Skip to main content

Swarthmore Among Top Producers of Fulbright Scholars and Students

two students walking through Kohlberg breezeway


Swarthmore is again among the top producers of U.S. Fulbright Scholars and Students, with two faculty members and four recent alumni receiving the honors.

Professor of English Literature Betsy Bolton, who is teaching in the Kingdom of Bhutan in South Asia, and Stephen Lang Professor of Performing Arts Allen Kuharski, who is exploring the work of 19th-century playwrights in Poland and also earned Fulbright honors as a student, propelled the College to a third-place tie among bachelor’s institutions for producing Fulbright Scholars.

“It’s quite an honor and reinforces what we already know to be true — that Swarthmore's faculty are world-class and engage in scholarship that enriches the disciplines and communities in which they work, both here and abroad,” says Tania Johnson, the College’s Fulbright Scholar liaison and director of sponsored programs.

“The Fulbright program is one avenue for faculty to model global citizenship to our students,” Johnson adds, “by embarking on their own experience or welcoming international scholars to campus.”

Swarthmore has been ranked a top producer of Fulbright Students for more than 10 years. This year, Joelle Hageboutros ’16, Steven Gu ’15, Austen Van Burns ’17, and Joshua Goldstein ’17 traveled to Jordan, Singapore, Germany, and Bulgaria, respectively.

“Swarthmore graduating seniors and alumni embrace opportunities to be out in the world,” says Melissa Mandos, fellowships and prizes advisor, who guides the Fulbright application process. “I think they are particularly drawn to the Fulbright because it allows them to fully immerse in a place and culture for an academic year.”

Two additional students were endorsed by the College and were offered Fulbright grants but declined in order to enroll in graduate school.

The Fulbright Students program is designed to "increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries" and encourages collaboration in developing ideas and addressing international concerns. Fellowships are awarded to American students, young professionals, and artists through a national, merit-based competition for study, research, internships, and/or service abroad.

"At a time when there are pressures to narrow the focus of education, I believe that the Fulbright program is a great example of how members of our community can broaden their horizons by engaging with international scholars and institutions," says Provost and James H. Hammons Professor of Chemistry Tom Stephenson. "Fulbright grants represent the liberal arts at their best, and I hope that we will see more of them for both students and faculty."  

Contact Swarthmore's Fellowships and Prizes office for information on the application and selection processes for Fulbright Students, the Sponsored Programs office for Fulbright Scholars.

Submissions Welcome

The Communications Office invites all members of the Swarthmore community to share videos, photos, and story ideas for the College's website. Have you seen an alum in the news? Please let us know by writing