Fulbright Awards Now Total 20

September 4, 2015

The University of Redlands has sent 20 Fulbright scholars out into the world over the past seven years. The three Redlands students who are the latest to embark on Fulbright journeys are Mounika Parimi '14, Stefani Spence '15 and Amber Stansbury '15—Parimi in Germany and Spence and Stansbury in Mexico, where they will conduct research and get immersed in new cultures.

Parimi, a double major in biology and music, will join the research department of regenerative therapies at the Technische Universitat in Dresden. There, she will focus her research on issues with Type 1 diabetes. After graduating from the University of Redlands, Parimi worked as a research associate in the diabetes lab at the City of Hope in Duarte, California, and is looking forward to doing research "in an international context. I'm excited about meeting new people and seeing how labs function differently than in the United States. I'm really excited to learn more about my project, and to get my hands dirty again."

A double major in environmental studies and Spanish, Spence will be a scholar at the Centro Interdisciplinario de Investigacion para el Desarrollo Integral Regional in Unidad Oaxaca, Mexico, conducting research on the indigenous Chinantec community of San Pedro, Tlatepusco, and the impact of the bracken fern on their lives and agriculture. Spence has previously studied in Oaxaca, as well as in Ecuador, and is looking forward to returning. "This will be my first time conducting real field research," she said. "I'm excited to learn and gain experience not only in research, but also in the burgeoning field of ecological restoration, where my career path will likely lead after Fulbright."

Stansbury is also headed to Mexico, where she will investigate specific language impairment and identifying linguistic markers at the Universidad Autonoma De Queretaro. A major in communicative disorders, Stansbury spent time as a student in Guatemala, where she assisted with the cataloguing and diagnostics surrounding children. "During my stay in Guatemala, I was able to further develop my professional aspirations," she said. "I came to realize the important of having a hands-on approach in my field." Stansbury plans on becoming a bilingual speech language pathologist, and while in Mexico, will hone her Spanish skills. "It is very important for me to be immersed in the culture and language when constructing language assessments for children who come from linguistically and culturally diverse populations," she said.

University of Redlands Business Administration Professor Jack Osborn, who mentors students in the application process for Fulbright awards, said such a strong showing of "our most excellent students" was accomplished because of their "incredible personal efforts and the support of the departments, both content and language, the Redlands experience, and our University Fulbright committee."

The University received its first awards in 2008, and having won 20 Fulbrights since then is a point of pride.

“Our students compete directly with students and proposals from Ivy League, the Big 10, the UC system, Stanford, and a host of liberal arts institutions," Osborn said. "We have been selected twice by the J. W. Fulbright Commission as a national ‘Top Producer’—an award given to approximately 30 academic institutions, indicating that based upon the number of applicants and the ratio of awards, we have a robust acceptance ratio.”

More than 1,800 U.S. students, artists and young professionals in more than 100 different fields of study are offered Fulbright Program grants to study, teach English, and conduct research, and more than 800 U.S. Scholars teach or conduct research through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program annually in over 160 countries throughout the world. The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world.