UArizona is a 'Top Producer' of Fulbright Students

Feb. 12, 2020
fireworks on UArizona Campus

The University of Arizona has been named a top producer of Fulbright students by the Institute of International Education, ranking No. 14 among all U.S. research institutions and setting a university record with 20 awardees.

"This record-breaking number of Fulbright students reflects well on the University of Arizona educational experience, and our high-achieving, global-ready students are eager to make an impact all over the world," said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. "We are all extremely proud of these remarkable students and excited to see what our Fulbright awardees accomplish in the future."

In order for a university to earn top-producer recognition, at least 10 students or recent graduates must be granted Fulbright awards for the academic year. With 20 awardees in 2019-20, the university more than doubled its mark of eight last year and surpassed its previous record of 16, set in 2011.

Rachel Small, a graduate student in history, is among the recipients. Her Fulbright award will allow her to continue her studies of Reformation and early modern history in Germany.

"The research and teaching produced by the Department of History is fueled by a sense of wonder," Small said. "We are driven to ask new questions about past events so that we can better understand how processes unfolded and how those events continue to impact our daily lives."

Awardee Sarah Erickson recently earned her master's degree in Russian and Slavic studies and is embarking upon an English teaching assistantship in Russia. As a first-generation college student, she said that the university provided an ideal support structure for her to achieve her academic goals.

"It was a bonus that there was such a great institution in my home state," added Erickson, a graduate of Buena High School in Sierra Vista.

Catherine Klesner, a graduate student in the School of Anthropology and the College of Engineering, will use her Fulbright award to work with the archaeometry group at the National Center for Scientific Research in Greece, where she will help reverse-engineer Byzantine-era lead-glazed ceramic technology and compare it to Islamic ceramic technology from the same period.

Klesner chose to attend the University of Arizona "because of its history of interdisciplinary research in archaeological science." She said that the university "has a strong tradition in several areas of archaeological science, including the study of ceramic and glass technology, and has the institutional knowledge and willingness to support my research."

These are the 20 University of Arizona Fulbright students, with their field of study and the country in which they will be based. Ten of these students are recent graduates of the Honors College.

Graduate students

  • Adam Chmurzynski, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology – Costa Rica (study/research)
  • Catherine Klesner, College of Engineering, School of Anthropology – Greece (study/research)
  • Breanne Lott, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health – Nigeria (study/research)
  • Annie Morphew, Department of History and Division for Late Medieval and Reformation Studies – Germany (study/research)
  • Rachel Small, Department of History and Division for Late Medieval and Reformation Studies – Germany (study/research)
  • Bjorn Wastvedt, Department of Philosophy – Germany (study/research)
  • Tasnim Zahlan, School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies – Morocco (English teaching assistantship)

Recent graduates

  • Esteban Camarena, School of Government and Public Policy, Center for Latin American Studies – Brazil (English teaching assistantship)
  • Chloe Durand, School of Government and Public Policy, Honors College – Macau (English teaching assistantship)
  • Sarah Erickson, Russian and Slavic Studies – Russia (English teaching assistantship)
  • Kimberly Henderson, Department of German Studies, Department of Neuroscience, Honors College – Germany (study/research)
  • Deema Homsi, School of Government and Public Policy, Honors College – Kazakhstan (English teaching assistantship)
  • Talya Jaffe, Department of Neuroscience, Department of Philosophy, Honors College – Israel (English teaching assistantship)
  • Paulina Jenney, Institute of the Environment, Honors College – Spain (English teaching assistantship)
  • Connor Oswald, School of Journalism, Honors College – Spain (English teaching assistantship)
  • Quelly Mae Ramos, Eller College of Management, Honors College – South Korea (study/research)
  • Max Oscherwitz, Department of Physiology, Honors College – Colombia (English teaching assistantship)
  • Caitlin Redmond, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health – Namibia (study/research)
  • Bryn Sharp, Center for Latin American Studies, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Honors College – Uruguay (English teaching assistantship)
  • Victoria Zadroga, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Honors College – Mexico (study/research)

The university also had two faculty members awarded Fulbright Scholar fellowships for 2019-2020. Jennifer Cyr, an associate professor in the School of Government and Public Policy and Center for Latin American Studies, went to Argentina to further her studies in political science. Kevin Lansey, a professor of civil and architectural engineering and mechanics, is currently in Austria for civil engineering.

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. More than 2,200 U.S. students and more than 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 more than 390,000 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 U.S. 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 U.S. For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit

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