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Columbia and TC Cited for Fulbright Excellence


The Fulbright Program

Columbia University is one of the nation’s top producers this year of Fulbright Students and Fulbright Scholars – and TC has played an important part in that success.  Top-producing institutions were highlighted in the October 24th digital edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

In a letter of congratulations to Columba University President Lee Bollinger, Allan E. Goodman, President and CEO of the Institute of International Education, acknowledged the “excellent work” of John Allegrante, TC Deputy Provost and Professor of Health Education, who in June became TC’s  Fulbright Adviser and Fulbright Scholar Program Campus Representative. Goodman praised Allegrante for his strong contribution to the Fulbright program’s success at Columbia.

The Fulbright Program, which is administered through the U.S. State Department, enables both students (undergraduate and graduate) and faculty members to study abroad, as well as for international students to study in the United States. American graduate students who win Fulbrights can either work on a proposed research project or serve as assistants to faculty in other countries as teachers of English as a second language.

Faculty members can apply for Fulbright Scholar grants by proposing an idea for overseas study, or they can be nominated by host countries to be Fulbright Specialists. Six current faculty members at TC have been Fulbright Scholars since 2003: Allegrante (Iceland), Randall Allsup (Finland), Associate Professor Music and Music Education; Lesley Barlett (Dominican Republic), Associate Professor of Education; Madhabi Chatterji (India), Associate Professor of Measurement Evaluation and Education;  Thomas Hatch (Norway), Associate Professor of Education; and Nancy Lesko (South Africa), Professor of Education. Three have served as Fulbright Specialists since 2000: Allegrante (Iceland); Steven Dubin (Iceland), Professor of Arts Administration; and Herbert Ginsburg (Israel), the Jacob H. Schiff Foundations Professor of Psychology and Education.

Fourteen TC students have been awarded Fulbrights since 1996, traveling to Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, the Dominican Republic, Italy, Jordan, Korea, the Republic of Kyrgyz, Lesotho, Spain, Switzerland and Tanzania. This year, 10 TC students have applied for Fulbright awards, aided by a new TC collaboration with Jan Allen, Associate Dean of Ph.D. Programs and Kerry Gluckman at Columbia’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

“We offered our own preparation programs to help students who are interested write a competitive application,” Allegrante says. “But I also felt that our students could benefit from a program of pre-application activity that the GSAS dean had organized.”

The application cycle begins in the summer with applications due to the national Fulbright office Washington in early October.

“The value of the Fulbright program is in the cross-cultural interaction and exchange that promote new understandings,” Allegrante says. “Being able to go and live in another country and immerse yourself in the culture, the language and the politics leaves you with a much deeper understanding of the challenges and issue people face there -- and that we’re all dealing, in some way, with the same issues. Given that President Fuhrman has made a global presence a priority for TC, this is precisely the kind of activity in which we should be involved. Going forward I believe we’ll see many more applications and successful grantees being selected.”

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