Rice encourages campus to ‘Focus on Fulbright’

Rice University’s Office of International Students will formally launch “Focus on Fulbright,” a new international education initiative for the Rice community, during International Education Week 2014 Nov. 17 through 22.

The initiative is focused on promoting applications for Fulbright scholarships and increasing interest in Rice as a destination for Fulbright scholars.

The initiative will kickoff with an event at 4 p.m. Nov. 17 in Room 301 in Sewall Hall. A panel will discuss why Fulbright grants are helpful to students, faculty, researchers, staff, the Rice campus and local communities and how individuals can apply for a grant. The event will also include success stories of those who are on Fulbright scholarships, those who have returned from Fulbright-funded research and other initiatives to move Rice forward as its students, faculty and staff focus on Fulbright.

The event will be followed by a reception in the Rice Art Gallery from 5 to 6:30 p.m. to celebrate Rice’s Fulbright successes and encourage expansion of the program. President David Leebron will give remarks at 5:30 p.m., and Michelle Pickard, executive director of the Institute of International Education (IEE) Southern Regional Office, will also speak. IIE administers the Fulbright, and Rice is a partner/member of IIE. Members of the Rice community are encouraged to attend one or both of the events.

“There is no better way to celebrate International Education Week than to Focus on Fulbright,” said Adria Baker, associate vice provost for international education at Rice and executive director of the Office of International Students and Scholars. “The Fulbright program is known as one of the most prestigious scholarship programs of its kind. It was created to increase mutual understanding between people in the USA and other countries through educational and people-to-people exchange.”

Since the program is active in over 150 countries, Baker said Rice has a unique opportunity not just to promote applications for Fulbrights, but to reach out and educate Fulbright officers around the globe about Rice’s unique academic opportunities and achievements.

“Recently, I had an opportunity to travel to Madrid on Rice business and decided to take the opportunity to meet with the Fulbright office in that city,” Baker said.
“Although the meeting was short, I had plenty of time to tell them about Rice’s academics, research, campus life and other great things about our campus – and they took note. I am quite sure that the Madrid Fulbright program officers will direct many potential Fulbright doctoral students and researcher scholars our way.”

Baker said she hopes that Rice faculty and administrators who travel abroad will take time do the same.

“With our new Focus on Fulbright initiative, we want to encourage short visits to Fulbright offices,” Baker said. “The personal touch will go a very long way for us to attract top students and researchers around the globe while increasing country diversity. The Fulbrighters who come to Rice are such great assets to our community.”

Baker said that interested Rice members can contact the OISS about advice and help with making contacts for Fulbright office visits abroad. Baker said transportation costs to and from the appointments can be reimbursed.

International Education Week (IEW) is co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education and commemorated annually. Rice’s OISS and other offices around the campus will be hosting events as a part of IEW 2014 to highlight the many international opportunities and aspects of Rice’s campus and to celebrate valued international students, faculty, scholars and visitors. A full list of Rice events is available at http://oiss.rice.edu/. For more information, contact Andy Meretoja at thm1@rice.edu or 713-348-6095.

About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.