Fulbright Award Recipients
Three University of Redlands students have received prestigious Fulbright awards: Adrian Poloni ’13, Jessie Chansler ’13 and Hailey Lopez '13. The total number of awards the University has received for its graduating seniors totals 15 over the past six years.
Chansler will teach in Guatemala, while Poloni will conduct research in Mexico. Lopez, who received the Fulbright to teach in Norway, has declined the award in order to attend graduate school at Ohio State.
The Fulbright award is the highest award given by the U.S. Congress and awarded by the U.S. Department of State. Graduating seniors and master’s students are eligible to apply. Students who are awarded the Fulbright award have their expenses paid to either teach or to perform research on a project they proposed, in a country of their choice.
Jack Osborn, Hunsaker chair of management and executive professor, has spent years mentoring Fulbright scholars and knows the process well. Once the students who are applying decide which direction they would like to take, they work extensively with him and other professors in their disciplines on their essays and proposals during the summer before they begin their senior year. They must explain who they are, why they want the award and what the benefit would be to them and to the community in which they are placed.
The applications are submitted in September to Osborn, and their proposals and essays are then reviewed by a faculty committee in October. The faculty committee is required to interview and asses each student.
“That assessment requires the committee to respond to about 10 items as a group,” Osborn said. “So, the committee gives a group think response. Those 10 items include such things as ‘how doable is the project that the student is proposing’ or ‘what is the student’s depth of knowledge about the country that the student is proposing to go to’.”
The students send their materials to Fulbright immediately after, and once the materials are reviewed by the U.S. committees, finalists are notified in January and their materials are then sent to the overseas committees. By April or May, they are notified if they have received an award.
A Fulbright award is a competitive honor, and “It’s great for the experience,” Osborn said. “It puts you deep into another country’s culture (and) it exposes you to the society. You are an ambassador for the United States. Beyond that, it certainly gives you an edge up if you are applying to competitive graduate schools when you return or if you are applying to Fortune 100 (or) 500 companies.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education named the University in its list of Top Fulbright Producers among masters-granting universities for 2012-13.