GW Earns Honor as a Top Producer of Fulbright Students

The university placed among the top research institutions for generating Fulbright students, with a total of 12 students accepting the award in the 2020-2021 academic year.

February 25, 2021

The George Washington University has ranked again among the top research institutions for the number of students granted Fulbright awards, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education’s newly-released list of “Top Producers of Fulbright U.S. Scholars and Students.”

GW made the list for its 12 undergraduate and graduate students who won Fulbright awards for the 2020-21 year.

"We’re enormously proud of these students,” said Paul Hoyt-O’Connor, director of GW’s Center for Undergraduate Fellowships and Research. “In a time when much of the world has felt isolated, the Fulbright program will provide students a chance to build lasting connections with their host countries and cultures. I am also thankful to the faculty and staff of GW for continuing to foster commitment to cross-cultural understanding and for equipping students to be global citizens.”

Fulbright is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 390,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and other professionals with funding for study and research abroad.

“We are delighted to see that the colleges and universities we are honoring as 2020-2021 Fulbright Top Producing Institutions reflect the geographic and institutional diversity of higher education in the United States,” said Mary Kirk, director of the Office of Academic Exchange Programs in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. “In supporting their faculty advisers and administrators who guide their students through the Fulbright application process, these institutions benefit from having their students represent their campus overseas, often inspiring reciprocal exchanges from foreign Fulbrighters.”

Eileen Lavelle, assistant director of GW’s Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships, said that the university’s recognition “is testament to both Fulbright’s and GW’s shared missions of cultural diversity and advancing mutual understanding worldwide.”

“I would additionally like to thank GW faculty and staff, whose constant support, engagement and encouragement assisted GW recipients on their journey here,” she said.

The recipients included:

English Teaching Fellowships

  • Gabreille Cascio, B.A. '20, Bulgaria
  • Andrew Hesbacher, B.A. '20, Germany
  • Michelle Le, B.A. '19, Vietnam
  • Margaret Meiman, B.A. '20, Germany
  • Mahalia Smith, B.A. '20, Germany 
  • McKenzie Swain, B.A. '20, Turkey
  • Claire Vansell, B.A. '20, Malaysia
  • Brian Wasik, B.A. '17, Spain
  • Isabel Wolfer, B.A. '19, Laos



  • Caitlin Browne, M.A. '19, Tanzania: "Language Policies and a History of Peace: Swahili and National Unity in Tanzania"
  • Amber Herrle B.A. '18, Jordan: "Texting al ‘ishaq: The Impact of Messaging Technologies on Romance in Jordan" 
  • Megan Jula, M.A. '20, Colombia: "Empowerment for Sexual and Reproductive Health Among Young Women in Santander"