The Fulbright program is an international grant program for students, scholars and specialists. At Meredith, Alan Buck, Assistant Professor of Communication, has recently received a Fulbright scholarship, and three alumni are currently completing Fulbright programs. The Herald reached out to Professor Buck and Dr. Vilma Concha-Chiaraviglio, Meredith’s Fulbright coordinator, to discuss the program.
The Fulbright program was founded by U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946. According to Dr. Concha, it is “considered to be one of the most widely recognized and prestigious scholarships in the world.”
“The main goal of Fulbright is to use education as a bridge between the United States and several countries around the world in order to strengthen intercultural relations, cultural diplomacy and bonds of peace,” she explained. “Through engagement in the community, the individual will interact with their hosts on a one-to-one basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual understanding.”
Professor Buck was chosen for the Fulbright Specialist Program because of his “television, media and video production experience.” He was chosen to go to the University of Eswatini because “they have requested [his] help to sharpen their curriculum, do video production [and] media content and then write that curriculum so they can move forward.” Professor Buck has also been to Italy, Portugal and Rwanda with the Fulbright Program.
Currently, three Meredith alumni are abroad with the Fulbright program. Dr. Concha explained, “Bailey Birtchet, ‘21, is in the Netherlands doing research on graphic design, Briana Petrusa, ‘21, is in Spain doing research on Parkinson's disease [and] Delaney Rhodes, ‘20, is an English Teaching Assistant in South Korea.”
According to Dr. Concha, the Fulbright grant’s benefits include “accident and health benefits; 24/7 support for urgent and non-urgent situations; 12 months of non-competitive eligibility (NCE) hiring status within the federal government; round-trip transportation to the host country; funding to cover room, board and incidental costs” based on country-specific factors.
For more information about applying to the Fulbright U.S. Program, contact Dr. Concha at email@example.com. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program’s website and YouTube video also provide more information about the program and application process.
By Freya Dahlgren, Opinion Editor