Eight For Eight
SCU “Sweeps” With a Record Eight Fulbrights
For the first time in its history, Santa Clara University has a record eight winners of Fulbright Scholarships for the 2017-18 school year—representing an impressive 100 percent of the eight Broncos chosen as semi-finalists in the highly competitive program.
SCU’s Fulbright winners include graduating seniors Athena Nguyen ’18, Shawna Richardson ’18, and Marisa Rudolph '18, and four Santa Clara University alumni—Hollynd Boyden ’17, Lauren Cloward ’16, Erika Francks ’17, and Carson Whisler ’17. The eighth winner — who learned of her award last week and hasn't gone public with her news yet— is a 2014 alumna who majored in marketing and—like numerous other SCU Fulbright winners— participated in Miller Center’s Global Social Benefit Fellowship and Study Abroad while at SCU.
You can read more about the winners in Santa Clara’s earlier news release.
The Fulbright Program awards merit-based grants for international research or teaching to students or alumni who exhibit academic or professional achievement, or leadership potential in their fields. The program, created after World War II, is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.
The scholars from SCU will travel to Burkina Faso, Fiji, Ghana, Indonesia, Lesotho, Mexico, Taiwan, and Vietnam, for projects ranging from teaching English to conducting research on solar microgrids or solar technologies, to investigating community-based climate adaptations.
“We are extremely proud of this outstanding accomplishment of our Santa Clara University students and alumni,” said University President Michael Engh, S.J. “These scholars put in tremendous hard work and took on leadership and responsibility well beyond their years. The scholarship committee recognized what we have long known: that our students and alumni are strong ambassadors of American, as well as Jesuit, ideals and values.”
The powerful showing in Fulbright awards also means Santa Clara is on track to once again be named a “top producing” school for Fulbright scholars—a feat achieved by fewer than 5 percent of similar universities nationwide. Announced in early 2019, it would be Santa Clara’s fifth such designation in the past six years.
“This is a banner year for Santa Clara, with double the number of Fulbrights we’ve ever had,” said Leilani Miller, director of the University Honors Program and Office of Student Fellowships. “The fact that so many of our students won Fulbrights is a testament to their academic and emotional intelligence, their interest and ability to create meaningful change in the world, and the excellent, tireless mentoring they received from faculty and staff.”
The success comes on top of other elite scholarship wins by Broncos this academic year.
Environmental science and biology alumnus Sean Reilly ’16 won the internationally prestigious Rhodes Scholarship; biology alumna, Hayley Raquer ’16 was named one of 48 inaugural Knight-Hennessy Scholars; and junior James Wang ’19, who is majoring in environmental science and electrical engineering, was chosen for a highly selective Udall Undergraduate Scholarship.
The last time Santa Clara had eight Fulbright semi-finalists was in 2014. The most finalists, or winners, previously produced by Santa Clara was four, in both 2016 and 2014.
Other fun facts about the Fulbright winners:
• Six traveled abroad through Santa Clara’s Study Abroad program.
• Five traveled to developing countries to conduct “action research” through the Miller Center for Social Entrepeneurship’s Global Social Benefit Fellowship.
• Four are part of Santa Clara University’s Honors Program.
• Four participated in international internships through the Global Fellows program in the Leavey School of Business.