Occidental Is Top Fulbright Producer—Again

Jim Tranquada

For the sixteenth 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.

Four Occidental seniors and two alumni won 2020-21 Fulbrights to work and study in six countries on three continents. The six are among 122 Occidental students and alumni who have won Fulbrights since 2003.

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.

Preliminary numbers for this year are promising, with 22 students and alumni being named as semi-finalists, up from 16 last year, says Jennifer Locke, director of national and international fellowships.

Selection is a two-phase process. All applicants must pass through the U.S.-based Fulbright National Screening Committee. Those selected as semi-finalists are then forwarded to the individual country commissions for the final round of selections. Final decisions are made on a country-by-country basis from March to May.

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

Occidental’s 2021-22 student Fulbright semi-finalists are:

  • Maryam Ali ‘21, a politics major from Minneapolis—teaching, Malaysia
  • Sofie Brown ‘21, a Spanish studies major from Davis—teaching, Uruguay
  • Will Canavan ‘21, a diplomacy and world affairs major from Los Angeles—research, Argentina
  • Darla Chavez Chavez ‘21, a diplomacy and world affairs major from Los Angeles—teaching, Peru
  • John Chen '20, a diplomacy and world affairs major from Wailuku, Hawai’i—teaching, Vietnam
  • Mia Forsline ‘21, a biology major from Torrance—research, Ecuador
  • Zachary Goodwin ‘21, a diplomacy and world affairs major from Pacific Grove—research, Serbia
  • Miranda Gruber ‘21, an American studies major from Waukee, Iowa—teaching, Paraguay
  • Lilianna Henkel '20, a sociology major from Cotati—teaching, Spain
  • Stella Hong ‘21, a diplomacy and world studies from Cypress—study grant, South Korea
  • Habiba Hobson '20, art and art history and Spanish studies double major from Pittsburgh, Penn.—teaching, Colombia
  • Darla Howell '20, group language major from Los Angeles—teaching, Taiwan
  • Tala Ismail '20, media arts and culture major from Pasadena—research, Germany
  • Micah Kirscher '20, diplomacy and world affairs major from Bainbridge Island, Wash.—teaching, Mexico
  • Alexander Klas '20, history and comparative studies in literature and culture double major from Portland, Ore.—research, Italy
  • Ian Lehine '19, a comparative studies in literature and culture and diplomacy and world affairs double major from Glendora—study grant, Ukraine
  • Ebram Naftzger '20, comparative studies in literature and culture major from Redlands—teaching, Germany
  • Samantha Peck-Sanders ‘20, comparative studies in literature and culture major from Brooklyn, N.Y.—teaching, Germany
  • Evelyn Pope ‘21, politics major from Simsbury, Conn.—teaching, Colombia
  • Megan Purdome ‘21, sociology major from Chicago—teaching, Thailand
  • Thomas Robertson '20, diplomacy and world affairs and group language major from Newport Beach—research, Mauritius
  • Chloe Wheeler '19, a comparative studies in literature and culture and Spanish studies double major from Long Beach—research, Spain