Two graduating Occidental seniors and six recent alumni have been named winners of prestigious Fulbright scholarships to teach and conduct research in seven countries on four continents. A third senior was named an alternate.

The eight winners are among the 130 Oxy students and alumni who have been awarded Fulbrights since 2003. Occidental has been one of the country's top producers of student Fulbright awards for 16 consecutive years, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Recipients are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and leadership potential in their respective fields.

This year’s Fulbright winners are:

  • Zachary Goodwin '21, a diplomacy and world affairs major from Pacific Grove, who received a research award in Serbia
  • Stella Hong '21, a diplomacy and world affairs major from Cypress, who received a study grant in South Korea
  • Darla Howell '20, a group language major from Los Angeles, who received an English teaching assistantship in Taiwan
  • Micah Kirscher '20, a diplomacy and world affairs major from Bainbridge Island, Wash., who received an English teaching assistantship in Mexico
  • Samantha Peck-Sanders '20, a comparative studies in literature and culture major from Brooklyn, N.Y., who received an English teaching assistantship in Germany  
  • Thomas Robertson '20, a diplomacy and world affairs major from Newport Beach, who received a research award in Mauritius
  • Chloe Wheeler '19, a double major in Spanish studies and comparative studies in literature and culture from Long Beach, who received research award in Spain

Lilianna Henkel ’20, a sociology major from Cotati, was awarded an English teaching assistantship in Spain last year, and successfully applied for its renewal this year after it was delayed because of the pandemic. Megan Purdome '21, a sociology major from Chicago, was named an alternate for English Teaching Assistantship in Thailand.

“We hope that most of this year's Fulbright grantees will be able to go abroad, although decisions are being made on a country-by-country basis, and some countries may choose to delay the start date,” says Jennifer Locke, Occidental’s director of national and international fellowships.

Almost 600 U.S. higher-education institutions actively participate in the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright program, which covers travel, education and living expenses in more than 155 countries worldwide. The program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas.