Date February 10, 2023
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Brown ranked No. 3 nationally for 2022-23 Fulbright winners

With 30 Fulbright grants offered to students and recent alumni, the University is among the top Fulbright-producing institutions for the seventh consecutive year.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] —  With 30 Fulbright scholarships awarded to undergraduates, graduate students and recent alumni in 2022-23, Brown University produced more student Fulbright winners than all but two other schools in the nation, according to data released by the U.S. Department of State on Friday, Feb. 10. The grants fund research or teaching abroad for up to one year.

Brown has ranked among the top student Fulbright producers in the U.S. for seven consecutive years, earning the top spot four times, in 201620172018 and 2022. In 2019 and 2020, Brown earned the No. 2 rank.

Brown’s consistent placement among the top Fulbright producers is a testament to the University’s commitment to equipping students to build knowledge and understanding across cultures, said Associate Dean of the College for Fellowships Linda Dunleavy.

“We are incredibly proud of our student Fulbright scholars,” Dunleavy said. “The Fulbright offers a life-changing opportunity for students to engage fully with another culture as they teach English or explore a specific issue or subject matter in depth in a unique environment. That Brown continues to be a top-producing Fulbright school reflects the caliber and preparedness of our students to embark on these journeys as well as the compatibility of Fulbright's educational goals and Brown's — openness, curiosity and transformation.”

Fulbright students are selected for awards based on a variety of factors including the strength of their application, personal qualifications, academic record and the extent to which the candidate and their project will help to advance the Fulbright mission of mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

While applicants learn of the awards during the spring, the Fulbright program publishes data each February on the top producers of Fulbright scholars and students. This year’s data reflect the total number of awards offered for the 2022-23 program year, while data prior to 2021-2022 reflect the number of awards accepted.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program has promoted international peace through intellectual and cultural exchange since its founding in 1946. The program funds approximately 2,000 recent graduates and current graduate students annually to teach and conduct research in 140 countries around the world. 

Lucas Kuan: Pivoting in Paris

Brown’s 2022-23 undergraduate and graduate student Fulbright winners are now midway through their year teaching or conducting research in more than a dozen countries across Asia, Latin America and Europe. Teaching placements include elementary schools, high schools and universities, where awardees are providing classroom instruction and sharing cultural perspectives between the U.S. and their host countries. Research award recipients are pursuing projects in a wide range of academic fields, from architecture to Asian studies.

For recent graduates, Fulbright fellowships provide opportunities to pursue projects that extend the courses of study they pursued while at Brown — all while serving as cultural ambassadors abroad. Last fall, Brown Class of 2022 graduate Lucas Kuan moved to France, where he is working with faculty at the Paris Institute of Political Studies to investigate the cultural integration of French Asians.

    How do you break out a project like this from eight months into phases? Brown helped me figure out that process — what goal points you want to be hitting; being self-disciplined enough to keep up progress; identifying what you need to focus on; where you’re lacking — all the things that make for a really successful project.

    Lucas Kuan 2022-23 Fulbright Award winner
    Portrait of Lucas Kuan

    His original goal was to find a measure of how “culturally French” different generations of French Asians feel, and whether those feelings are reflected in voting rates, how closely they follow national politics, and other metrics of political participation. But early into his time in Paris, he realized he would have to alter the scope of his project: In 1978, France passed a law that banned the collection and computerization of racial data, which has left a decades-wide gap of census data on the race and ethnicity of its citizens.

    “Since coming here, dealing with French bureaucracy and the issues and the sensitivities surrounding race and ethnicity in France, I’ve realized that large quantitative surveys trying to differentiate between race and generations are a lot more difficult to obtain here than the U.S., where we have a lot of census data available," Kuan said.

    Kuan has since switched to an extensive interview-based approach. The collected interviews, along with a chronicle of his experience in France, will be woven into a manuscript exploring the subjects’ perceptions of being Asian in France.

    But the need to pivot in his research wasn’t a problem.

    Kuan said the skills he developed at Brown empowered him to come up with a new plan, and his time in the classroom prepared him to confidently implement it. A nonfiction writing course taught by Senior Lecturer in English Jonathan Readey was particularly inspiring and equipped Kuan with the necessary framework to draft a manuscript. And he said organizational and time-management skills honed during busy semesters and scholarship application cycles have proven instrumental to his research.

    “How do you break out a project like this from eight months into phases?” Kuan said. “Brown helped me figure out that process — what goal points you want to be hitting; being self-disciplined enough to keep up progress; identifying what you need to focus on; where you’re lacking — all the things that make for a really successful project.”

    Before leaving the U.S., Kuan said he was thrilled by the prospects of cultural immersion and getting to know what it’s like to live in a different part of the world. Now that he’s settled in, he said the initial culture shock has worn down. He’s growing accustomed to French customs and etiquette, he can navigate the city without the aid of Google Maps and he’s memorized prices for coffee and pastries; “those more mundane quotidian details —  those have become more familiar, more internalized,” he said.

    Though he’s traveled abroad before, the experience of taking up residence in Paris is an entirely different one. The differences between France and the U.S. — though he acknowledges that they’re similar countries in many regards — are felt much more intrinsically, he said. He analogizes the experience to listening to music.

    “When you’re listening to music, the high frequencies cut through very cleanly; when you’re traveling abroad, the sights and sounds and food similarly cut through very cleanly into your memory,” Kuan said. “You remember them first, but they’re also the easiest to lose when you leave. When you leave a concert, you don’t necessarily hear the melodies on top. Those fade with time. But when you’re living abroad, the experiences occur over longer periods of time. They’re like the bass; and when you leave a concert, even a mile away, you can still feel that bass.”

    When Kuan returns to the U.S. this summer, he plans to work in government and public sector practice with an eye toward a law degree and a future in public interest or international law. And a career path that takes him back to France isn’t off the table, he said — he can still feel that bass, even 3,500 miles away.

    Brown’s 2022-23 undergraduate and recent graduate Fulbright scholars include:

    • Sabrina Bajwa (Spain)
    • Roger Bautista (Sweden)
    • Maria-Chiara Bellomo (Italy)
    • Kaitlan Bui (Vietnam)
    • Benjamin Connor (France)
    • Joshua Danielson (Malta)
    • Kevin Du (Switzerland)
    • Celia Heath (Italy)
    • Julia Henke (Nepal)
    • Olivia Howe (Germany)
    • Annie Huang (Austria)
    • Rebecca Kirby (Germany)
    • Anuj Krishnamurthy (United Kingdom)
    • Lucas Kuan (France)
    • Michael Lahiff (Germany)
    • Scott Magid (Czech Republic)
    • Cameron McCartin (Taiwan)
    • Patrick Nasta (Italy)
    • Daviana Pérez (Guatemala)
    • Poom Pipatjarasgit (France)
    • Samantha Plezia (India)
    • Allison Singleton (Germany)
    • Kelley Tackett (India)
    • Nathan Tung (France)
    • Aidan Wang (Spain)
    • Hanna Wells (Sri Lanka)

    Brown’s 2022-23 graduate student Fulbright Scholars are:

    • Sarah Christensen, History (Austria)
    • Devon Newhouse, History (Portugal)
    • Ike (John) Uri, Sociology (India)