Date February 13, 2024
Media Contact

Brown ranked No. 2 nationally for 2023-24 Fulbright winners

With 36 Fulbright grants awarded to students and recent alumni, the University is among the top three Fulbright-producing institutions for the eighth consecutive year.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] —  With 36 Fulbright scholarships awarded to recent alumni and current graduate students in 2023-24, Brown University produced more student Fulbright winners than all but one school in the nation, according to data released by the U.S. Department of State on Tuesday, Feb. 13. The grants fund research or teaching abroad for up to one year.

The University shares the No. 2 spot with Harvard University, behind only Georgetown University. Brown has ranked among the top three student Fulbright producers in the U.S. annually for the past eight years, earning the No. 1 spot in four of those years. Since data collection began in 2009-10, Brown has been recognized as a Fulbright Top Producing Institution 15 times.

“Brown's recognition as a top producing Fulbright institution is a reflection of our phenomenal students, who forge unique postgraduate paths through teaching, rigorous scholarly inquiry and service,” said Joel Simundich, assistant dean of the College for fellowships. “It is their careful self-examination and generosity of spirit that uniquely prepares them for the Fulbright, and their tenacity and drive to build community that sees their continued impact abroad. We are immensely excited to see where their paths take them.”

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 advance the Fulbright mission of mutual understanding between people of the United States and 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 2023-24 program year, while data prior to 2022-23 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. 

Cyprene Caines: Homecoming, humanities and higher ed

Brown’s 2023-24 student Fulbright winners are now midway through their year teaching or conducting research in more than two dozen countries across Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe. Teaching placements include elementary schools, high schools and universities, where awardees are providing classroom instruction and exchanging cultural perspectives between the U.S. and their host countries. Research award recipients are pursuing projects in a wide range of academic fields, from biology and ecology to literary arts and economics.

For recent graduates, Fulbright fellowships provide opportunities to pursue projects that extend the courses of study they pursued while at Brown. Brown Class of 2023 graduate Cyprene Caines earned a Fulbright award in the humanities, and last fall set out for Trinidad and Tobago, where she has spent months researching Black Trinidadian women writers.

Intentionally immersing myself in my physical surroundings is just as important and valuable to my research ... I have to constantly lean into my curiosities to ask questions, make observations and genuinely listen to the experiences of others.

Cyprene Caines 2023-24 Fulbright Award Recipient
cyprene caines poses for headshot in white turtleneck

Beyond her scholarship, being in Trinidad has provided Caines with something she hadn’t experienced in six years: a homecoming. Even though Caines is from Trinidad, she said returning to her home country was surreal, and she initially found herself overwhelmed by the prospect of navigating the country independently. Luckily, she had help finding her bearings with a familiar face.

“It was really helpful having my mom join me during the first few days to support me with the overall moving process and getting to enjoy moving through Trinidad together,” Caines said. “Once I took some much-needed time to get re-grounded in personal and academic goals, it helped me feel much more comfortable in my purpose here.”

Since settling in, Caines has spent much of her time in the archives at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus, collaborating with faculty and students, investigating the ways in which Black Trinidadian women writers used the process of literary creation as a form of activism coupled with transnational grassroots efforts. She also had the opportunity to join a course last semester dedicated to women’s writing and feminist theory, offering a rich environment to more closely analyze their work; and through her postgraduate housing, she said she’s constantly interacting with students from a wide range of academic and cultural backgrounds.

“Intentionally immersing myself in my physical surroundings is just as important and valuable to my research, in addition to the scholarship that I am reading in academic contexts,” Caines said. “I have to constantly lean into my curiosities to ask questions, make observations and genuinely listen to the experiences of others.”

Caines said her time at Brown — especially as a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, when she learned to expertly curate and execute a research plan  — equipped her with a valuable foundation she’s building upon.

When Caines returns to the U.S. this summer, she plans to begin studies as a first-year doctoral student in Black studies and English, with the ultimate  goal of  becoming a professor — and she can’t wait to channel the knowledge gleaned from her Fulbright experience into her academic journey.

“I have so much love for my culture and this country,” she said. “Being here has taught me to love it in all of its nuances and particularities as I see it even more up close.”

Brown’s 2023-24 recent graduate Fulbright scholars include:

  • Anna Barnett (Greece)
  • Alexandra Blitzer (India)
  • Luisa Bocconcelli (Turkey)
  • Gemma Brand-Wolf (Spain)
  • Erik Brown (Germany)
  • Cyprene Caines (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Christina Crockett (Mexico)
  • Sydney Fisher (Netherlands)
  • Mariah Guevara (Spain)
  • Christine Han (Taiwan)
  • Shantal Hernandez (Costa Rica)
  • Dylan Ines (Austria)
  • Brook Jaffe (Poland)
  • Darci Johnson (Norway)
  • Anabelle Johnston (South Korea)
  • Andy Luo (Taiwan)
  • Ava Marmor Holl (Brazil)
  • Olivia McClain (Cote d'Ivoire)
  • Bilal Memon (United Kingdom)
  • Talia Mermin (Ireland)
  • Catherine Nelli (India)
  • Samuel Nevins (Uruguay)
  • Otto Olafsson (Dominican Republic)
  • Gessy Paul (Colombia)
  • Evan Pittman (Colombia)
  • Anna Semizhonova (Germany)
  • Nina Theisen (Mexico)
  • Gabriela Treviño (Spain)
  • Caroline Troy (India)
  • Rachel Warner (Czech Republic)
  • Owen Wogmon (Cambodia)
  • Hailey Young (Botswana)

Brown’s 2023-24 graduate student Fulbright scholars are:

  • Phoebe Labat (France)
  • Owen Manahan (Mexico)
  • Bill Marino (United Kingdom)