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UNG named top producer of Fulbright students for third time

UNG has been designated as a top-producing institution for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for the 2019-20 academic year. UNG also is the only public and private university in Georgia to receive the recognition for student program in the current academic year.

For the third year in a row, the University of North Georgia (UNG) has been designated as a top-producing institution for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for the 2019-20 academic year.

UNG also is the only university in Georgia to receive the recognition for the student program in the current academic year. Four other Georgia higher education institutions were named to the top producer list on the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, which is for faculty, administrators and other professional researchers.

The Fulbright is a prestigious and highly competitive fellowship that enables recent graduates and graduate students to pursue academic endeavors overseas. It is designed to increase mutual understanding between U.S. citizens and residents of more than 160 foreign countries, according to the Fulbright website.

"This recognition indicates the excellent academic and leadership development opportunities that we provide our students, and for UNG to receive this honor for three consecutive years is a tribute to our talented students and the faculty who mentor them," UNG President Bonita Jacobs said.

Each year, The Chronicle of Higher Education publishes the top-producing institutions' list compiled by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

UNG earned the recognition as a top producer for the first time in 2018 after a record eight students went abroad on the Fulbright scholarships to conduct research or serve as English Teaching Assistants in foreign countries. The new record placed UNG as second nationwide among master's universities in producing Fulbright students.

UNG earned the top-producing award for a second time in 2019 after three graduates were deemed finalists. This third consecutive recognition stems from four UNG graduates receiving the Fulbright.

Dr. Anastasia Lin, assistant vice president of research and engagement, plans to keep UNG on that list. In January, 11 UNG alumni and seniors were named as Fulbright semifinalists.

"UNG's outstanding academic programs coupled with our global focus combine to make our students exceptional candidates for the Fulbright," Lin said. We look forward to building our Fulbright culture by supporting more students in the application process." 

Alina Thurman, a 2018 graduate with a master's degree in international affairs, is the first university employee to become a semifinalist in the student program. The instructor of English at UNG said this was her second time to apply.

"I applied on a whim in 2017 for Poland, and I didn't get it," Thurman said. "I am trying to manage my expectations this time, because I want to become a finalist this time."

Thurman and the other 10 semifinalists will learn if they are finalists in April.

Since 2015, 18 UNG graduates have accepted the Fulbright scholarship and gone abroad. Three have extended their time with the program. Lily O'Clery, a 2018 graduate, earned a yearlong extension in Taiwan. Faith Brown, a 2016 graduate, received an extension in Bulgaria. Rachael Bryant, a 2017 graduate, extended her time in South Korea.

Students interested in learning more about nationally competitive scholarships should contact for more information.

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