The Berkeley campus quietly received some pleasant news in early January — electronically to the chancellor — and the NewsCenter’s Cathy Cockrell wrote it up for wider circulation.  Because two Graduate Division staff members played key roles in the reason for the good news, we’re happy to repost the story here, with the addition of a photo.

Berkeley named a Fulbright ‘top producer,’ twice over

fulbright223In a “Dear Bob” email earlier this week, California Hall received official kudos for an excellent achievement.

“Congratulations to the University of California, Berkeley on being one of this year’s Fulbright Program ‘top producers,'” read the message from Allan Goodman, head of the Institute of International Education, to Chancellor Robert Birgeneau. UC Berkeley, he went on, “has the unique distinction of being one of this year’s top producers for both the Fulbright U.S. Student and Scholar Programs” — which award Fulbright fellowships, respectively, to students (both undergrad and graduate) and faculty.

Maria and Gina hold UC seal
Maria Loza and Gina Farales Blanco of the Graduate Fellowships office, symbolically upholding UC’s honor. (photo: Dick Cortén)

In the latest Fulbright funding cycle, 23 Berkeley students — 16 grad students and seven undergrads — were awarded Fulbright fellowships, putting Berkeley in fifth place among U.S. research universities (see the list of “top-producing institutions” published by The Chronicle of Higher Education).

Goodman commended the contributions of Berkeley Graduate Division staffers Maria Loza, who coordinates Fulbright applications for faculty scholars, and Gina Farales Blanco, who helps students apply for Fulbright fellowships, beginning with workshops in late spring and over the summer. A faculty committee reviews and rates campus applications and forwards them to the Fulbright committee each fall.

Loza notes that Berkeley’s high number of Fulbright fellowships is due, in part, to “a very good support system” — outreach and guidance — provided to students and faculty in applying for the prestigious Fulbright fellowships.

The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. State Department, seeks to foster mutual understanding by sending U.S. scholars abroad and bringing international scholars to the U.S.