Six UP students awarded prestigious Fulbright grants to work and study abroad

Awards and Rankings

Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement


Communication Studies


April 13, 2015

University of Portland, a leader among its peer institutions in producing Fulbright scholars for several years, has announced that six students have been awarded prestigious Fulbright grants to work and study abroad. 

Four of the Fulbrights are for English teaching positions in Germany, one is for an English teaching position in Turkey, and the other is for an English teaching position in Mexico.

University of Portland was ranked first nationally among its peers for Fulbright recipients in 2012-13, 2011-12, 2010-11 and 2007-08, and second nationally in 2009-10, 2008-09 and 2006-07. Since 2001, 54 students from University of Portland have earned Fulbright grants.

“For more than a century, the University of Portland has been devoted to superb teaching as a primary way of helping young people find and hone their creative talents,” said University President Rev. Mark L. Poorman, C.S.C. “We are pleased to see our students  reflecting that commitment to teaching in communities across the globe through the Fulbright program. Our graduates are agents of hope and creativity in the world, and this is a particularly refreshing and influential way to spread the University’s mission worldwide.”  

The recipients of the German teaching grants are: Megan Lester, an English and German studies double-major from Veradale, Wash.; Erin Petersen, an organizational communication and German studies double-major from Sioux Falls, S.D.; Mikayla Posey, a communication and German studies double-major from Kingman, Ariz.; and Michelle Wilcox, a history and German studies double-major from Folsom, Calif.

The recipient of the Turkish teaching grant is Rebecca Parks, an English major from Pittsburgh, Pa.

The recipient of the Mexican teaching grant is Megan Fitzgerald, an elementary education major from Hillsboro, Ore.

“These students worked very hard on their applications and are richly deserving of the honor,” said John Orr, Assistant Provost, Office of Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement. “They will represent UP and the United States extremely well in their year abroad. And UP continues to expand its global reach, as the ETAs to Turkey and Mexico are firsts for us.”

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.


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