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JMU tops national list for most Fulbright students

by Eric Gorton

2020 Fulbright Badge


James Madison University has 15 recent alumni living abroad on Fulbright grants this school year, the most of any master’s level university in the country.

The list of top-producing institutions for the Fulbright Program was published today in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Administered by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program.

"This recognition acknowledges all of the hard work many people have put in across the university to prepare our students to compete for this prestigious award. It demonstrates both the capacity of our students and alumni for taking on large, exciting challenges successfully and our community-wide dedication to preparing students who are educated, enlightened and engaged with the ideas of the world," said JMU President Jonathan Alger.

The Fulbright competition at JMU is administered through the Office of Fellowship Advising in the JMU Honors College. Meredith Malburne-Wade, director of Fellowship Advising, said this year's success reflects on the work of her predecessor, Kurt Davies, and contributions from writing center specialist Rudy Barrett and the Fulbright Campus Committee.

The Fulbright Program was created to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Over 2,200 U.S. Students and over 900 U.S. college and university faculty and administrators are awarded Fulbright grants annually. In addition, some 4,000 Fulbright Foreign Students and Visiting Scholars come to the United States annually to study, lecture, conduct research, or teach their native language.

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has given over 390,000 passionate and accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to important international problems. The global network of Fulbrighters fosters mutual understanding between the United States and partner nations, advances knowledge across communities, and improves lives around the globe.

Fulbright is active in more than 160 countries worldwide and partners with participating governments, host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States. Many of these organizations also provide direct and indirect support. ECA sponsors the Fulbright Program, and several non-profit, cooperative partners implement and support the program on the Bureau’s behalf. For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit


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JMU Fulbright students for 2019-2020






Ellen Atwood




Germany,  English teaching assistant

Melanie Callihan*



Master’s in teaching, interdisciplinary liberal studies

South Korea,  English teaching assistant

Grace Cuevas*



Spanish, Social Work

Mexico,  English teaching assistant

Hannah Facknitz




Canada Study

Kayla Gwaltney

Raleigh NC


Communication Studies

Malaysia,  English teaching assistant

Emily Hadfield*

Bent Mountain



Estonia,  English teaching assistant

Danielle Harris



Masters in teaching, History

Bulgaria,  English teaching assistant

Madison Kambic



Master’s in teaching, English

Czech Republic,  English teaching assistant

Katie Lese



Master’s and bachelor’s in communication studies

Netherlands,  English teaching assistant

Gabrielle Lewis




Nigeria, Research

Joanna Pottle*

Glen Allen



Poland, Arts

Alex Riddell*

Great Falls


Masters in teaching, History

Poland,  English teaching assistant

Patrice Splan*




Austria Combined

Alec Travers



Hospitality Management

Czech Republic,  English teaching assistant

Anna Uitvlucht

North Chesterfield


International Affairs

Taiwan,  English teaching assistant

* = Honors student

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Published: Monday, February 10, 2020

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 3, 2021

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