University of Portland
Contact: John Furey, Joe Kuffner

A record eight University of Portland graduates awarded prestigious Fulbright grants to work and study abroad

A record eight University of Portland graduates have been awarded prestigious Fulbright grants to work and study abroad. Two of the Fulbrights are for graduate studies in the United Kingdom, five are for English teaching positions in Germany, and one is for a research position in Germany. In addition to the eight Fulbright grant awardees, three students have been named alternates and may be awarded Fulbrights at a later date this year.

The United Kingdom is among the most prestigious and competitive of the Fulbright student programs. Only 35 open Fulbright grants to the United Kingdom are awarded annually from more than 700 applicants nationwide, and two were given to University of Portland graduates.

In 2010, the University of Portland had six Fulbright recipients – five of whom accepted – and ranked first nationally among “master’s institutions” in a listing of top producers of Fulbright Awards for U.S. students according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. The University of Portland has been a leader among its peer institutions for several years in producing Fulbright scholars, ranking first nationally in 2007-08 and second nationally in 2006-07, 2008-09 and 2009-10.

Since 2001, students from the University of Portland have earned 32 Fulbright grants and eight Austrian Teaching Assistantships.

“For more than a century the University of Portland has been utterly devoted to superb teaching as a primary way of helping young people find and hone their incredible creative talents,” said University President Rev. E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C., “and we are very pleased to see our own students now bringing their talents worldwide through the Fulbright program. We really do think of our graduates as agents of hope and creativity in the world, and this is a particularly refreshing and influential way to bring the University’s mission into play internationally.”

The recipients of the graduate studies positions in the United Kingdom are: Sean Frederick of Colorado Springs, Colo., University valedictorian and double major in mechanical engineering and Spanish; and Jessica Tsao of Portland, Ore., a four-year starter on the women’s soccer team and a biology major who is a two-time Academic All-American and the 2010 West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

The recipients of the German teaching grants are: Nicholas Balthrop of Eugene, Ore., a double major in political science and German studies; Lisa McMahan of La Grande, Ore., a double major in English and German studies; Annemarie Medrzycki of Tacoma, Wash., a double major in history and German studies; Jeni Mussio of Eugene, Ore., a German studies major; and Erika O’Sullivan of Juneau, Alaska, a political science major.

The recipient of the German research grant is Natalie Higgins of Portland, Ore., a mechanical engineering major.

“These students worked very hard on their applications and are richly deserving of the honor,” said John Orr, Assistant to the Provost for Fellowships and Grants. “They will represent UP and the United States extremely well in their year abroad.”

The United States Fulbright program began in 1946 after World War II to “assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic and peaceful relations between the United States and other countries of the world” through the exchange of students, scholars and professionals. The program operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.

The University of Portland is an independently governed Catholic university guided by the Congregation of Holy Cross. U.S. News & World Report ranks the institution as one of the top ten regional universities in the West. It is the only school in Oregon to offer a College of Arts & Sciences, a graduate school, and nationally accredited programs in the schools of business, education, engineering, and nursing.

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