University of Portland
05-23-2012
Contact: John Furey, Joe Kuffner

Six University of Portland graduates awarded prestigious Fulbright grants to work and study abroad

University of Portland, named the top producer of Fulbright scholars in the nation among “master’s universities” for the past two years, has announced that six 2012 graduates have been awarded prestigious Fulbright grants to work and study abroad.

Three of the Fulbrights are for English teaching positions in Germany, while the others are for graduate studies in the United Kingdom, research in India, and English teaching in Spain.

The United Kingdom is among the most prestigious and competitive of the Fulbright student programs. Only 45 total Fulbright grants to the United Kingdom are awarded annually from more than 700 applicants nationwide. In the past two years, three students from UP have earned Fulbrights to the United Kingdom.

The research grant to India marks a first, as no student from the University has ever earned a Fulbright to that country.

In 2011, the University of Portland had 10 Fulbright recipients and for the second consecutive year 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. For 2011-12, University of Portland is the top Fulbright producing college in Oregon regardless of classification, and the fifth-leading producer of Fulbright scholarships among all colleges on the West Coast behind only Stanford University, University of Washington, University of California-Berkeley, and Pomona College.

The University of Portland has been a leader among its peer institutions for several years in producing Fulbright scholars, ranking first nationally in 2011-12, 2010-11, and 2007-08 and second nationally in 2006-07, 2008-09 and 2009-10. Since 2001, students from the University of Portland have earned 40 Fulbright grants.

“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 position in the United Kingdom is Kurt Berning of Mt. Angel, Ore., a finance and operations technology management double major in the Pamplin School of Business. Berning also took part in the University’s Entrepreneur Scholars program, studied abroad in several continents, and co-founded the innovative non-profit Global ADE, which has raised more than $30,000 for education in developing countries.

The recipient of the Indian research grant is Jennifer Brannan of Camas, Wash., a civil engineering major in the Shiley School of Engineering who will conduct research on water treatment methods.

The recipient of the Spanish teaching grant is Chris Lew of Eugene, Ore., a biochemistry and Spanish double major in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The recipients of the German teaching grants are: Jason Hortsch of Tigard, Ore., a mathematics major; Jessica Marsh of Sunnyvale, Calif., a psychology and German studies double major; and Bianca McCluskey of Seattle, Wash., a German studies and English double major. All studied in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“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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