The distinguished Fulbright Award Program recently recognized Texas State as being among the top producing institutions of U.S. Fulbright scholars for 2010-2011.
The Fulbright Award is a world famous competitive international educational exchange program initially instituted by congress in 1946 under the impetus of then Senator J. William Fulbright (D. Arkansas.)
Texas State English Professor Steve Wilson is a two-time Fulbright Award recipient. He said the university’s consistency in producing a number of recipients of the award during the past several years speaks clearly to the university’s quality of applicants and the support system encouraging their efforts.
“Our success rate for applicants is about 98.99 percent and that’s remarkable,” said Wilson. “We’re really successful partly because the faculty is so good and because we have very enthusiastic applicants … It’s not only the quality of faculty, it’s the support system here at Texas State. It’s a commitment by the university. A Fulbright is a very prestigious thing to get and it reflects well on our school.”
Sandhya Rao, professor and associate director for graduate studies in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State’, went to Manipal, India, on a Fulbright Award in the spring of 2008. She said that bringing back that experience to the classroom adds to the perspective her students get in class.
Rao taught graduate mass communications classes at Manipal University (MU) and took part in collaborative research. She also assisted the university in curriculum development for MU’s media research center.
Said Rao, “It was a wonderful cultural experience. I think bringing an international perspective to our students here is very enriching.”
Wilson said the international experiences translate to an international perspective for Texas State students, which benefits the Fulbright Award recipient and the university as a whole.
Said Wilson, “It really changes the environment here when they return. They’re better teachers for it.”
The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It is one of the most prestigious award programs in the world. More Fulbright alumni have won Nobel Prizes than those of any other academic program.