Full of Fulbrights


For the eighth consecutive year, Occidental College is one of the country's top producers of student Fulbright Awards, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education's annual Fulbright rankings. 

Eleven Occidental College seniors and alumni (and one freshman!) won Fulbrights earlier this year to work and study abroad, breaking Oxy’s single-year record of 10 set five years ago. The 11 are among 61 Occidental students and alumni who have won Fulbrights since 2003.

Occidental ranks seventh overall among liberal arts colleges, according to the Chronicle rankings, ahead of such colleges as Amherst, Swarthmore, Wellesley, Macalester, and Claremont McKenna.

The record number of Fulbright winners was a highlight of one of Oxy’s most successful years in competing for international and national awards:

  • Tamara Shogaolu ’08, currently a graduate student in film studies at USC, was named a Luce Scholar – Oxy’s 15th Luce Scholar, and the College's fourth winner in four years (a record matched only by Yale).
  • Bianca Fonseca Cervantes '14 received a Truman scholarship, the highly prestigious and competitive federal scholarship awarded to college juniors who show leadership potential and have an interest in government or public sector service.
  • Elizabeth (Libby) Evans Blanchard ’06 received her second Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue her Ph.D. in geography, focusing on environmental issues. 
  • Two alumni received National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships: Carly Phillips ’12, who is studying ecology at the University of Georgia, and Nicole Ing ’12, who is studying biomaterials at UC Irvine. The two are the 28th and 29th Oxy alumni to receive NSF graduate fellowships.
  • Cullen Faulwell ’14 received a Barry Goldwater scholarship, given to students intending to pursue careers in math, science and engineering fields. Faulwell is Oxy’s 34th Goldwater winner.
  • Juan German ’12, who turned down a Fulbright last year to participate in the Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange, was awarded a Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship.
  • Raffy Cortina ’13 was awarded a 2013 Student Academy Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his short film Bottled Up –- the first Oxy student to win in the 41-year-old national competition.
  • John O'Neill '14 received a Strauss Foundation Scholarship, which will allow him to work on crafting a public service project this summer that will be implemented in his senior year.
  • Samantha Sommer '14 was awarded a Davis Projects for Peace award, a program in which undergraduates design grassroots projects to promote peace.
  • Cholpon Ramizova '15 and Janan Burni '15 received Critical Languages scholarships from the U.S. Department of State.
  • Ben Kowalczyk '13 was awarded a San Francisco City Hall fellowship, and deferred entrance into UCLA Law School for one year to accept it.