USC named a top producer of U.S. Fulbright scholars, students
The university is one of only 12 institutions named as top producers for both of the prestigious programs.
USC on Tuesday was named a top producer of U.S. Fulbright scholars and students for 2023-2024. Only 12 colleges and universities are top producers for both of the prestigious programs.
Fourteen USC students and recent alumni accepted Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants, while five faculty members and one doctoral candidate accepted Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program grants. The Fulbright programs, funded primarily by the U.S. State Department, provide grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English teaching assistant programs.
“Our Fulbright culture at USC is a testament to our core value of academic excellence,” USC Provost Andrew T. Guzman said. “Alongside our exceptional student and faculty scholars chosen for the Fulbright, we have an active mentorship program that assists students and faculty scholars through the application process. The continued success really speaks to USC’s collective community efforts in cultivating global impact.”
The Fulbright programs provide the opportunity for recipients to expand their perspective, connect with others and improve their understanding of different cultures and countries. Each year, more than 2,000 students, early-career professionals and artists are provided a one-year Fulbright grant.
“Fulbright’s Top Producing Institutions represent the diversity of America’s higher education community,” said Lee Satterfield, assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs. “Dedicated administrators support students and scholars at these institutions to fulfill their potential and rise to address tomorrow’s global challenges. We congratulate them, and all the Fulbrighters who are making an impact the world over.”
The Fulbright programs are the U.S. government’s flagship international academic exchange effort. Since 1946, the Fulbright programs have provided more than 400,000 grants and scholarships to participants who are chosen for their academic merit and leadership qualities.
USC’s Fulbright U.S. Student Program participants
USC students applying for Fulbright are supported by the university’s Academic Honors and Fellowships unit. These are USC’s participants in the 2023-24 Fulbright U.S. Student Program:
Sasha Benke graduated in May 2023 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a minor in law and public policy. Benke won an English Teaching Assistant Award to Uzbekistan, with plans to continue her research on historical memory and religious conflict in Central Asia and advance the Fulbright mission of cross-cultural engagement. After Fulbright, Benke intends on pursuing a master’s degree in economics or public diplomacy and later pursuing a career within the U.S. State Department.
Ammar Dharani graduated in May 2023 with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience. Dharani won a Fulbright Research Award to Germany to conduct neuropsychiatric research exploring the biological basis of clinical depression. After Fulbright, Dharani plans to enter medical school and conduct neuropsychiatry research focusing on improving the quality of life of older adults.
Patricia Garcia graduated from USC with a master’s in computer science in 2021 and with a Master of Product Development Engineering in 2022. She received the Fulbright/University College London Entrepreneurship Award to pursue a master’s in entrepreneurship to inform her startup, unithrifts, which allows students/alumni to buy/sell secondhand collegiate gear and track their environmental impact.
Eduardo Gonzalez completed a USC master’s degree in communication in 2022 and is pursuing a doctorate in communication. He won the Fulbright-Garcia Robles All Disciplines — Open Study/Research Award to Mexico, with plans to investigate how Central American refugees in Matamoros employ smartphones and mobile technologies during processes of displacement, migration and resettlement.
Joe Jocas graduated in May 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in international relations and a minor in applied analytics. Jocas received an English Teaching Assistant Award to Lithuania. After Fulbright, Jocas plans to return to the U.S. to work at the intersection of technology and human rights.
Weronika Malek-Lubawski is pursuing a doctorate in art history at USC. She received a research award to Poland to continue work on her dissertation, “Between Moscow and Paris: Lodz and the Transnational Avant-Garde Network in 1921-1939.” Her research focuses on the industrial city of Lodz, Poland, as a crucial site of artistic exchange between Russia and Western urban centers, in particular Berlin and Paris.
Jenna Ogawa graduated in May 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in public policy, with an emphasis in law. Ogawa won an English Teaching Assistant Award for a secondary school in South Korea and plans to integrate her experience as a Taekwondo instructor to engage and empower students. After Fulbright, Ogawa plans to work at the California in South Korea , focusing on Asian American and Pacific Islander-related projects and legislation. Ogawa hopes to use her experience post-Fulbright to help bridge the gap between AAPI communities and promote cross-cultural dialogue.
Rianna Rios graduated in May 2023 with a Bachelor of Science in Public Policy and a minor in performing social change. Rios won an English Teaching Assistant Award to Mexico. Upon completing the Fulbright grant, she plans to work in local government for the city of Los Angeles on the policy work regarding homelessness, Angeleno identity and accessibility.
Carina Robles graduated in May 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in dance, as well as a Master of Studies in Law with graduate certificates in business law and compliance law. Robles won an English Teaching Assistant Award to Taiwan. After Fulbright, Robles is interested in exploring a career in law, policy and governance.
Amelie Schlager graduated in May 2023 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations (Global Business) and a minor in social entrepreneurship. Schlager won an English Teaching Assistant Award to Taiwan. After Fulbright, Schlager intends to continue her social impact work and pursue a master’s degree in social entrepreneurship.
Matthew Slade graduated in May 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Languages and Cultures and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations. Slade received an English Teaching Assistant Award to Taiwan. Upon completion of the grant, he hopes to return to the United States to find a job at the intersection of education and environmental policy.
Isabel Torres graduated in May 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Non-Governmental Organizations and Social Change. She received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Spain. After completing the Fulbright, Torres plans to pursue a doctorate in bilingual education.
Isabella Welsh graduated in May 2023 with a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and a minor in cultural diplomacy. Isabella won an English Teaching Assistant Award to Spain. After Fulbright, Welsh plans to pursue a career in medicine that melds patient care with contributions to scientific knowledge and public health, both in the United States and abroad.
Trinity Yang graduated in May 2023 with a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and a minor in gender and sexuality studies. Yang won an English Teaching Assistant Award to Taiwan. After Fulbright, Yang will pursue a career in pediatrics, focusing on applying social justice to medicine and delivering culturally competent care.
USC’s Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program participants
These are USC’s participants in the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program for 2023-24:
David Craig (USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism) will study communications at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Adolfo Ibáñez University in Peñalolén, Chile, and the Asian Institute of Technology in Khlong Nueng, Thailand.
Aniko Imre (USC School of Cinematic Arts) will study communications at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, Hungary.
Saro Khemichian (Keck School of Medicine of USC) will study medical sciences at Yerevan State University in Armenia.
Rachel Neve-Midbar (USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences) will study literature at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Nathan Perl-Rosenthal (USC Dornsife, USC Gould School of Law) will study history at the School of Advanced Studies in Social Science in Paris.
Jo-Michael Scheibe (USC Thornton School of Music) will study music at the Irish Institute of Music and Song in Dublin.
Additionally, five scholars from outside the United States will study at USC as part of the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program: Dominic Johnson, Queen Mary University of London (art history); Caroline Patsias, University of Quebec in Montreal (political science); Sebastian Klich, Wroclaw University of Health and Sport Science, Poland (medical sciences); Elizabeth Castaldo Lunden, Linnéuniversitet, Småland, Sweden (interdisciplinary studies); and Meryl Vedrenne-Cloquet, Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital, Paris (medical services).
Applying for a Fulbright
Applications for the 2024-25 programs are closed. For 2025-26, application for the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program opens this month and closes in mid-September, while application for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program opens in April and closes in the fall.