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The University of Pittsburgh has been named a Fulbright Top Producing Institution for U.S. Students for the 2022-23 academic year by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
This year’s Fulbright scholars include two Pitt doctoral students, one undergraduate student and six recent graduates.
“This recognition extends a proud legacy at the University of Pittsburgh, and full credit goes to our hardworking scholars and the entire team at the David C. Frederick Honors College,” Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said. “Now comes the fun part: watching these students take their skills and talents into the community and change society — for the better.”
Fulbright is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is among largest and most diverse exchange programs in the world. Since the program’s inception in 1946, more than 400,000 participants from all backgrounds and fields — including recent university graduates, teachers, scientists, researchers, artists and others from the United States and more than 160 other countries — have participated to study, teach English and conduct research internationally.
“Pitt’s recognition as a Fulbright top producer is stunningly exciting. It highlights the extraordinary accomplishments of our students and their commitment to solving global challenges,” said Nicola Foote, dean of the David C. Frederick Honors College. “It also reflects the incredible work of the scholar mentor team in the Frederick Honors College’s Office of National Scholarships and Post-Graduation Success who provide deep and attentive support to Fulbright applicants through every step of the application process.”
Pitt’s 2022-23 recipients began their fellowships in the fall and represent several Pitt schools, including the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Swanson School of Engineering and the School of Education.
“Being recognized once again as a Fulbright top producer is a testament to the caliber of students we have here at Pitt and the support offered to students who apply through the institution,” said Lesha Greene, director of national scholarships and post-graduation success.
Greene and her team of scholar mentors support students across the University in applying, preparing for and interviewing for prestigious national awards like the Fulbright. Fulbright applicants require the endorsement of the University, and they work with scholar mentors, leaning on their experience to craft the most competitive applications.
Meet Pitt’s 2022-23 Fulbright recipients
Emma Adams of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is serving as an English teaching assistant in Honduras. She received a Master of Arts in teaching world and heritage language education with a focus in Spanish in 2022 and earned a bachelor’s in 2021 in Spanish and anthropology with a minor in linguistics and a Certificate in Latin American Studies.
Robert Blankemeyer of Richboro, Pennsylvania, is serving as an English teaching assistant in Germany. He graduated in 2022 with degrees in German and communication/rhetoric with a minor in education.
Diana Flatto of Brooklyn, New York, is pursuing a doctorate in the history of art and architecture and is studying in Argentina for her Fulbright. Her current work explores how antifascist artist networks in Argentina, Uruguay and Europe during the 1930s and 1940s used realism, including in organizing exhibitions and circulating images in culture magazines.
Benjamin Hudock of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, let his community involvement as president of Pitt’s Spanish Club and coordinator of the Luso-Brazilian Student Association as well as his experience as a Literacy Pittsburgh ESL tutor inspire him to teach English in Brazil. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in engineering and a Certificate in Latin American Studies.
Karenna Oner of Fairfax, Virginia, graduated in 2021 with degrees in political science and English, a minor in Turkish, and certificates in Global Studies and Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. She is studying in Turkey on her Fulbright. “As a first-generation American raised in a Colombian and Turkish household, I am passionate about international affairs and human security,” she said.
Meghan Orman of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is pursuing a doctorate in applied developmental psychology and is studying in Iceland. Her current research interests are nature connection in early childhood and its implications for basic and applied research in psychology and education.
Emma Ruppert of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, graduated in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in nonfiction writing. She is teaching English and researching modern music and its cultural context in Kazakhstan.
Sophie Sfeir of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and in Spanish. She serving as an English teaching assistant within the computer science department at the Universidad Camilo José Cela in Madrid, Spain.
Lauren Towner of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, graduated in 2021 with degrees in German and ecology and a minor in chemistry. She is sharing her passion for second language acquisition as a Fulbright English teaching assistant in Germany.
— Terry Rowley