbany's Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, has received multiple Fulbright awards that funded research in Mexico and Brazil. In 2023, he became part of the Fulbright Specialist Program, which matches scholars based in the U.S. with shorter research and educational programs hosted by institutions abroad.

"Personally, the Fulbright programs have facilitated extended, immersive experiences abroad that I would not have been able to do on my own, and that led to lasting connections," he said. "Professionally, these experiences have helped me develop relationships with individuals and institutions abroad that have advanced my career and created additional opportunities that would have been difficult or impossible without Fulbright."

Learn more

UAlbany students interested in applying to Fulbright can contact Jacqueline Quevedo Ledermann, Fulbright program advisor and assistant director of Global Academic Programs at CIEGS.  

Ledermann encourages students to apply as juniors or seniors (students must have a bachelor’s degree by the time the grant commences). Applications for the 2025-26 program cycle open the first week of April.

“I think employers, graduate programs, PhD programs, any kind of professional affiliation — they look favorably upon individuals that have significant international exposure,” she said.

UAlbany faculty who are interested in applying for a Fulbright can register to attend a Feb. 22 information session over Zoom from 2-3 p.m.  

Fulbright is a program of the U.S. Department of State, with funding provided by the U.S. government. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the program.

Fulbright alumni work to make a positive impact on their communities, sectors, and the world and have included 41 heads of state or government, 62 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 80 MacArthur Fellows, and countless leaders and changemakers who build mutual understanding between the people of the United State and the people of other countries.

“Fulbright’s Top Producing Institutions represent the diversity of America’s higher education community,” said Lee Satterfield, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. “Dedicated administrators support students and scholars at these institutions to fulfill their potential and rise to address tomorrow’s global challenges. We congratulate them, and all the Fulbrighters who are making an impact the world over.”

Learn more about the Fulbright Program here