Penn State produces 13 U.S. Fulbright students for 2014-15

February 13, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For a third year in a row, Penn State is included on the U.S. Department of State’s complete list of colleges and universities that produced the most 2014-15 Fulbright U.S. students. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, and top-producing institutions are highlighted in the Feb. 12 edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

This year, 13 students from the University Park campus received Fulbright awards, making Penn State again among the top-producing research institutions in the country. Last year, 11 Penn State students received 2013-14 Fulbright awards.

The Fulbright program allows more than 1,800 U.S. students, artists and young professionals in more than 100 different fields to study, teach English and conduct research in more than 140 countries throughout the world beginning in the fall. Penn State student Fulbright winners for 2014-15 are Shayne Bement, Laura Dzwonczyk, Courtney Fowler, Leah Gillen, Winston Hamel, Marcy Herr, Sophie HuddartRachel Passmore, Trista Rappert-McGetrick, Kaylee Roupas, Emily Sabo, Jason Smith and Emily Zavodny.

As they’ve arrived at their destinations, many of the Penn State student Fulbright recipients have been documenting their experiences through the Penn State News Fulbright Features series.

“These Fulbright winners are a testimony to the academic and extracurricular achievements of the students here at Penn State. The recipients will not only pursue opportunities to further their education or experiences, but will serve as ambassadors of the United States to their host country,” said Ruth Mendum, director of Penn State's University Fellowships Office. “I hope this success encourages more of our students to pursue this opportunity in the future.”

At Penn State, the Fulbright competition is administered through the University Fellowships Office, an area within the Office of Undergraduate Education that is a resource for undergraduates, graduate students and Penn State alumni seeking information and guidance regarding scholarships and fellowships funded by sources other than Penn State. The office helps students identify scholarships or fellowships that best align with their academic achievements and long-term goals; assists students throughout the application process; and expands their expectations of themselves.

More information about the services of the University Fellowships Office at Penn State can be gained by contacting the Fellowships Office at 814-863-8199 or visiting the office in 212 Boucke Building. Email inquiries should be sent to

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 360,000 participants — chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the United States Congress to the Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.

In the United States, the Institute of International Education administers and coordinates the activities relevant to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program on behalf of the Department of State, including conducting an annual competition for the scholarships. The Fulbright Program also awards grants to U.S. scholars, teachers and faculty to conduct research and teach overseas.  In addition, some 4,000 new foreign Fulbright students and scholars come to the United States annually to study for graduate degrees, conduct research and teach foreign languages.

For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated February 17, 2015