Occidental has broken its record with the most Fulbright award winners ever, with 13 recent graduates and other alumni headed abroad to study and teach.
The 13 are among 73 Occidental students and alumni who have won Fulbrights since 2003 -- a record that makes Occidental one of the country’s top producers of Fulbright Scholars. (Occidental's previous record was set last year, with a dozen Fulbright honorees.)
Seven of those were awarded Fulbright study/research grants, the largest number ever awarded to Occidental candidates in one year. Nine recently graduated seniors received Fulbright awards, as well as four other alumni. Out of Occidental’s 19 finalists (from an initial applicant pool of 53), 68% won awards.
In addition, it is the first year Occidental grads have won Fulbright grants to New Zealand and Switzerland. New Zealand only selects nine grantees each year, and Occidental seniors received two of those. Occidental seniors also received the College’s first English teaching assistantship (ETA) grants to Greece and Ecuador.
"This is a positive reflection on the undergraduate research preparation our students receive, beginning in the first year with CSP research seminars, to summer undergraduate research to the research seniors do for their comps," said Sue Pramov, director of the national awards program at Occidental.
The Fulbright award winners are:
Jacqueline Ayala ’14 of Fort Bragg: Mexico, ETA
Asha Canady ’12 of Sacramento: Greece, ETA
Tania Flores ’13 of Chico: Spain, study/research
Kristina Geiger ’14 of Fairlawn, Ohio: Switzerland, study/research
Alexandra Loomer ’14 of Burbank: Ecuador, ETA
Ryan Metzler ’14 of Doylestown, Pa.: New Zealand, study/research/creative arts
Nicholas Nam ’13 of Edmonds, Wash.: Turkey, ETA
Jason Prebel ’14 of Kaneohe, Hawaii: New Zealand, study/research
Pablo Romano ’14 of Santa Clarita: Argentina, ETA
Pauline Shoemaker ’12 of Arlington, Va.: Bangladesh, study/research
Lauren Siverly '14 of Federal Way, Wash.: Argentina, study/research
Juliet Suess ’14 of Chicago: Germany, ETA
Haiyun (Julie) Xu ’14 of Northville, Mich.: Mexico, study/research/binational business
The 13 Fulbright Scholars will join more than 1,600 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2014-2015 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.
The Fulbright program, which covers travel, education and living expenses, was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.
Founded in 1887, Occidental is one of the oldest liberal arts colleges on the West Coast. Since winning its first Rhodes Scholarship in 1907, the College has consistently won national and international recognition for academic achievement and its global orientation. Scores of Occidental alumni are currently serving in the Foreign Service, with international NGOs and as international entrepreneurs.